LOS ANGELES - Veterans with a service-connected disability can enter National Parks around the country for free with a Lifetime Access Pass.
The pass, which is given out by the United States Geological Survey, is available for veterans who have a Veterans Affairs disability rating of 10 percent or higher.
The access pass is good for entrance into more than 400 National Parks and over 2,000 recreational sites. With the pass, the holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle can be let in for free at spots that charge per-vehicle fees. At locations that charge per-person fees, the holder and up to three adults can get in for free.
Discounts on expanded amenity fees, such as camping, swimming, boat launching and guided tours, are also included with the pass.
There are two ways to apply for the pass: in person or by mail.
If a veteran wants to apply in person, he or she must go to a participating federal recreation site. They will be required to provide a photo ID, such as a driver's license, state ID or passport, and documentation proving their disability. The documentation can be a VA awards letter, VA ID with service-connected annotation, VA summary of benefits or a receipt of social security disability income.
The pass is free and issued at the time of entry.
To get a pass by mail, veterans must provide a completed packet and include a $10 processing fee to USGS. The packet must include an Access Pass application form, proof of residency, and a VA disability letter, summary of benefits or proof of SSDI.
Pass delivery is expected about 10 to 12 weeks after verification, according to USGS.
Once you get a pass, make sure to have a photo ID with you when you visit any of the parks.