The JJs List Blog

How to Get Your Free National Park Pass for People with Disabilities

Posted by on June 18, 2013 - 5 Comments

Did you come here from google?  Take a moment to read this and explore the rest of!

The Access Pass gives people with disabilities lifetime free entry to any of the over 2,000 Federal park and recreation sites.

Glacier National Park. Photo by eleephotography

Glacier National Park. Photo by eleephotography

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or looking for a place to exercise, the Access Pass is a great way to enjoy America the beautiful. Use it at over 2,000 Federal recreation sites across America, including National Forest lands, National Wildlife Refuges and National Parks. Bring your friends while at it, because the Access Pass also grants up to three other adults (where per-person fees are usually charged), or anyone else traveling with you in a non-commercial vehicle (where per-vehicle fees are usually charged), free entry.

How to Get an Access Pass

  • Visit any federal recreation site that charges a fee.Be sure to bring your ID that proves you are a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, and documentation from a licensed physician, a Federal agency, or a State agency, that shows you have a permanent disability. The pass is free and there are no processing fees.To be safe, call ahead of time to make sure they have passes available.  Note that showing a State motor vehicle department disability sticker, or a hang tag is not acceptable proof of a permanent disability.


  • Apply through the Mail. Complete this application form for the Access Pass and mail it along with photocopy proof that you are a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, and documentation of your disability. Note that applying through the mail will cost you a $10 processing fee.

Where to get an Access Pass

Look at this .pdf list of federal recreation sites where Access Passes should be available, listed by state. The 9 Illinois listings may be found on page 10.

Additional Perks of an Access Pass

On top of granting free entry, some sites also offer Access Pass holders a discount on expanded fees, such as camping, swimming, boat launching and guided tours.


Want more information? Visit the Access Pass FAQ page.
Have you used the Access Pass? How did you enjoy your experience at the park? Share your experience below.
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Daniel M. Cyr says:
Jul 15, 2013

I am 60 yrs old and disabled with a c-spine fusion and shoulder surgery and torn miniscus in both knees and three stents. do i qualify for a pass to all parks . either free or at a reduced rate. thanks. i can walk but not always easy.

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Oct 12, 2013

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ralph kessler says:
Feb 24, 2014

Last year at Denali , i purchased a life pass to the park service facilities. Well I am returning and cant seem to get my hahds on my pass do I have any recourse.

Philister Sidigu says:
Feb 25, 2014

Hi Ralph,

Please contact the Denali National Park office directly. Here’s the office number: 907-683-9532

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