From the crimson-colored, otherworldly hoodoos in Utah’s Bryce Canyon to the rainbow-colored geothermal pools and stunning geysers in Yellowstone, the National Parks are looking good. Especially for 100.
The U.S. National Park system just celebrated its centennial birthday and has been getting a lot of attention. A record number of visitors (more than 305 million people!) visited the parks in 2015, the most recent numbers available.
Rangers at #GatesoftheArctic National Park & Preserve were lucky enough to cross paths with this wolverine during a trek down the Noatak River! Wolverines, sometimes called skunk bears, live in remote areas of the arctic and are powerful predators. Their size belies their strength and they can take on prey many times larger than themselves. They are not related to wolves, skunks or bears, but are actually in the Mustelidae family, cousins to martens and weasels. #Alaska #wildlife #wolverines NPS???? / S. Behrns
If all the hubbub around the National Parks has you excited for a visit, we’ve got some good news: As in years past, there will be 10 days in 2017 during which admission to all National Park Services sites and parks will be free, our fave four-letter word.
In all, there are 124 national parks that charge an entry fee, with fees ranging from $3 to $30. The other parks and sites are free year-round.
Whether you’re on a quest to cross off as many parks from your bucket list as possible or are looking for a fun, family escape, you’ll want to go ahead and mark these “park days” on your calendar. (And, yes, the National Parks know how to throw a birthday party. Among the free days is the Service’s birthday in August).
National Park free days in 2017:
- January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- February 20: Presidents’ Day
- April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 30: National Public Lands Day
- November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend
Looking to visit a park this year?
Here’s some seasonal adventures worth pursuing that will sync up nicely with those free days.
If you’re visiting the National Parks in the winter, warm up at “America’s spa,” also known as the Arkansas Hot Springs, and soak in one of the Euro-inspired bathhouses.
????: @iowansgonewild ⬇️ ⛲️Download the free Hot Springs National Park app out now at chimani.co/hotspr . . . #Nature #Outdoors #Parks #Chimani #MobileApp #Mobile #App #NationalPark #instagood #NationalParks #wild #America #HotSpringsNationalPark #VisitHotSprings #ExploreMore #Travel #TravelGuide #Wilderness #Beautiful #PhotoOfTheDay #Explore #Wanderlust #igers #Instagram #Instanature #Outside #HotSpringsNP #Arkansas #HotSpringsArkansas
Come spring, check into a Sunday home (cute cottages built by German settlers) in Fredericksburg, Texas and witness the wildflowers bloom in Texas Hill Country. You can also tour the “Texas White House” at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park, where you can visit the 36th President’s ranch, a place he often conducted business during his presidency.
Want to meet this fella and enjoy some fun educational activities this #SpringBreak? Head out the the #LBJ Ranch and check out their daily programs! #fbgtx #txhillcountry #history #texastodo #Repost @amandakoone: Met this handsome Hereford this morning at the #lbjranch in #stonewalltexas #workingranch #lbj
By the time fall comes around, get a glimpse of the changing leaves choreographed by Mother Nature at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The “haunted” Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is a fun base camp.
What a weekend! Elk and moose rutting and fall foliage bathing the park in gold, orange, and fiery red. AND a winter storm that rolled through and shut down Trail Ridge and Old Fall River roads for a day and a half. The effect that elevation has on weather and the landscape always boggles the mind. Thanks @arthurmessal for tagging #rmnp.
H/T: Money Saving Mom