15 State Parks Offering Amazing Senior Discounts

Explore the great outdoors without breaking the bank at these senior-discounted state parks.

senior man hiking
Updated June 11, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Summer is the perfect time to explore and enjoy the outdoors, especially if you're traveling more during retirement. Luckily, there are ways to save on those adventures, thanks to senior discounts.

If you're 62 or older, you can snag reduced fees on campsites and admission at these state parks allowing you to stretch your retirement budget while making the most of the season.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

Emerald Bay State Park: El Dorado County, California

donyanedomam/Adobe pine forest surrounding emerald bay

California offers multiple reservations, day-use passes, and camping reservation options for their state parks — including senior passes.

Those over 62 have two options: Golden Bear and Limited Use Golden Bear. You’ll also get $1 off vehicle day use without needing a pass.

Consider using that discount to visit Emerald Bay State Park this summer, south of Lake Tahoe.

Humboldt Redwood State Park: Humboldt County, California

Yaya Ernst/Adobe humboldt redwoods state park

You can also use your California senior discount or pass to visit Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Along with seeing giant redwoods and hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, several recommended itineraries include scenic driving routes, historic structures, and rivers to swim in.

South Yuba River State Park: Nevada County, California

Shaun Hunter/Wirestock/Adobe waterfall along south yuba river

Last on the list for using your California senior discount is South Yuba River State Park, an ideal stop for those seeking a more historically enriching experience.

The park itself offers several hiking and exploration options, as well as historic mining sites, including the Bridgeport Covered Bridge, the world’s longest single-span covered bridge.

Earn a $250 travel bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can earn additional points just by using this card for your everyday purchases — unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. The 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

If you want to travel and dine out more, the Travel Rewards card can help you get where you want to go.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

Hocking Hills State Park: Logan, Ohio

Keith Klosterman/Adobe cascading waterfall flowing

Ohio state parks offer discounted rates for seniors for both lodging and camping fees, as well as day use and overnight rentals through a Golden Buckeye Card.

One great park to utilize this at is Hocking Hills State Park, which has several options for electric and non-electric camping and lodging.

In addition to breathtaking scenic hiking, other activities include boating, fishing, hunting, biking, and more.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park: Kane County, Utah

amadeustx/Adobe coral pink sand dunes

Utah sells an annual state park day pass to residents for $125, but seniors can obtain it for only $65. This pass can admit up to eight people, including the pass holder.

One must-see state park is Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. As the name suggests, the park is made up of mountainous sand dunes estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 years old.

Antelope Island State Park: Davis County, Utah

jonbilous/Adobe great salt lake at sunset

Another stunning Utah state park is Antelope Island State Park. Located on the Great Salt Lake, this island is home to many species of wildlife, including antelope, bison, mule deer, and bighorn sheep.

It’s also great for birdwatching, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, and stargazing.

First Landing State Park: Virginia Beach, Virginia

sherryvsmith/Adobe pathway for access to beach

Virginia’s state park discount pass for seniors is $40 annually, compared to the normal rate of $85, and is available to those 62 and older.

There are several state parks in Virginia, but a great one for history buffs is First Landing State Park.

The first touchdown point for English colonists, visitors can camp in tents, RVs, yurts, or cabins to enjoy the beach and its historical exhibits.

Bear Creek Lake State Park: Cumberland, Virginia

Norm/Adobe bear creek lake state park

Another great Virginia state park to visit with a discounted senior pass is Bear Creek Lake State Park.

If you want a more nature-oriented getaway, this state park in the center of the Cumberland State Forest is a great option.

You can rent a boat or bring your own to the 40-acre lake, swim, or fish, rent a cabin, bring camping gear, go hiking, and more.

Rainbow Springs State Park: Marion County, Florida

Jaimie Tuchman/Adobe rainbow springs state park

There’s no shortage of stunning naturescapes in Florida or state parks. Florida residents over 65 will be happy to hear that campsite fees are 50% for them at all state parks.

One of several gorgeous parks to consider is Rainbow Springs State Park. As the name suggests, this park is home to beautiful freshwater springs.

RV hookups are available, as well as hiking, birding, fishing, paddling, swimming, and other fun activities.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Golden Gate Canyon State Park: Colorado

yobab/Adobe aspen trees during fall

Colorado is another state full of natural beauty, with plenty of state parks. Residents 64 and older can get an annual park pass for $70, compared to the regular $80 rate.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a great place to visit with the discounted pass. There are plenty of camping options, including RV hookups and backcountry camping.

The park is over 12,000 acres and is part forest, part meadow, and part peaks.

Indiana Dunes State Park: Porter County, Indiana

mogamju/Adobe indiana dunes serene beauty

Senior residents in Indiana can enjoy the state’s many striking state parks for half the rate of resident passes — $25 versus $50.

One unique state park worth checking out is the Indiana Dunes State Park. The park’s namesake is on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, where the shoreline contains dunes nearly 200 feet in height.

City of Rocks State Park: Faywood, New Mexico

Zack Frank/Adobe city of rocks state park

New Mexico residents 62 years old and above can get an annual camping pass for just $100, compared to the $180 fee for all other residents.

If you want to visit a geological wonder, use your pass to visit the City of Rocks State Park. The large rock formations, nearly 35 million years old, were formed from a volcanic eruption and sculpted through erosion.

Big Bend Ranch State Park: Texas

Ron/Adobe rio grande river

Senior residents in Texas over 65 receive a 50% discount on entry fees for themselves and an additional person. Those born on or before August 31, 1930, get in for free.

One great site to visit is Big Bend Ranch State Park. You can camp at several sites, including backcountry grounds, or stay in lodging houses. Fun activities include stargazing or paddling the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico.

Carter Caves State Resort Park: Olive Hill, Kentucky

ehrlif/Adobe vertical kentucky forest landscape

All Kentucky state parks offer 10% off lodges and cottages to those aged 62 and over, as well as AAA membership discounts.

A great place to utilize this discount is Carter Caves State Resort Park. In addition to touring the massive cave system, you can go gem mining, birding, fishing, hiking, paddling, and more.

Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve: Cold Spring, New York

Richard Scalzo/Wirestock Creators/Adobe hudson highlands state park

New York residents over 62 years old get free weekday access to most state parks and discounted entry fees to historic sites.

Those wanting to go on a breathtakingly scenic hike, boat, fish, or bird watch should check out Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, which is over 8,000 acres and mostly undeveloped.

Bottom line

Halfpoint/Adobe walk in an autumn nature

There are many state parks around the country offering generous senior discounts to help you enjoy the warm weather and geat ahead financially.

If you’re looking for a cross-country exploration, consider purchasing an America the Beautiful senior pass from the National Park Service, available to those 62 and older.

Senior lifetime passes are $80, while the annual passes are $20, covering entrance and day-use fees at national parks.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
4.1
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

$0

+

Why we like it

Author Details

Lucy Clark

Lucy Clark has considerable experience writing about real estate, as well as homes and gardens, home value, and more. She is savvy and resourceful, and she aims to ensure others can be, as well.