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Best Park Passes for Camping, Broken Down By State


One of the perks of traveling by RV is that you carry your home along with you.

Surrounded by your own creature comforts, camping in a motorhome or travel trailer lets you experience the great outdoors while enjoying home cooked meals and a familiar bed every night. Lodging costs should be low, but paying for a campsite these days can really put a dent in the pocketbook. Who knew campground fees would, in some cases, equal or even surpass that of a hotel?

One option to booking a more budget-friendly campsite is to stay in a state park, where fees are usually lower. Luckily, many states offer annual passes and special discounts that make the deal even sweeter. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of every state park system’s annual pass offerings.

State Park Annual Passes by State

Alabama

Have a park that you frequent in Alabama? Annual Passes are available for purchase at the Park Office. These passes are only good for park admission at the park you purchased it from, and are valid from the date of purchase to one year from date of purchase. The price of the annual pass varies from park to park.

Alaska

Unfortunately, the Annual Camping Pass program was discontinued in 2004. However, the Disabled Veteran’s Annual Camping Pass is free if eligibility requirements are met. Without a pass, Alaska nightly camping fees range from $10 to $45 per night.

Arizona

Arizona has several annual pass offerings for day-use purposes. Unfortunately, none of them cover camping costs.

The annual day use pass allows access for up to four people to state parks across Arizona.  They offer a standard pass for weekday use at all parks, including weekends at most parks. The premium pass includes weekend and holiday access to the parks along the Colorado River (Buckskin Mountain, Cattail Cove, Lake Havasu, and River Island). The standard pass is $75, while the premium pass is $200.

Arkansas

Arkansas does not charge an entrance fee to their state parks, but there are fees for the rental of facilities like campsites and cabins. U.S. Citizens 62 and over and U.S. Citizens with 100% permanent and total disability will be admitted to state park campgrounds at the discounted rates. Proper identification or documentation is required to obtain a discount.

California

State Parks in California have a wide array of annual passes, including:

  • California Explorer Vehicle Day Use Pass
  • Golden Poppy Vehicle Day Use Pass
  • Tahoe Regional Vehicle Day Use Pass
  • OHV Vehicle Day Use Pass
  • Historian Passport Day Use Admission
  • Boat Use Annual Pass

These, however, do not cover camping costs. For persons with permanent disabilities, this pass entitles the bearer to a 50% discount for vehicle day use, family camping, and boat use fees at California State Park operated units. The Distinguished Veteran Pass gives pass holders the ability to use of all basic facilities (including day use, camping and boating) in California State Parks at no charge.

Colorado

Like California, Colorado has several annual pass options. They’ll cover the daily entrance fee, but not the camping fee. Still, this will help cut the total cost of your stay.

Connecticut

The state of Connecticut no longer issues passes to their state parks, but charges an entrance fee to non-residents.

For the frequent park visitor from out-of-state, Connecticut offers a special season pass at a low fee. The pass allows unlimited non-resident vehicle access with the window sticker to any state park or recreation area that has a parking fee for no extra charge.

Photo Tripping America - State Park Passes - Outdoorsy
Photo Credit: Shelley Dennis

Delaware

Delaware has an annual pass decal, which allows your vehicle and its occupants unlimited year-round entry to all state parks charging an entry fee. Residents of the state can get the vehicle decal for $35, while out-of-state folks will have to pay $70. It does not discount any camping fees. There are discounts available for seniors and members of the military.

Florida

The state of Florida offers annual state park passes for $60 individual and $120 family. Active duty and honorably discharged veterans get a 50% discount on the pass. Also residents of Florida that are disabled veterans, surviving families of deceased veterans, families of deceased law enforcement officers and firefighters can receive a free annual pass. Even licensed family foster homes and those who adopt children with special needs qualify for a free pass.

Residents of Florida who are disabled get half off the state park camping fee per night (between $5 to $30)

Non-residents pay $10 to $60 per night for campsite.

Georgia

Parking in Georgia’s State Parks is just $5 and visitors can buy a $50 annual ParkPass that helps fund renovations, trail work, dock replacements and more. ParkPasses are not valid at state historic sites. Overnight guests pay the daily ParkPass fee only once during their stay, regardless of duration.

Hawaii

The state of Hawaii does not charge entrance fees at its state parks. However, the campsites available are mainly tent sites.

Residents pay $12 per night. Non-residents pay $18 per night for a campsite.

Idaho

The state of Idaho has annual state park passes available. State residents pay $10 per year and out-of-state visitors pay $40 for the yearly pass.

Campsite fees for all range in price from $10 to $31 per night. However, those state residents with limited income receive a discount of $4 off the price of a campsite per night.  Idaho disabled veterans with a 100% disability receive free campsites and day access, and anyone 62 years or older receives 50 percent off camping fees.

Illinois

The state of Illinois does not charge state park entrance fees, so no pass is required. Disabled and senior citizens pay anywhere from $0 to $17.50 per night. All other visitors pay $8 to $35 per night for a campsite.

Indiana

The state of Indiana charges residents $50 for an annual state park pass. Non-residents pay $70.

Campsite fees within the state park system are based on high and low traffic times. Sunday through Wednesday fees run from $12 to $30. Thursday through Saturday fees run from $12 to $40, and holiday weekends run from $12 to $44.

Iowa

The state of Iowa does not charge state park entrance fees, so no pass is required.

Camping fees are based on off-season and peak season rates. May 1 to September 30 (peak season) campsites run from $9 to $19 per night. October 1 to April 30 (off-season) rates are $6 to $16.

Kansas

The state of Kansas has a unique set-up. They charge $25 for an annual vehicle pass (discount available for Kansas residents who are seniors or disabled $13.75). Campers can then purchase an annual camping pass, if they so choose, ranging in price from $202.50 to $252.50. The annual camping pass does not cover utility fees. Those fees range from $271.50 to $456.50 depending on state park.

Kentucky

The state of Kentucky does not offer annual state park passes, but they do offer several camping discounts, including military, senior and AAA discounts.

Photo Tripping America - State Park Passes - Outdoorsy
Photo Credit: Shelley Dennis

Louisiana

The state of Louisiana offers annual state park passes for $80. Active military and seniors receive a 50 percent discount on day use entry fees, and anyone who currently holds a National Park annual pass (America the Beautiful pass) can receive a 50 percent discount on overnight fees if their home state park system honors the America the Beautiful pass discount for overnight stays.

Maine

Maine offers a vehicle season pass for $105, which admits the pass holder who signed the pass and occupants of the pass holder’s vehicle, up to a 17 passenger maximum, to day-use facilities in state parks.

Maryland

The state of Maryland offers a State Park Pass to residents for $75 and non-residents for $100. The pass allows access to all state parks and gives its users a 10 percent discount on park concessions and boat rentals.

Camping fees for all visitors range in price from $21.49 to $27.49.

Massachusetts

Buy an annual parking pass to save money on parking at most Massachusetts state parks. The purchase of an annual parking pass will allow your vehicle to park at most DCR parks  across the Commonwealth without paying daily fees. DCR ParksPasses are valid for one calendar year— January to December. Massachusetts residents pay $60, while non-Massachusetts residents pay $120. Resident and non resident status is determined by the vehicle license plate

Michigan

The state of Michigan has an annual state park pass priced at $11 for residents and $30.50 for out-of-state residents. Campsite fees range in price from $15 to $37, depending on site amenities and specific parks.

Minnesota

The state of Minnesota has an annual state park pass for all visitors, priced at $35. Campsites range in price from $15 to $37 per night.

Mississippi

Mississippi offers an Annual Entrance Pass. It is ONLY for the entry of one vehicle into ANY MS State Park or MS State Lake for one year.  The pass will expire from one year from the date of purchase. The permit cost is $42 for both in and out of state vehicles.

Missouri

The state of Missouri does not charge entrance fees to its state parks, so no annual pass is needed.

Camping fees are based on peak and off-peak seasons. Peak season prices range from $10 to $56 and off-season prices range from $6 to $48.

Montana

The state of Montana does not charge state residents an entrance fee, but non-residents can purchase an annual state park pass for $35.

Campsite fees are $4 to $32 per night.

Photo Tripping America - State Park Passes - Outdoorsy
Photo Credit: Shelley Dennis

Nebraska

The state of Nebraska has a state park pass priced at $31 for residents and $46 for out-of-state visitors.

All campers pay campsite fees ranging from $12 to $20, and winter with electric sites are available from $14 to $15.

Nevada

The state of Nevada has two options for state park passes. Annual entrance permits are $75 and give you access to all state parks. The better option for campers is an All Access Permit for $200 that allows use of all park amenities, including boondock camping for free. If you wish to hook up, the campsite charge is $10 per night!

Campsites under the “Annual Entrance Permit” run from $15 to $30 per night.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers season pass options for individuals, families, youth and seacoast parking. Individual passes are $60, while New Hampshire resident family passes are $105. Non-resident families can purchase a pass for $120. Seacoast parking is $175 per vehicle.

New Jersey

The state of New Jersey issues State Park Passes to state residents for $50 and non-residents for $75.

Residents pay $3 to $20 for campsites. Non-residents pay $5 to $25 for campsites.

New Mexico

The state of New Mexico offers an Annual Camping Permit that covers entrance into all state parks, as well as free camping without utilities. For state residents, the annual pass is $180. Disabled state residents and seniors pay $100. Out-of-state passes are $225.

The charge to hook up electric and water is $4 per night. If full hookups with sewer are used the daily charge is $8.

New York

The state of New York charges $80 for an Empire Pass that allows free entrance into all state parks. The pass is good for entire households.

State residents pay between $15 and $36 for campsite fees. Non-residents pay between $18 and $39 for campsite fees.

North Carolina

The state of North Carolina offers an Annual Parks Pass for $90. Campsite fees go up to $25, but seniors and military receive a $6 discount except on primitive sites.

North Dakota

The state of North Dakota charges $35 for an Annual Pass, but seniors and disabled visitors can receive a pass for $28. Campsite fees range in price from $12 to $30 depending on high and low seasons.

Photo Tripping America - State Park Passes - Outdoorsy
Photo Credit: Shelley Dennis

Ohio

The state of Ohio does not charge entrance fees to its state parks, so no pass is needed. Campsite fees vary from $17 to $39 per night, and seniors with a Golden Buckeye Pass receive a 50 percent discount on camp fees.

Oklahoma

In June of 2020, Oklahoma started the Parking Pass Program. The Parking Pass Program will help much-needed resources to return park facilities and infrastructure to an acceptable standard and maintain them at that standard. Campsite fees vary.

Parking pass rates are per vehicle, according to the following chart. Vehicles with an Oklahoma or Oklahoma tribal license plate will receive a 20% discount on rates. The annual pass is $75.

Oregon

Oregon offers one-year ($30) and two-year ($50) parking passes. Both can be purchased online. Campsite fees vary.

Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania does not charge entrance fees to its state parks, so no pass is needed.

Residents pay from $15 to $28 for nightly campsite, based on amenities. Non-residents pay from $20 to $33 a night.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island doesn’t offer a parks pass, but it does offer a season pass for beach parking. A season pass gives you access to all eight Rhode Island State beach parking lots. However, it does not guarantee admission on high-capacity days or provide preference over other passes. Entry is on a first come, first served basis at all locations.

Residents pay $30 for a season pass and non-residents pay $60. Campsite fees vary.

South Carolina

The South Carolina All Park Passport costs $99 and provides unlimited entry to all 47 South Carolina state parks for everyone in the vehicle. Campsite fees vary.

South Dakota

The state of South Dakota has an Annual Entrance Pass available for $30. Campsite prices range between $17 and $21.

Tennessee

The state of Tennessee does not charge an entrance fee to any of its state parks, so a pass is not required.

Campsite fees range in price from $17 to $35.

Texas

The state of Texas charges $70 for an Annual Park Pass, but offers discounts to state residents who are seniors, have a disability or serve in the military.

Campsite fees range from $12 to $20 and with the purchase of the Annual Park Pass, you receive a 50 percent discount on camping fees for the second night of a two-or-more night stay at most parks. Also included is a 10 percent discount on retail and rental items at the park.

Photo Tripping America - State Park Passes - Outdoorsy
Photo Credit: Shelley Dennis

Utah

The state of Utah has Annual Park Passes available for $75, with a Senior Park Pass for $35. Campsite fees vary from $20 to $32, and the Annual Park Pass offers some camping discounts.

Vermont

To enjoy unlimited, discounted use of the parks, consider a season vehicle pass or an individual pass. Indvidual passes are $30, while whole vehicle passes are $90. You can also purchase a punch card for $30, which gives you 10 visits.

Virginia

Virginia has the Naturally Yours Passport for $75, which gives visitors parking and admission for twelve months to all state parks. For $40, seniors can enjoy the Senior Naturally Yours Passport. Camping rates vary.

Washington

Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). One annual pass can be transferred between two vehicles and costs $30.

However, you do not need to purchase the pass if you are camping or renting overnight accommodations, including vacation houses, environmental learning centers, yurts, and cabins. You will not need a Discover Pass for access to the state park where you are staying for the duration of your stay.

West Virginia

West Virginia has an annual pass for unlimited state park entrances for $12.

Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin offers residents an Annual State Park Pass for $28 and non-residents pay $38. Seniors can get a pass for $13.

Nightly campsite fees range from $15 to $30.

Wyoming

Wyoming annual park permits are $40 for day use and $50 for overnight camping. For out of state visitors, day use annual permits can be purchased for $70.

Hit the Road

If you find yourself spending a good deal of time in one state or another, state park passes may offer you a great deal. Why not explore your favorite state’s hidden gems while keeping a little more of your hard earned cash in your wallet?

Search on Outdoorsy to find fresh ideas on where to camp, what to take with you, and how to make the most of your vacation. 

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