Trailhead Parking

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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jhiker001
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Trailhead Parking

Post by jhiker001 » April 26th, 2019, 11:28 am

Can someone please explain to me the ins and outs regarding the Northwest Forest Pass to park at trailheads? Being from PA, this is new to me. As I stated in the "Introduce Yourself" forum a couple months ago, I'm planning to do some backpacking in Eagle Cap Wilderness (although we might go to Goat Rocks-don't know yet). I have been to numerous wilderness areas across the U.S. and only ever paid to park once. That was in Maroon Bells. I've also been to numerous national parks and aside from the entrance fee, never paid to park. If I park at a trailhead for 5 days, do I have to buy 5 passes? Or does simply buying a single pass cover it? Whatever the case is, I'll certainly do so, but how do I go about obtaining them? Also, my father seems to think that his Senior National Park pass will suffice. I told him I highly doubt that. Is that true?

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teachpdx
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by teachpdx » April 26th, 2019, 11:48 am

It's worth it to buy an annual NW Forest Pass for $30. If you buy individual passes, they only last a day... so yes, you would need five passes. And now you've nearly paid for your annual.

Not every trailhead requires the NWFP, though... you can check on the FS website or here in the field guide for a good idea of what trailheads require them.

I always pick up my annual passes at REI, but pretty much every outdoor store will have them... they are also listed on the FS website.

Now whether it's justified for us to be paying for parking at trailheads, that's another story...

squidvicious
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by squidvicious » April 26th, 2019, 11:57 am

The America the Beautiful Senior Pass does provide access to USFS recreation sites, at least those that aren't managed by concessionaires (ie, the same as the NW Forest Pass), assuming your father will be with you.
https://store.usgs.gov/faq#Senior-Pass

Otherwise you'd want to get the $30 annual NW forest Pass. You can get those at places like Fred Meyer, Plaid Pantry, sporting goods stores, ranger stations... There's a searchable vendor list
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r6/p ... ev2_027026

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adamschneider
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by adamschneider » April 26th, 2019, 1:12 pm

If your car is sitting there with your dad's Senior Pass in it, they don't know whether he's with you or not. ;)

Aimless
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by Aimless » April 26th, 2019, 1:55 pm

The whole system of daily, annual or lifetime passes to federal recreational lands changed considerably in 2018, so you need to figure out exactly which kind of pass your dad has. It is pretty easy to be confused, because the older passes still are valid in various limited circumstances, while the newer passes are much more expensive, but look to be more comprehensive.

The "America the Beautiful Senior Pass" is the newest incarnation of this kind of pass and I think it would apply at USFS trailheads, provided it was the $80 version initiated in 2018. The somewhat older "Senior Interagency Pass" was $10 and is also honored in place of the NW Forest Pass. The $10 "Senior Interagency Pass" has a picture of two red cactus flowers on it. A still older version was called the Golden Eagle Pass about a decade or so ago. It should work, too.

Anyway, you might want to verify what your dad's pass is called and what it covers.

squeakytree
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by squeakytree » April 26th, 2019, 3:09 pm

The Senior/Golden Age version of the "National Parks" or "Interagency" Pass, regardless of what it was or is called and how much it costs, is exactly the same pass as it's always been, meaning what you can use it for is the same no matter which version you have. They are good at any trailhead that honors a NW Forest Pass. The only place you can't use them, which has been mentioned, is at concessionaire run sites. 99% of the time, those sites are day use areas at lakes.

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jhiker001
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by jhiker001 » April 26th, 2019, 3:15 pm

The pass he has displays a picture of 2 red cactus flowers on it. The back specifies that it is the America The Beautiful pass. This is good to know. Thanks!
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kepPNW
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by kepPNW » April 26th, 2019, 3:35 pm

Be aware that the NWFP covers USFS lands only, and is supposedly only required at places that offer an array of amenities (permanent restroom, picnic table, info kiosk, security, etc.). But I digress... You may also need passes for state-owned properties -- the Discover Pass in Washington (for state parks and DNR lands) and Oregon State Parks Pass for down there. I believe America The Beautiful also works on BLM properties? Then there's sno-park permits to consider in the winter, as well. The list goes on... Point is, it's complicated. Check ahead of time on presumed destination. Know who manages the land you're intending to park on. :roll:
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Charlie C
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by Charlie C » April 26th, 2019, 8:34 pm

For either the Eagle Cap Wilderness or Goat Rocks the pass you showed will work at every trailhead.

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adamschneider
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Re: Trailhead Parking

Post by adamschneider » April 26th, 2019, 9:15 pm

kepPNW wrote:
April 26th, 2019, 3:35 pm
You may also need passes for state-owned properties -- the Discover Pass in Washington (for state parks and DNR lands)
At the Dog Mountain trailhead yesterday (which requires a federal pass), I saw at least three cars with only a Discover Pass on their dashboard. I didn't see whether or not they got tickets.

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