For National Park Week, absolutely all state parks in the United States are free of charge until April 24th, which means it’s time to get out there and explore!
The annual National Park Week is a celebration organized to encourage people to get out and visit the natural treasures the country has to offer. And they do this by making absolutely every national park free to enter for the duration of the event! Just let that sink in: you can tour all of California’s gorgeous desert parks, every single one of Utah’s buffet of beautiful canyon park, all of Arizona’s stunning red rock formations, for absolutely nothing at all. Though camping fees still apply, this still comes as fantastic news for travelers on a budget, so grab your hiking boots and look up a park already!
Campers and backpackers nationwide gave a collective groan last year when steep admissions increases were announced for several of the most prominent state parks. Big attractions like Yosemite and Yellowstone saw a modest $5-10 fee hike for single cars, but other increases were more exorbitant. Arches National Park in Utah, for example, doubled from $25 to $50. And that wasn’t even the worst of it. Fees for Grand Teton in Wyoming shot up from $5 to $30, and several other prominent parks followed suit. All the more reason to take advantage of the bargain event.
This is a particularly special occasion for the US Parks’ service, since this year marks their centennial anniversary. Even if you miss out on National Park Week, be on the lookout for more celebratory events and free days later in the year. The next chances you’ll get will be: August 24-28th (for the NPS 100th Birthday Celebration), September 24th (for National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (for Veteran’s Day). If you still don’t know where to visit, make use of the NPS’s fantastic park finder here, and enjoy National Parks Week!