Free family fun: Enjoy free entrance to national parks

Did you know that you can visit most of the national parks in the United States for free?

The U.S. has 405 national parks, and only 133 of those usually charge an entrance fee.

Free admission to national parks in the United States -

Glacier National Park – Montana.  Photo credit: tpsdave / Pixabay

Of course, the parks that have an admission fee include some of the most popular places to visit, such as the Grand Canyon National Park, Glacier National Park, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, Olympic National Park, and Acadia National Park.

The good news is that the National Parks Service offers free entrance to national parks on certain days during the year.

It’s a great way to have some free family fun!

U.S. National Parks free entrance days in 2015

  • January 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 14-16: Presidents Day weekend
  • April 18-19: opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

On these days, the entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees are waived. Separate fees may apply for reservation, camping, tours, and concessions.

Visit the National Park Service website for more information on the free entrance days and a list of participating national parks by state.  It’s important to note that not all of the national parks with an admission fee participate in the free entrance days, so check on the specific park you wish to visit.

Free entrance to national parks for military members and dependents

U.S. active duty military members and dependents have the option to get a free annual pass to enjoy the national parks.  The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series offers annual passes at no cost for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard members and dependents – as well as Reserve and National Guard members.

Reduced U.S. National Parks entrance fees for seniors

U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a $10 Senior Pass for the national parks.  It’s a lifetime pass available through the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series.

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