In honor of National Public Lands Day—held each year on the fourth Saturday of September—115 National Park Service sites that typically charge admission are waiving entrance fees on September 22, 2018.
That means you can save up to $35 to watch the sunset in the Grand Canyon, go leaf-peeping in Acadia National Park, or see the bison graze in Yellowstone.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is also reopening on September 22 at 10 a.m. for the first time since it closed on May 11, 2018, after the major eruption at Kīlauea’s summit made it unsafe for visitors.
The days with free entry are typically the most popular (and therefore most crowded) days of the year to visit the national parks. So plan ahead and aim to arrive early to avoid heavy traffic and long lines.
Lend a hand on public lands! Join a volunteer project or simply enjoy a visit to your national parks as entrance fees are waived on September 22 in celebration of National Public Lands Day. Learn more at https://t.co/BJTkxYGx1R #FindYourPark #NPLD pic.twitter.com/alkotXzQy8 — NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) September 20, 2018
However, National Public Lands Day isn’t just about free entry. In fact, it was created in 1994 as a single-day volunteer effort to help connect people with the green spaces around them. This year, there are several dozen volunteer opportunities in which you can participate, including a trail cleanup in Canyonlands National Park, invasive plant species removal at Point Reyes National Seashore, and milkweed seed collection in Shenandoah National Park to help provide food for the monarch butterflies that migrate through the area each October.
As an added bonus, if you volunteer you will also receive a fee-free day coupon that you can use in the future.
If you already have other plans this Saturday, don’t worry. You can also get into the national parks for free on Veterans Day this Sunday, November 11.