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Still need a $10 national park senior pass? Here’s where to go before deadline

Traffic jammed the Nisqually entrance of Mount Rainier National Park last year. Call ahead if you’re looking for senior lifetime passes.
Traffic jammed the Nisqually entrance of Mount Rainier National Park last year. Call ahead if you’re looking for senior lifetime passes. Staff file, 2016

Remember that $10 senior lifetime pass deal for national parks and federal public lands, good for those age 62 and over?

The deadline is fast approaching. Starting Aug. 28, the price will leap from $10 — when buying a pass at a park station or National Parks Service office — to $80.

Good news: The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, 100 Brown Farm Road NE, Olympia, still has “several hundred” passes available, according to an email sent from the refuge to The News Tribune.

“We are prepared to sell the remaining $10 passes until that time,” wrote Jennifer S. Cutillo, visitor services manager for the complex. “We don’t want anyone to come in after the increase and be caught off guard.”

The fee increase is the first since 1994, part of a congressional mandate passed at the end of 2016.

The pass is good for your lifetime as an entrance pass to national parks, forest lands and recreation areas, among other sites.

You can call the refuge center if you need more information or directions: 360-753-9467.

Other regional sites selling the pass (call ahead to check availability):

▪ The Olympic National Park’s main visitor center in Port Angeles, 3002 Mount Angeles Road, as well as its staffed entrance booths during business hours. Phone: 360-565-3130

▪ The Olympic National Forest office, 1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia. Hours 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Phone: 360-956-2402

▪ The Mount Rainier National Park’s Nisqually entrance and the Carbon River Ranger Station for now. The White River and Stevens Canyon entrance stations are other possibilities. Phone: 360-569-2211

▪ The Outdoor Recreation Information Center — REI store at 222 Yale Ave. N. in Seattle. Phone: 206-470-4060

If you already have a lifetime senior pass, it will remain valid after the changeover. Previous versions of the pass, such as Golden Access or Golden Age passports, will be accepted for the life of the passholder even after the new, pricier pass goes into effect.

For those who turn 62 after the Aug. 28 deadline (or if you lost your pass and didn’t get a replacement in time), a new annual “senior” pass will be offered for $20.

After buying annual passes for four years, you can trade them in for a lifetime pass at no additional cost.

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