This year has marked a particularly special Veterans Day as US veterans and Gold Star families have been granted free lifetime access to the country’s national parks, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior.
“With the utmost respect and gratitude, we are granting Veterans and Gold Star Families free access to the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect starting this Veterans Day and every single day thereafter,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.
The all-access pass, which is called America the Beautiful, typically cost $80 per year for non-veterans and grants free entry to more than 2,000 recreation areas spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands, including Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Arches, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
To get free access and start exploring, veterans simply need to present some form of identification proving they were in the armed forces or the US National Guard and Reserves. Gold Star families are those who have lost a family member serving in a war, a military operation outside of the US, or in an international terrorist attack.