Your park entrance fees are waived for these five days in 2023
As we navigate a crazy winter season, the thought of a getaway in 2023 sounds pretty magical. Once the dust has settled, heading to a national park is an awesome way to enjoy the great outdoors, especially when it’s free! Get your kids set up with the Junior Ranger booklet in your park of choice and see what the whole family can learn about these amazing areas of the country.
The National Park Service has just announced its annual list of parks offering free entry on special days, which normally require a fee to get in. Keep scrolling to see all the details!
Photo: Drif Riadh via Unsplash
So when can you get into the National Parks without paying? The 2023 free admission for everyone days include:
- Mon. Jan. 16: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
- Sat. Apr. 22: First day of National Park Week
- Fri. Aug. 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Sat. Sep. 23: National Public Lands Day
- Fri. Nov. 11: Veterans Day
With more than 400 parks across the country, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re planning a fall foray, a winter getaway, a spring fling, or a summer trip, you can find a free admission day for every season.
Even though admission is free on these special days, other paid activities are not. You may need to pay amenity or user fees where applicable. These fees include the cost of activities, such as camping, as well as boat launches, transportation, or touring fees.
If the five annual free days don’t fit your schedule, some of the national parks are fee-free every day of the year (or at least every day they’re open). Some of the most notable entrance fee-free parks include:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina and Tennessee)
- Biscayne National Park (Florida)
- North Cascades National Park (Washington)
- Great Basin National Park (Nevada)
- Lake Clark National Park and Preserve (Alaska)
Got a fourth grader? You can grab a free pass to the national parks for their entire fourth-grade year. This includes visits to places like Alcatraz, Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, and more. The Every Kids Outdoors program is an excellent way to teach your kids about the national parks and get everyone out in the fresh air at the same time.
Additional reporting by Karly Wood & Erica Loop