Monday 2/20 is National Parks Free Entrance Day
Each year, the Department of the Interior waives the national park entry fees on a selection of designated days. The next fee-free day is Monday, February 20th; see below for a complete list of 2017 free entrance days.
Typical national park entry fees will 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.
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:
President’s Day: February 20
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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