Visit a National Park for Free in 2021

Sharpen the vacation planning pencils – it’s time to start your 2021 trip plans!  The National Park Service recently announced the dates to visit a national park for free in 2021.

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 2021 national park adventure!

About National Park Fees

Here’s what you need to know about national park fees:

  • Of the 400+ units in the National Park Service, just over 100 units charge an entrance fee of some sort.  

  • The most common fees are per vehicle entrance fees and per visitor admission.

  • 80% of fees collected stay in the park where it 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.

2021 Fee-Free Entrance Dates

During 2021, the National Park Service is adding an additional free entrance day from the 5 free days in 2020.  On these days, the parks waive entrance fees to provide all Americans with the opportunity to visit the parks. 

Entrance free dates for 2021:

Try an Annual National Parks Pass

Does your #parkchasing mission have you traveling on days other than the 6 free national park entrance days above?

In that case, you may 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 junior ranger who will be in the fourth or fifth grade in 2021? Enroll in the Every Kid Outdoors program and you and your family can also visit the national parks for free next year!

How to Plan your Next National Park Vacation

Decided you would like to visit a national park for free in 2021, 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 90 national park units we’ve visited including:

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.



Greg & Amy
Chasing a visit to all 400+ units in the NPS
Current Count: 130/423
Next Stop: @hawaiivolcanoes


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