Here’s How to Get in Free at National Parks
If you will be visiting the national parks in 2024, plan your travels around the National Park Fee Free Days if possible! Entrance fees can cost as much as $40 at the most popular national parks, and this can add up fast when you also include the campground fees. Here’s a way to save money on your park vacation.
“National parks are places that awaken senses, inspire curiosity, encourage reflection, and foster joy,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said. “The entrance fee-free days expand opportunities for people to visit their national parks and experience the beauty and history of our country.”
The National Park Fee Free Days for 2024
The National Park Service (NPS) announced there will be five National Park Fee Free Days in 2024. This will include:
- Monday, January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 20 – First Day of National Park Week
- Wednesday, June 19 – Juneteenth National Independence Day
- Sunday, August 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
- Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day
It is important to note that these National Park Fee Free Days will only waive the entrance fees, which ranges from $10 – 40 per vehicle. This does not cover additional amenity fees for camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
The free admission days are intended to encourage more people to enjoy the great outdoors and beauty of our national parks. There is at least one NPS site in each state, so there are plenty of places to explore no matter where you’re traveling.
“Whether on an entrance fee-free day or throughout the year, we encourage everyone to discover their national parks and the benefits that come from spending time outdoors,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “National parks are for everyone and we are committed to increasing access and providing opportunities for all to experience the sense of wonder, awe and refreshment that comes with a visit to these treasured landscapes and sites.”
What to do on National Park Fee Free Days
The National Park Service currently manages 423 sites across the country including national parks, national monuments, historic sites and more. They offer an array of activities from hiking and biking to kayaking, swimming, picnicking, photography, stargazing, camping, etc. Many parks offer demonstrations and programs, as well as a chance to view wildlife in their natural habitats.
Here are some ways you could spend the free admission days (just to name a few):
- Hike to see the famous Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
- See the geysers in Yellowstone
- Get photos of the dramatic waterfalls in Yosemite
- Hike through the rainforest or visit the Washington coast in Olympic National Park
- See Washington’s tallest peak in Mount Rainier National Park
- Go stargazing in Zion National Park
- Camp among Joshua trees in Southern California
- Go sledding in White Sands National Park
- Take a hike through Everglades National Park in South Florida
Save money with an America The Beautiful Pass
Do you plan on visiting several national parks in 2024? If you won’t be able to plan your trip around the National Park Fee Free Days, you may want to consider purchasing an America The Beautiful Pass. These annual passes cost $80. They grant you access to any of the NPS sites without having to pay admission fees. There are also discounted options for seniors over 62, 4th graders, veterans, Gold Star Families, and eligible NPS volunteers. With some parks charging $35 per vehicle, the $80 pass pays for itself after only a few visits.
Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2024 are the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Plan your trip to the National Parks
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