Saturday, January 16, 2016

Visit America's national parks for free

Glacier National Park
National Parks are truly America’s Best Idea. This year the deal is even better.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Many of my most memorable travel experiences have been in parks like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain, Great Smokey Mountains, Big Bend, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Hot Springs, and others. Even parks that are lesser known have much to offer the public and are also fabulous.

This year is special because the National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016. To commemorate the centennial, on 16 days in '16, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

Yellowstone National Park
Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2016:

January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
April 16 through 24: National Park Week
August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday
September 24: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day

There are 409 national parks, monuments, seashores, and more available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, especially one of the 127 national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. The others are free all the time. Choose any of these to learn more about our country’s history or to enjoy nature and spectacular scenery.

Save on recreation
Yosemite National Park
The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Fee-free days make parks accessible to more people. However, national parks are always economical, with entrance fees that range from $3 to $30.
In addition, any fourth grade student can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes.

People 62 years or older can get the Senior Pass, a lifetime card that allows entry to all U.S. national parks and federal recreational lands. The pass costs $10 if it is purchased at a federal recreational site—truly a bargain. An additional processing fee of $10 is added if the pass is purchased by mail order

Volcanoes National Park, Big Island Hawaii
For more information about the variety of discounted passes available, please visit the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass page.
Information courtesy of National Park Service
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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