Free 2024 National Parks Entrance DaysFind out what 5 days this year that will get you totally free admission!
Come experience the national parks! On five days in 2024, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone! What a great way to get outdoors and enjoy some downtime with the family! See the dates below!
- January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 20: First day of National Park Week
- August 3: Anniversary of Great American Outdoor Act
- September 28: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Other Ways to Save
If one of the entrance fee-free days doesn’t quite work for you, there are several other ways to visit national parks on a budget. With some simple planning and research, you can make the most of your trips without breaking the bank.
Here are some ways to visit a national park on a budget:
Plan Ahead: Research the park you want to visit, including its admission fees, camping fees, and any special permits required. Many national parks have different fees, so knowing the costs in advance will help you budget.
Get Annual Passes: Consider purchasing an America the Beautiful Pass. This annual pass provides access to all national parks and federal recreational lands for a year and can be a cost-effective option if you plan to visit multiple parks.
Visit During Off-Peak Seasons: National parks are typically less crowded during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) and on weekdays. Accommodation and entry fees may be lower during these times.
Consider Camping Instead of Getting a Hotel: Camping is often the most budget-friendly accommodation option in national parks. Campsite fees are usually much lower than hotel prices. Just be sure to reserve your campsite in advance if the park allows it.
Skip the Park Restaurants: Eating out at restaurants in or near the park can be expensive. Save money by preparing your own meals in advance and bringing your own food and snacks. Most campgrounds have facilities for cooking.
Walk In vs. Driving In: Many parks charge a fee for your vehicle, but if you can walk into the park instead, you may see significant savings on admission.
Opt for Public Transportation: If the park has a shuttle or public transportation system, consider using it instead of driving. It can save you on gas and parking fees.
Take Advantage of Free Programs and Other Freebies: Many national parks offer free ranger-led programs, guided hikes, and educational talks. These freebies can be great ways to learn more about the park at no additional expense.
Search for Discounts and Passes: Some groups, such as seniors, military personnel, and people with disabilities, may qualify for discounted or free passes. You may also be able to find park coupons and deals during certain times of the year. Check each park's website for details.
Stay Outside the Park: Accommodations inside the park can be pricey. Consider staying in nearby towns or cities and commuting to the park each day to save on lodging costs.
Become a Park Volunteer: Some national parks offer volunteer programs where you can help with conservation efforts in exchange for free or discounted accommodations.Pack Wisely: Bring all the gear and supplies you'll need for your trip to avoid last-minute purchases that can be more expensive in park gift shops.