The National Parks Service is hoping to get more people interested in visiting their parks and is offering 5 days in 2022 where admission is free.
And the first of those days is coming up later this month.
Fee-free admission days in 2022 are:
- Monday, January 17 (Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday)
- Saturday, April 16 (First day of National Park Week)
- Thursday, August 4 (Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act)
- Saturday, September 24 (National Public Lands Day)
- Friday, November 11 (Veterans Day)
“Whether on an entrance fee-free day or throughout the year, we encourage everyone to discover their national parks and the benefits that come from spending time outdoors,” NPS Director Chuck Sams said in a statement.
Park Admission Fees
Of the approximately 400 national parks, most are already free on a daily basis. Only 110 parks feature an admission fee, ranging from $5 to $35. Those funds all remain within the NPS budget, and at least 80 percent remain with the specific park where the fee is charged.
“National parks are for everyone, and we are committed to increasing access and providing opportunities for all to experience the sense of wonder, awe and refreshment that comes with a visit to these treasured landscapes and sites,” Sams said.
In 2020, more than $170 million was collected in park entrance fees. That money was used to support visitor experiences, habitat restoration, building maintenance and repair, and programs and services for visitors.
“National parks are America’s best idea,” the NPS proclaims. “And there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite.”
Entrance fees are waived on the fee-free days, but it does not cover user or amenity fees such as those charged for camping, boat launches, or transportation within the parks.
Impact On Economy
In addition to the opportunities to be surrounded by nature, national parks are also great for local economies, the NPS said.
In 2020, 237 million people visited national parks and spent $14.5 billion in local communities, according to the NPS. This supported 234,000 jobs across the country and had a $28.6 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
Those who find that national parks are an idea they would like to explore on a regular basis have other options besides the daily entrance fees.
The annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass costs $80 and gives the holder unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including every national park that charges an entrance fee.
There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, disabled citizens, and families of fourth-grade students.
Information about the different passes and discounts can be found on the NPS website.
For more information on U.S. national parks, check out the following: