The U.S. National Park Service announced five days this year where you can explore the great outdoors for no price at all.
Editor’s Note (January 2, 2019): As the federal government enters its second full week of shutdown over the border wall dispute, access to national parks varies. Some national parks remain open to visitors, while other parks are completely closed. For most of the parks that remain open during this shutdown, no park rangers will be available to collect entrance fees. This also means that facilities including restrooms and campgrounds will also not be operational. For more information, visit individual park websites.
Mark your calendars, budget travelers: The National Park Service announced its “entrance-fee free” dates throughout 2019. On these days, the more than 100 park sites that normally charge visitors to get in will offer complimentary admission to everyone. In total, there are five free days throughout the year. They include:
- January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 20: First day of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 28: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
“The entrance fee-free days hosted by the National Park Service are special opportunities to invite visitors, volunteers and veterans to celebrate some important moments for our parks and opportunities for service in those parks,” National Park Service deputy director, P. Daniel Smith, said in a statement.
Of the 418 parks managed by the National Park Service, 115 charge regular entrance fees ranging from $5 to $35. It’s important to note that this waiver does not include fees for activities such as commercial tours, transportation, or campsites and third-party concessions.
Ready to get out there? Check out our top National Park trip ideas and tips.
This article originally appeared online on January 12, 2017; it was updated in January 2019 to include current information.