Mark your calendars! The National Park Service has announced five ‘entrance fee-free’ days in 2020.
There are 418 national parks in the United States, and while admission is free at some of them, most regularly charge an entrance fee of up to $35. Plan your trip to a participating park on any of these five days to have your entrance fee waived. The best part? You can put the money you save toward other expenses like activity fees, transportation fees, or my personal favorite—the gift shop.
Monday, January 20th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Saturday, April 18th (First Day of National Park Week)
Tuesday, August 25th (National Park Service Anniversary)
Saturday, September 26th (National Public Lands Day)
Wednesday, November 11th (Veteran’s Day)
Please note that the entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
To save on entrance fees throughout the year, you can purchase an annual pass for just $80. An America the Beautiful pass grants you unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks. Senior citizens can purchase this pass at a discounted rate, while the pass is free for current members of the U.S. military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
If you do find yourself handing over an entrance fee, you can rest assured that your funds are going back into the National Park Service. In fact, 80 percent of that fee directly benefits the park where it’s collected, while the other 20 percent goes on to benefit parks that do not collect fees. Learn more about your fee dollars at work.
For those of you who are looking for a reason to plan your next adventure—this is it!
“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt