Kids enjoying Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in 2018. NPS Photo

By Abigail Trabue

The National Park Service has announced the fee-free days for 2021. All of the fee-charging National Park Service units will waive entrance fees on six days next year:

The dates for 2021 are:

  • Monday, January 18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Saturday, April 17 – First Day of National Park Week
  • Wednesday, August 4 – One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • Wednesday, August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, September 25 – National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day

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.

There are more than 400 National Park Service sites nationwide, with at least one in every state. Approximately 100 charge an entrance fee, with costs ranging from $5 to $35. The other 300-plus national parks do not have entrance fees.

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, veterans, Gold Star Families, families of fourth and fifth-grade students, and disabled citizens. Wondering which pass is right for you? Check out this video below:

Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2021 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.