Did you know we’re one week away from the next fee-free entrance day in the National Park Service? That’s right. Everyone can visit a national park for free on April 21 – the first day of National Park Week!
Fee free dates are a historic tradition, allowing all Americans to reach our protected spaces and visit a national park for free. Of the 417 units in the National Park Service just over 100 park units charge some entrance fee. Those fees will be completely waived on Saturday April 21, allowing visitors and families from all over the world to enjoy a national park. For a complete list of parks participating in free entrance days, visit the National Park Service website.
Other Ways to Visit a National Park for Free
The other remaining dates to visit a national park for free in 2018 are:
- September 22: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veteran’s Day
The National Park Service has a few other ways to cut or waive entrance fees:
- Visitors can buy the “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass for $80 per vehicle. This one-time purchase grants you access to all national parks in the system for one year. For those of us that visit 10-12 parks per year it adds up to a substantial savings. U.S. Citizens ages 62 and over can purchase the same pass for $80 which grants them Lifetime Access to the national parks.
- Current U.S. military members and dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard as well as Reserve and National Guard members can visit a national park for free using the “Annual Military Pass”. U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities are eligible for the same benefits.
- Every fourth grader in the United States can apply for the “Every Kid in A Park” pass, granting access to any national park for the student and their family for a full year.
- Volunteers who conduct 250 volunteer hours on Federal Lands are eligible for a free, annual “Volunteer Access Pass.”
All of these passes can be ordered online or purchased at any national park unit.
Creating Your National Park Story
Unsure about where to go on your free-entrance day? Let Park Chasers help you plan your next Park Chasing adventure!
Check out the links below for our own #parkchasing guides to more than 50 different national parks:
- A-Z list of parks
- Park unit recommendations by activity, like hiking, camping and history
- Or a list of parks by the state you live in