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It’s time to mark your calendar with the national park free days for 2023! This year you can visit your favorite national park for free on 5 days. So, which parks are on your bucket list?
National Park Free Days 2023
Everyone gets in to the national parks for free on the following five days in 2023!
- January 16 – Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 22 – First day of National Park Week
- August 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- September 23 – National Public Lands Day
- November 11 – Veterans Day
Only entrance is free. If you plan on additional activities like taking a tour or camping, you’ll have to pay separately. Still, entrance fees can be up to $35 per vehicle so with a little planning you can save quite a bit by visiting a national park on a scheduled free day!
Ready to go? Check out the NPS state by state listing of participating national parks you can explore for free on the National Parks free days!
How to Visit National Parks for Free Every Day
Visit any national park for free all year long with a free annual pass if you are a member of any of the following groups:
- Current US Military members
- Gold Star Families
- US 4th graders including home schooled children
- US citizens or permanent residents who are disabled
- Volunteers who have completed 250 hours of service at participating federal agencies
Free passes can be ordered at the NPS website or purchased in person at many parks.
Save Money With A national Parks Annual Pass
What if you can’t visit a national park on the free days and don’t qualify for a free annual pass? No worries, you can still save a bundle with an America the Beautiful pass. So, it is definitely worth considering if you plan to visit several parks over the course of the year.
What does the America the Beautiful Annual Pass cover?
The America the Beautiful pass is good for a year from the date it is purchased and covers entrance fees at more than 2000 locations managed by the:
- National Park Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- US Army Corps of Engineers
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Fish and Wildlife Service
- USDA Forest Service
$80 per year
Discounted rate for US senior citizens 62 years or over: $20 per year or $80 for a lifetime pass.
How to purchase your national parks annual pass?
- Passes can be purchased at the NPS website.
- In person at these NPS park locations.
Pro tip: The America the Beautiful annual pass is good for 1 year from the month of purchase. Consequently, it’s best to wait until you are ready to visit a park to buy your pass.
Generally, an annual pass will start saving you money once you visit 3 or more national parks. Even better, it’s valid for an entire year! For example, here are the current daily entrance fee prices at several popular national parks.
- Great Sand Dunes – Colorado
$25 per vehicle, valid for 7 days
- Yellowstone – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
$35 per vehicle, valid for 7 days
- Joshua Tree – California
$30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days
- Zion – Utah
$35 per vehicle, valid for 7 days
Planning a national parks RV road trip?
Want to stay at cool and unique overnight stops on the way?
Try Harvest Hosts! It is a RV camping club that lets you overnight at vineyards, museums, craft breweries, farms and even golf courses. The idea is that you spend the night for free and in return you patronize the host business. The best part is, you get to stay at totally unique locations, make incredible memories and support small local businesses while you do it!
To learn more about RV membership clubs for both savings and community on the road check out top picks for The Best 6 RV Membership Clubs.
That’s a wrap! Thanks for stopping by. Now you can start planning your next national park visit and hopefully save some money by visiting on one of the 2023 free days!
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