Here is some excellent news to enter 2021 in style: the National Park Service (NPS) just announced that it will offer visitors free entrance into every single national park in the country on six days throughout the year. Woohoo!
Full disclosure, before we proceed: overall, only 108 out of the 423 national parks and sites in the United States charge entry fees at the moment—which means you can actually peruse through most of them gratis. That being said, some of the most popular attractions (think Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, for example) do require some cash to get in so you might want to consider heading to the various destinations on entrance-free days, which are:
January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
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 might be wondering why some parks even charge an entrance. Isn't the beauty of nature its accessibility? According to the National Park Service's official website, "at least 80% of the money stays in the park where it is collected" to be used for repairs, maintenance issues and facility enhancement, for example. "The other 20% is used to benefit parks that do not collect fees," reads the website. Which is all to say that your money is actually benefiting a good cause.
We suggest you also consider investing in the America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands annual pass, which will give you access to hundreds of federal recreation sites for a total of $80 a year. Sounds like a good deal to us.
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