Four National Parks Are Combining Under a Single Park Pass in Oregon and California

Four National Parks: In 2023, for the first time, a single annual pass will provide access to four distinct national park locations: three in far northern California and a fourth in southern Oregon. Crater Lake National Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Lava Beds National Monument are the four parks involved (southern Oregon). Passes purchased in one location will be valid for use in the other beginning January 1. They want to provide a single, all-park pass in 2024.

Four National Parks Are Combining Under a Single Park Pass in Oregon and California

Kevin Sweeney, a public affairs officer for Lassen Volcanic, stated, “We want to increase access to these sites and help disperse some of the tourists to places that aren’t as well visited.”

About 800,000 people visit Whiskeytown every year to enjoy the lake and hiking trails to the west of Redding. About 700,000 people visit Crater Lake every year. The pre-pandemic population of Lassen was roughly 500,000. About one hundred thousand visitors a year check out Lava Beds.

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Geothermal phenomena such as boiling springs, fumaroles, and mud pots are abundant in the vicinity of Crater Lake, Lassen Volcanic, and the Lava Beds, all of which are located within the Cascade Range. All of these locations may be found along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, a 500-mile roadway that winds through isolated mountainous regions rich in volcanic formations.

Four National Parks Are Combining Under a Single Park Pass in Oregon
Four National Parks Are Combining Under a Single Park Pass in Oregon

These four locations, like many others in the West, have been devastated by wildfires in recent years and are now working to recover. The majority of these parks are inaccessible to the public throughout the winter, and even during the summer, only portions that were relatively unscathed have been accessible.

An area still recovering from devastating fires, where services and resources are dispersed and where cooperation among these far-flung parks is important to their functioning, might benefit greatly from the new pass program.
Lava Beds National Monument’s interim superintendent, Jessica Reid, has noted a “very palpable sense” of parks reaching out to each other for help.

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More generally, these four parks are connected to what is known as the Circle of Discovery by the National Park Service; this is a seven-park, 700-mile driving circuit that follows the ragged borders of the Klamath Basin. The remaining three, including Redwood National and State Parks, Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, do not charge an entrance fee.

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