How To Visit National Parks For Free (Includes Fee-Free Days For 2021)

Visiting national parks is an affordable way to have fun and relax. National parks offer camping and hiking opportunities that take your mind off work and the stresses of daily life. You may even learn a thing or two about nature, science, and history.

Some national parks are free all year while some charge entry fees. But there are a few ways to visit national parks that charge an entry fee for free.

How to visit national parks for free

Free entrance days

There are six days in 2021 when you can enter national parks for free. Those days are

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

Here is a list of national parks that waive fees on free-free days.

Free Pass For Fourth Graders

Kids in fourth grade can get a free pass to visit national parks across the country. Starting September 1st of every year, fourth graders can go to www.everykidoutdoors.gov and print their paper passes. The pass is good until Aug 31 of the following year.

Borrow Free Passes From Your Library

You can borrow national park passes from many libraries, just like you can borrow books. Libraries usually have limited quantities of passes. If you have a flexible schedule, you will be able to get a free trip to a national park.

U.S Military Veterans And Gold star families Get Free Access

U.S. Military Veterans and Gold Star Families can visit national parks for free. Veterans will need one of the following IDs for access to the park.

  • Department of Defense Identification Card (CAC Card)
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
  • Veteran ID Card
  • Veterans designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or identification card

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