Free Access to National Parks for T1's

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a free pass program for people with permanent disability, and includes T1 as a disability. That means for a $10 processing fee, you can get free access to all national parks - for life. These parks include Yosemite, Yellowstone (and probably Jellystone for you Yogi Bear fans) and the Grand Canyon. And entrance to the Gran Canyon is $25, so it is a great deal. From what I’ve seen, the pass applies per car, so your traveling companions are included.

Got to USGS store. Search for disability access pass. The form or program number is OMB Control 1024-0252. I 'spose we should move on this, who knows if this program will be a lost in a cost cutting move.


I’d far rather pay the entry fee than define myself as “disabled”


The National Park Service offers a similar deal to all people 62 years and older. It’s a $10 lifetime pass. Like the pass for disabled people, it’s a great deal.

Thanks for the tip, @artwoman. It’s nice to see a social kindness extended to people with a physical challenge. I find being immersed in natural beauty a great antidote for many of life’s harder aspects.


Thanks for the information. I tried finding this but couldn’t. I actually think that it’s good Type 1’s are included in a discount. I have been a Type 1 for over 20 years. I have issues with physical activity and had lots of severe lows. Don’t you think that maybe they are including Type 1’s for a reason? This is a medical condition that could keep a lot of people who have it from wanting to do something like visit a national park. I find myself avoiding certain things because of my Type 1.

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I would feel uncomfortable getting this pass simply because of my diabetes. If diabetes markedly impaired my ability to do basic functions that is fine. But simply using my diabetes as a way to get free entrance to parks. I would feel a bit dirty to do that. You can get an annual National Parks pass for $80 that gets your entrance fees waived for your vehicle or for a modest sized party. And that is good all year no matter how many times you use it.

So many people actually struggle with major disabilities or with not being able to afford access to National Parks. I would just not feel like I could live with myself by abusing this program.


I purchased one of these passes due to my vision ,not my diabetes. My husband has one for his age. Nancy

It took me a while, but I was able to find this here

Note that valid documentation includes being on SSDI or being awarded VA disability. And they ask that you have a disability which:

limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

I don’t consider my diabetes as (currently) impacting these things. If your vision is impaired or you have trouble walking then I would encourage you to apply for a pass. The National Park Service (NPS) has made major efforts to make the parks accessible to everyone.

I got the senior pass when I turned 62. But if somebody want to get a pass because of diabetes, go for it. Access to the parks is a great thing.

Agreed. Glad this is an option, but I don’t like playing the D-Card when it’s not absolutely necessary. Like others mentioned, I’d rather pay to support the parks/monuments/etc that are accessible and do my part – while I’m able. Feel the same about Disney park passes, and generally just all around using my diabetes as an excuse. Maybe it just comes with not wanting to be defined by my D, and being limited as a kid…

But hey, to each their own. YDMV, along with opinions.

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@Brian_BSC already referred you to the relevant guidance.

I’ll just also point out that the National Parks have a $12 billion dollar deferred maintenance backlog. I will gladly continue to pay for my $80 annual pass (which is a steal at twice the price). You should also know that parks do not get to keep all the fees that they receive, some only keep a small fraction, others more.

If you are truly disabled per the guidance above, then by all means get it and enjoy your Access Pass! If not, please pay the incredibly reasonable fee and support the preservation of these amazing places. You will not find a better deal and you will help the NPS maintain their infrastructure and reach out to new audiences that are truly not capable of visiting or not aware of their national parks.

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id rather get in free because of all the stupid money i spend on D supplies.