Free Entrance Days to the National Parks 2021

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Mark your calendar. In 2021 there are six free entrance days to the U.S. National Parks. All parks which charge an entrance fee will waive this fee on the six days outlined below. This is a great way to get up close with nature and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The fee is only waived for the entrance fee normally charged. Camping Fees and other fees are not included and will be charged extra.

However, these days are some of the busiest days at National Parks. It is probably better to avoid National Parks during these days as more people go there. Get up early to be one of the first at the entrance gate, as lines can get very long. Especially if the days fall on a weekend or a holiday. Plan your visit and make a list of things to see and do.

Free Entrance Days to National Parks

  • January 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 17: First day of National Park Week
  • August 4: One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 25: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

You can find all the participating parks of the free entrance days on the National Park website.

I would encourage you to get a National Park Pass and enjoy the beauty throughout a full year of the day of purchase. That way you can explore at your own pace. Annual passes cost $80 but with just 2 visits you have already recouped your costs. The entrance fees are used to enhance the visitor experience. This includes repair and maintenance of existing facilities as well as constructing additional ones. 80% of the fees you paid stay in the park in which you paid them. For a list of what fees are used for, check out the NPS website.

Either way, National Parks are a great way to explore the country and they should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

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