National Park Week Free Days: April 15-16, 22-23
Each year, the Department of the Interior waives the national park entry fees on a selection of designated days. In celebration of the 2017 National Park Week, April 15, 16, 22, and 23 are the next fee-free days.
National Parks Week celebrates the array of natural and historical protected spaces across the country, and includes events and celebrations at various national park locations. Check out the NPS event calendar here, and more on the National Park Foundation here.
National park entry fees run between $3 and $30 depending on mode of travel. Average cost for vehicle entry is around $20, and passes are good for several days after initial entry. There are over 400 national park sites in the country, and 120 charge an entry fee. 80% of fees collected go directly to the national parks to help fund projects and protect natural resources, so your entry fees are going to good places.
Fee-free days began as an incentive to increase accessibility and get people visiting national parks and public lands. These days also serve to raise awareness about the country’s natural resources and efforts in place to protect them. National park visitation was at a record high in 2016, the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. More than 325 million people visited national parks across the country, breaking the previous year’s record by 20 million visits.
If you are planning multiple trips to national parks and other public lands throughout the year, the Department of the Interior offers annual passes to most major national parks. Annual passes for individual run between $40-60. The Department of the Interior also offers the America the Beautiful annual pass for $80, which grants access to over 2,000 national parks, forests, and other public lands. Find your nearest national park here.
Upcoming 2017 National Park Fee-Free Days:
National Park Week: April 15-16
National Park Week: April 22-23
National Get Outdoors Day: June 10 (National forests**)
National Park Service Birthday: August 25
National Public Lands Day: September 30
National Wildlife Refuge Week: October 8
Veterans Day Weekend: November 11-12
Lead Image: View above Hellroaring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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