How To Save Money With A Texas State Parks Pass

Texas State Parks Pass

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Every year, Kellie and I make sure we renew our Texas State Parks Pass. The annual fee is small when you consider how much money you can save when you visit any State Park in Texas. Not only does the Pass waive all day use entrance fees, you also get discounts on camping, gift store purchases, and more.

 In this post we are going to cover how to get your Texas State Parks Pass, the annual cost, as well as a few examples of the savings you will receive at every Texas State Park. Let’s jump in, shall we?

Free Admission To Every Texas State Park

Texas has a total of 89 State Parks and a Texas State Parks Pass waives the day use fee not only for the cardholder, but everyone in the same vehicle as well. If you are traveling in more than one vehicle, you can purchase an additional pass for $25. The additional annual pass can only be purchased at a Texas State Park in person, and the additional cardholder has to have the same address as the original cardholder.

Texas State Park, Brazos Bend
Brazos Bend State Park

If you happen to lose your annual pass, you can get it replaced, one time, for a $10 fee. This only applies to the original Texas State Parks Pass, a lost additional pass will cost $25.

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In addition, if you enter a Texas State Park on a motorcycle, bicycle, or walk in, your Texas Sate Parks Pass is good for up to 14 people who are with you. Of course, they will have to enter the same way as you. For example, if you are on foot, the other members of your group will also need to be on foot.

Not only will you save money on entrance fees, you will also get camping discounts, a 10% discount on gift store purchases, and discounts on most equipment rentals.

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How To Get Your Texas State Parks Pass

Not only will you save money on entrance fees, you will also get camping discounts, a 10% discount on gift store purchases, and discounts on most equipment rentals.

For online purchases, visit The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website, or by phone at (512) 389-8900. The cost for a Texas State Parks Pass is $70, unless you order online or via telephone, where there will be an extra charge for shipping.

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Is A Texas State Parks Pass Worth It?

Kellie and I visit Brazos Bend State Park the most. This Texas State Park is very close to home which gives us the opportunity to take the RV out for a few days and still take care of our dogs. Right now, we need to stay as close to home as possible to care for our 5 dogs easily. Having a Texas State Parks Pass saves us a ton of money throughout the year. Let me explain.

If we plan a weekend RV camping trip to this Texas State Park, without the Texas State Parks Pass, we would pay,

  • Day Use Fee – $7 per person, per day (3 days = $42)
  • $25 for the RV site (3 days = $75)
  • Grand Total for three days would be $117

With a Texas State Parks Pass, we not only save on the day use fees, we also get a 50% discount on the RV site for the second night.

  • Day Use Fee – $0
  • RV site for three days – $62.50
  • Grand Total for three days with an annual pass – $62.50

As you can see, we save $54.50 on one three-night camping trip. Imagine the savings if you have a family of 4 or 5 and visit a Texas State Park.

Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park

Once you pay the initial $70 fee for your annual pass, the savings immediately begin to add up. So, is this annual pass worth it? For a one-day trip to a Texas State Park it wouldn’t be worth the $70. However, if you plan to visit multiple Texas State Parks or, like us, visit the same park several times throughout the year, then yes, it is absolutely worth it.

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Is A Texas State Parks Pass Transferable

The answer to this question would be, no. The person who purchased the pass, or cardholder, has to be present to receive any discounts. Texas Parks and Wildlife recommends that if you want to give a Texas State Parks Pass as a gift, you should purchase a gift card to be used for the purchase.

Gift Cards can be purchased for any value from $5 all the way up to $500. These cards are transferable and can used to pay entrance fees, buy gifts from the gift shop, and yes, purchase a Texas State Parks Pass. Keep in mind, however, these gift cards will expire if not used within three years from the date of purchase.

Other Passes Available

Texas Parks and Wildlife not only offers the standard Texas State Parks Pass, they also offer free annual passes for qualifying senior citizens, disabled veterans, and other disabled individuals.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, the Texas Parklands Passport is for senior citizens, disabled veterans, and disabled individuals. This annual pass is free for qualifying individuals; however, the discounts apply only for the cardholder. You may extend the savings to one other person who may be a caretaker.

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Free Annual Passes

  • Senior Partial – To qualify for a Senior Partial Annual Pass, you must be 65 years or older and be a Texas resident. This Texas State Parks Pass offers seniors 50% off all Texas State Parks entrance fees. You will be required to show proof of age at the time of purchase.
  • Senior Full – To qualify for this annual pass, you must be born before September 1, 1930.This Texas State Parks Pass waives all entrance fees and one other person will receive 50% off entrance fees. Like the Senior Partial Annual Pass, you will be required to show proof of age at the time of purchase. You would think they could raise the year of birth.
  • Disabled Veterans – To qualify for the Disabled Veterans Annual Pass, you must be a veteran with at least 60% service-connected disability, or loss of legs. (Thank you for your service) With this pass you will receive 50% off entrance fees to every Texas State Park. You will be required to show I.D.  and either a DV license plate receipt, Veterans Award Letter, or tax-exemption letter for disabled veterans at the time of purchase.
  • Disability – This annual pass gives you a 50% discount on all Texas State Parks entrance fees. You will have to show an award of benefit letter, Social Security Statement of Benefits, vehicle registration for a disabled placard, or a letter signed by a licensed caretaker or doctor.

Youth Group Annual Pass

The Youth Group Annual Pass can be purchased for non-profit youth groups. This annual pass costs $100 and is good for up to 50 children and adult sponsors. You will receive free admission if you submit your application 6 weeks prior to your event. If you miss this deadline, your group will be charged regular entrance fees. For more information visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

In Conclusion

As you can see, a Texas State Parks Pass is a great way to save money while exploring everything Texas has to offer. With 89 Texas State Parks, I’m sure you will have no problem planning your RV camping trip around these parks. Be sure to check out, Best RV Campgrounds; How To Score The Best Sites for tips on reserving the best sites at the most popular RV campgrounds. In addition, if you are planning a trip to Galveston, check out post on Fort Travis And Other Free Things To Do In Galveston.

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What are your thoughts? Do you have a Texas State Parks Pass? What is your favorite Texas State Park? Leave us a comment below and let us know. We would love to hear your story.

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