Thursday, April 14, 2022

Celebrate National Park Week

National Park Week starts on Saturday, April 16. Sites that charge an entrance fee will allow everyone to visit for free that day. It’s the perfect time to celebrate America’s Greatest Idea.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of our favorites.

To help you make plans I’m including photos from a few of our favorite national parks. Being there, of course, is the best way to explore, discover, and enjoy the treasures in our National Park System.

Yellowstone National Park

While we hear about popular parks such as Great Smokey Mountains, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Glacier, there are more than 400 parks in the National Park System. So this is a great opportunity to visit a new place or revisit an old favorite. While you are there consider purchasing one of the entrance passes available through the U. S. National Park Service.

·         If you have elementary aged children, apply for the 4th Grade Pass. This is a free pass valid for the duration of the 4th grader’s school year (September to August) and includes home-schooled children. Obtain a paper pass by visiting the Every Kid Outdoors website . Exchange that for the Annual 4th Grade Pass at federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees (day use fee). Find a location to pick up this pass at a federal recreation site

Olympic National Park in Oregon has 3 ecosystems.

 The Senior Pass is definitely a bargain. Cost is $80 for a Lifetime Pass or $20 for an Annual Pass. It’s available to U.S. citizens age 62 or over and will include other passengers in the same vehicle.

A Military Pass is free for current U.S. military members and their dependents in any of the Armed Forces, as well as Reserve and National Guard members. Military veterans and Gold Star Family members are also eligible for this pass.

A haze on the mountains
gives Great Smokey Mountain National Park its name. 

And there are more places to see than just the well-known parks. Any of these passes will allow you to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at all  national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Search a list of all federal recreation sites and parks where the passes are issued.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is spectacular.

If you can’t get to one of these areas during the week of April 16-24, consider planning a national park visit on a summer trip. You’ll not only see gorgeous scenery but will have an opportunity to discover stories of history and culture. If you’re inclined, these places welcome volunteers in many capacities as well as donations.

Half Dome at night, Yosemite National Park

Larry and I have visited more than 55 national parks and dozens of other National Park Service sites. We hope to add many more and to revisit some of our favorites. What is your favorite national park?

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

No comments: