For many Americans, a trip to the park with the family is a rite of passage. Others like to head to their local national park to do some outdoor activities, enjoy family gatherings, get some exercise or just relax.
There are more than 400 national park sites in America. Some include historic sites, monuments and recreation areas. Most national parks are free, but there are about 60 of them that have an entry fee — the bigger, more popular parks cost some money to get in. The Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park, for example, all have a fee to enter.
The average price to get into one of the 60 plus national parks is roughly $10-$20 per person, or $35 per vehicle. If you are a family that goes to a park often, those prices sure can add up.
The great news is that the National Parks Service has put together an easy-to-navigate list outlining dates this year that you can enjoy every national park in America, for free.
The list is broken down by state and might show you a park or recreation area in your hometown or state that you might not have even known existed.!
Entry to all national park sites will be free on the following days:
Jan. 15 (Monday): Martin Luther King, Jr. DayApril 20 (Saturday): First day of National Park WeekJune 19 (Wednesday): JuneteenthAug. 4 (Sunday): Great American Outdoors DaySep. 28 (Saturday): National Public Lands DayNov. 11 (Monday): Veterans Day
The National Parks Service also recommends that you check with said park before heading that way, as these dates will likely be very busy, and some parks take reservations.
If you can’t make it to one of the parks on one of those days, you might still have a shot to enter a national park in America for free: Veterans, active-duty military (and their dependents), people with disabilities, and fourth-grade students get free America the Beautiful annual passes, which allow access to every national park. Adults 62 and older can purchase an annual America the Beautiful pass for $20 or a lifetime pass for $80.
If you plan accordingly, you can have some free getaways in your future at a great national park near you, or you can make a family road trip to get in some sight-seeing for free.
Evan Paul is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a syndicated radio show heard on more than 120 country radio stations nationwide, every night from 7PM to midnight. He plays the best new country music and interviews today’s top stars, like Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Morgan Wallen, + more!
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