Pictured: Visitors at the overlook on Mount Healy Trail and Denali National Park. NPS Photo.
By Jason Epperson
The National Park Service has announced the fee-free days for 2020. All 115 of the fee-charging National Park Service units will waive entrance fees on five days next year:
Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Saturday, April 18 – First Day of National Park Week/ Junior Ranger Day
Tuesday, August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
Saturday, September 26 – National Public Lands Day
Wednesday, November 11 – Veterans Day
The other 303 national parks do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
“Across the country, more than 400 national parks preserve significant natural and cultural areas, each one an important piece of our national identity and heritage,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela. “Free entrance days serve as additional motivation for people to get outside and enjoy these places of inspiration and recreation.”
The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks. Though fun special events often surround the fee-free days, if you already have a pass, it may be better to avoid parks on the free days which see larger crowds in good weather. There are also free or discounted annual passes available for senior citizens, current members of the U.S. military, families of fourth-grade students, and disabled citizens.
Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2019 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.