Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No admission fees during National Park Week

Glacier National Park
What better time to show your love and appreciation for America’s national parks than during National Park Week, April 20-28, 2013. Admission is free Monday through Friday of that week to all of our nation’s 401 national parks.
Yellowstone National Park
The National Park Service and the National ParkFoundation, official charity of American’s national parks, invite you to discover history, explore nature, and just have fun. Since there’s a national park in every state—and every American is less than 100 miles from a national park-- there’s no reason not to visit for a day or more during this special week.

Take your pick from a variety of seashores, battlefields, historic homes, archeological sites, or spectacular natural areas. Each of these destinations in some way helps celebrate our national heritage, and most have recreational facilities for visitors to use.
You can plan your visit by choosing a park near where you live or checking out special programs offered during the week at various parks. It’s a great time to get to know a national park you’ve never visited before or to explore new areas of a familiar park.

Great Smokey Mountain National Park
If you have children, a great time to schedule a park visit is Saturday, April 20, which is National Junior Ranger Day. Young visitors are encouraged to explore, learn, and protect park resources, and they can be sworn in as Junior Rangers. Many parks will welcome anyone willing to help with projects on April 27, Volunteer Day.
Grand Teton National Park

To whet your appetite for a park excursion, here are some statistics on what you can find in our national parks: 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic landmarks and cultural treasures; 17,000 miles of trails; 43,000 miles of shoreline; 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures; 100 million museum items; and 12,000 campsites. National parks belong to the public, so we should support and protect these resources—and you’ll get so much pleasure from exploring these amazing places.

Utah’s Fab Five

Arches National Park
 Here’s more inspiration: One of my favorite destinations is Southern Utah, an absolute wonderland of stunning mountain scenery, archeological formations, and cool rivers. Five of the country’s most outstanding parks are located in a relatively compact region, and you could visit all of them during April’s Fee Free Week. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck by taking a road trip or guided tour that encompasses several of these beautiful parks: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier
Read more travel stories at Striped Pot and Austin Adventure Travel


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