Visit National Parks For Free On These Days In 2021
Mark your calendars! According to a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of the Interior, all National Park Service sites will waive entrance fees on six days in 2021 to everyone.
These fee-free days have become a common practice each year with the administration in their efforts to motivate the public to get out and explore the national parks. However, little coaxing is needed nowadays. The pandemic has created a wave of quarantine fatigue, and people are itching to spend more time outdoors.
“Throughout the country, every national park provides a variety of opportunities to get out in nature, connect with our common heritage and experience the vast array of benefits that come from spending time outdoors. Hopefully, the fee-free days will encourage everyone to spend some time in their national parks.” said Margaret Everson, Counselor to the Secretary, exercising the delegated authority of the National Park Service Director.
2021 Fee-Free Days in 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
“Each of the fee-free days celebrates or commemorates a significant event, including the establishment earlier this year by President Trump of the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation marks the single largest investment ever in national parks and will result in enhanced facilities and expanded recreational prospects for all visitors,” added Everson.
A caveat to the fee-free days
Out of the over 400 National Park Service sites, about 100 sites charge an entrance fee. Admission fees range anywhere from $5 to $35. Take note, although entry fees are waived on these six days, other charges are not. These include service costs like camping fees, boat launch access, or park tours.
Also, due to everchanging COVID 19 regulations, the National Park Service is advising all visitors to check the park website for updates before visiting. Operating hours and safety protocols are regularly reported online.
Other ways to visit National Parks for free or at discounted prices
- In late October, the Department of the Interior granted veterans and Gold Star Families free access to all national parks and other public lands. Veterans and Gold Star Families will have lifetime access.
- America the Beautiful Passes waive entrance fees to over 2000 federal recreation areas, including national parks. Discounts on some amenities are available. There is a pass designed for every visitor–from veterans to senior citizens and fourth graders to volunteers. The costs vary as well.
Jason Epperson of RV Miles breaks down the types of America the Beautiful Passes so you can choose the pass that is right for you. Check out the video below.
Check out these other recreational sites
The National Park Service is not the only federal entity offering fee-free days. Check out the websites for the following agencies to see when they are offering free admission in 2021. These include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Want to make your national park visit an extended stay in your RV? Be sure to use RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan an RV safe route to any camping destination. Plus, peruse reviews of different campsites on RV LIFE Campgrounds to narrow down your options and find the best stop for you and your traveling crew.