America’s Best Idea—the national parks—is even better when it’s free!
There are nine more reasons to enjoy national parks next year.
Circle the dates on the calendar and plan your trip—America’s 401 national parks will offer free admission on nine days in 2015, including several holidays.
The 2015 entrance fee-free days are:
January 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 14-16: Presidents Day weekend
April 18 & 19: National Park Week’s opening weekend
August 25: National Park Service’s 99th birthday
September 26: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
“Every day is a great day in a national park, and these entrance fee free days offer an extra incentive to visit one of these amazing places,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
“As we prepare to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016, we are inviting all Americans to discover the beauty and history that lives in our national parks.”
A national park may be closer to home than you think. National Park Service sites are located in every state and in many major cities, including New York City which is home to ten national parks. They are places of recreation and inspiration and they are also powerful economic engines for local communities. Throughout the country, visitors to national parks spent $26.5 billion and supported almost 240,000 jobs in 2013.
Only 133 of our country’s 401 national parks usually charge an entrance fee.
If you’re planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands-more than 2,000 in all. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents. Information on these and other pass options is available online.
Fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession, and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.
Generally, 133 of the 401 National Park Service have entrance fees that range from $3 to $25. While entrance fees will be waived for the fee free days, amenity and user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours will still be in effect.
Other Federal land management agencies that will offer their own fee-free days in 2015 are: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. Please contact each for dates and details.
The National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service also participate in the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass programs. These passes provide access to more than 2,000 national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, grasslands, and other federal lands. Four passes are available:
Free annual pass to current military members and their dependents
Free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities
$10 lifetime senior pass for U.S. citizens aged 62 and over
$80 annual pass for the general public
National Park Service
Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, the park service is proud to safeguard these special places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year.
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites in America’s 397 national parks.
National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.
—Wallace Stegner, 1983