And now, in 2022, the US National Park Service also has an offer for an inflation-shocked public: five days of entry fees waived for every park in the country.
The first is coming on Monday, January 17, which is Martin Luther King Jr. day.
“January is a great month to visit Death Valley,” Acting Superintendent James Woolsey said in a press release. “The low winter sunlight makes the contours of the sand dunes and mountains more photogenic.”
Other days off this year
Can’t make it to MLK Day? The other four free entry dates are spread over the seasons and calendar:
• Thursday, August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
• Saturday September 24:National Day of the Public Lands
• Friday 11 November:Veterans Day
The entrance fee waiver does not cover costs for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
Given how popular the parks were in 2021, it might be a good idea to plan early, arrive early, and check online for possible timed entrances on the days off, especially at the most popular parks.
Many parks are free all year round
An alligator swims in Florida’s Everglades National Park.
RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images
NPS said most national parks have no entrance fees at all. Of the more than 400 national parks, about 110 have entrance fees that range from $5 to $35.
Of course, like everything else, it’s the big names that rule the money: Yellowstone in Wyoming (and bits of Montana and Idaho), Yosemite in California, Denali in Alaska, and Everglades in Florida, just to name four.
And some groups of people can also enter for free all year round with annual passes:
• US military members and their families, US veterans and Gold Star families
• Fourth grade students
• Eligible NPS Volunteers
Finally, U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities can get a free lifetime pass.
Top image: Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)