The pandemic has forced all of us to love the outdoors even more, and Americans are getting outside in record numbers. Travelers are more excited about U.S. National Parks than ever. Want to get some fresh air at one of our country's most treasured sites? You're in luck.
Each and every year, national parks offer free entry on a handful of days each year. And the first free day of the year is coming up fast: next Monday, Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Here are all of the 2022 dates on which you can get free entrance to America's national parks:
- Monday, Jan. 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 16 – The first day of National Park Week
- Thursday, Aug. 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Saturday, Sept. 24 – National Public Lands Day
- Friday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
The U.S. is packed with some incredible national parks that showcase the country's diverse beauty – and there's at least one park in every state. There's the Grand Canyon in Arizona, an unbeatable collection of parks like Zion and Canyonlands in Utah, the tranquility of Glacier National Park in Montana, Yosemite in California, and so much more.
In all, the U.S. has 63 national parks you can access for free these days, like Bryce Canyon in Utah.
Thrifty Tip: Did you know that fourth graders (and their families) can get into all national parks free for an entire year?
Entrance fees at national parks typically range from $20 to $35. But free entry goes beyond those major national parks, as it also extends to all 400-plus sites that the National Park Service manages.
These fee-free days are worth capitalizing on if you're nearby or making a road trip to a national park. But if your plans don't line up with these free days and you're planning to hit several national parks this year, take a look at the year-long “America the Beautiful” national parks pass.
At $80 for the annual pass, you'll start saving money after visiting just three or more national parks.
Our national parks are special places. There's so much to see in our own backyards, especially during a time where domestic travel is at the top of travelers' minds. Take advantage of this opportunity to get into any park for free next Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day … and four more times this year.