Get Outdoors on Free National Park Days Across the US

Hiker in Grand Teton National Park USA

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Free National Park Days is a handful of days during the year when fees to national parks are waived for the public. People are encouraged to get out and visit their national parks and find out what they have to offer. It's a great day to enjoy the outdoors, learn something new, and even volunteer to keep our parks clean and ready for visitors.

Many of the national parks have special events that coordinate with this free fee days. Check out the event calendar to find out what parks near you are holding special events. These can include ranger programs, clean-up days, guided hikes, exhibits, photo scavenger hunts, lectures, and programs for kids.

Keep in mind that the free entrance days do not cover fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours. You'll want to contact the national park you plan on visiting to find out what fees apply for these activities.

Looking to find a national park near you? Search by state, parks near your zip code, or by activity to find which national park you want to visit first. You'll be able to see details about the national park and visitor information so you can plan your next visit.

  • 01 of 06

    Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

    Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument in Washington, DC

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    The first date of the year you can get free admission into a national park happens celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. This is celebrated on the third Monday of every January and is January 18th in 2021.

    Visitors are encouraged to further celebrate the day by volunteering for a day or learning about the history of Dr. King the pursuit of civil rights in America.

  • 02 of 06

    First Day of National Park Week

    Young Boy Looking Around While Hiking With Family

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    National Park Week is celebrated each April and in 2021 is April 17th to the 25th. The first day of National Park Week is a fee-free day into national parks to celebrate.

    National Park Week encourages visitors to explore national parks, discover the history and culture of their national parks, and put a highlight on volunteering.

    Each year National Park Week has a theme and for 2020, it's a focus on digital experiences. Visitors are encouraged to use this checklist to experience 20 virtual ideas for 2020. The digital experiences include finding a virtual park, games and challenges, quizzes, joining a live park program, recreating your favorite national park visit, and more.

  • 03 of 06

    Celebration of the Great American Outdoors Act

    Friendly Park Ranger Helping Campers

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    On August 4, 2021, the Great American Outdoors Act was passed into law, which permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund to restore national parks.

    To celebrate, each year on August 5th, national parks will waive their entrance fees to commemorate the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act.

  • 04 of 06

    National Park Service Birthday

    Birthday Cake decorated with flags

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    The National Park Service was established on August 25, 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into legislation. Each year on August 25, the national parks waive admission fees to celebrate the historic moment.

    Since women's right to vote was finalized the day after the National Park Service's fourth birthday, women advocates and suffragists are especially celebrated for their achievements. Founding women of national parks and woman rangers are honored with special recognition on this day.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    National Public Lands Day

    Volunteer together pick up trash in the park

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    National Public Lands Day is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September and is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer program. In 2021 this day is September 25th and it's celebrated by all national park entrance fees being waived.

    Connections between the community and the national parks are emphasized and visitors are encouraged to use the open spaces around them for health benefits, education, and recreation.

    Many national parks have events and volunteer opportunities on this day. Check the event calendar to see which parks near you are holding events.

  • 06 of 06

    Veterans Day

    WWII USA Military War Veteran Father and Daughter Walking

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    Many national parks have strong ties to the military, with dozens of military parks and historic sites. This makes Veterans Day the perfect day to visit a national park that has military significance.

    All national parks are free on Veterans Day, no matter what type of park or site it is. Getting out and honoring veterans by visiting a national park is a great way to spend Veterans Day.