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If your New Year’s resolution involves spending less money and spending more time in nature, you’re in luck, because there are four dates in 2018 on which you can visit National Parks for free.
Of the National Park Service’s 417 parks throughout the United States, 118 normally charge an admission fee between $25 and $30. While the remaining parks are always free, this promotion is a great way to take advantage of those parks that would normally cost you.
Just keep in mind that the entrance fee for waiver-free days does not cover amenity or user fees such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.
Still, packing up a cooler full of snacks and setting out to enjoy the great outdoors is an awesome, cheap way to spend the day, not to mention good exercise. You can also score some pretty epic selfies for Instagram, like this user who captured the awesome view at Yosemite this past summer:
Some of the most noteworthy and popular parks are included in the free entrance days, including Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park in California, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts and Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Wouldn’t you love to see these dramatic vistas?
As of 1:30 pm yesterday's snow is almost gone. This weekend we are expecting temperatures to be 10-15°F warmer than average for this time of year. View is from Yavapai Point webcam. 2018/01/11 pic.twitter.com/wzk2kcib4x
— Grand Canyon NPS (@GrandCanyonNPS) January 11, 2018
For super nature enthusiasts, the National Park Service also offers its annual America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for $80, which allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. Senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth-grade students and disabled students are also eligible for free or discounted passes.
You can gain free admission to the parks on the following dates:
- January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- April 21 – The start of National Parks Week
- September 22 – Public Lands Day
- November 11 – Veterans Day
So what are you waiting for? Grab some hiking boots, grab your friends and get out there!