The National Park Service recently announced the dates to visit a national park for free in 2020. It’s YOUR chance to visit YOUR national parks without paying an entrance fee. Get out your calendars! It’s time to start planning your 2020 national park adventure!
About National Park Fees
As of January 2020, of the 400+ units in the National Park Service, 111 units charge an entrance fee of some sort. The National Park Service reports that 80% of the fee stays in the park where the fee was collected and roughly 20% is used to benefit parks that do not collect entrance fees.
Fee dollars are used to pay for all types of expenses related to operating a park. That might include repair and maintenance of facilities, habitat restoration, law enforcement, recreation programming, and emergency services like ambulance and rescue teams.
Dates to Visit a National Park for Free in 2020
These are the dates you can visit a national park for free in 2020:
- Monday January 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday April 18: First day of National Park Week
- Tuesday August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- Saturday September 26: National Public Lands Day
- Wednesday November 11: Veterans Day
Try A National Park Service Annual Pass
If you’re on a #parkchasing mission to visit all of the national park units, more than likely you’ll be visiting on days other than the fee-free days listed above. In that case, you might want to consider purchasing an Annual Pass.
The America the Beautiful Federal Access Pass can be purchased in annual and lifetime limits. By paying the larger fee for an America the Beautiful pass, you can cover the day-use entrance fees for a driver and all the passengers in a personal vehicle.
For more information on America the Beautiful passes, check out our Ultimate Guide to National Park Passes.
Do you have a child who will be in the fourth grade in 2020? Enroll in the Every Kid in the Park Program and you and your family can also visit the national parks for free next year!
How to Plan a National Park Vacation in 2020
Decided you would like to visit a national park for free in 2020, but a bit lost on where to start? That’s what we started Parkchasers for! We have hundreds of posts dedicated to unique experiences in national parks and are always looking for ways we can help people plan a vacation.
Check out the links below for our own #parkchasing guides. We have information on the more than 80 units we’ve visited including:
- A Free .pdf downloadable checklist of the 400+ parks in the National Park Service.
- A List of the Top 10 Most Visited National Parks
- Park recommendations by activity, like hiking, camping or history
- A List of parks by the state you live in
- The best road trips and scenic drives
You can also connect with our growing Park Chaser Facebook community. Post a question or trip planning idea with others on a quest to visit every national park.