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Entrance Fee–Free National Park Days in 2024


More than a quarter of the 425 sites managed by the U.S. National Park Service charge entrance fees, ranging in price from $10 to $35. 

But on a few select dates each year, the federal agency waives those charges and visitors get to enter every national park, monument, historical site, seashore, forest, or other preserve in the system for free. 

With 2024 fast approaching, the National Park Service has just released its entrance fee–free days for next year, and we’re happy to report that the number of dates has gone up a tick, from five free days in 2022 and 2023 to six for 2024. (The last year we got six free days was 2021.)

In its announcement, the National Park Service portrays the free-entrance days as an attempt to strike a balance between egalitarian and practical concerns.

On the one hand, all visitors, regardless of income level, are “invited to experience the magic and wonder of national parks,” according to the statement.

On the other hand, the revenue from entrance fees helps fund “visitor services, including enhancing accessibility, restoring wildlife habitat, and providing ranger programs, and adding or upgrading restrooms, campgrounds, trails, and other facilities.”

As a compromise, you get these six entrance fee–free days at national parks in 2024: 

Monday, January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Saturday, April 20: first day of National Park Week

Wednesday, June 19: Juneteenth

Sunday, August 4: Great American Outdoors Day

Saturday, September 28: National Public Lands Day

Monday, November 11: Veterans Day

(Credit: NPS)

Note that the fee waiver on those dates only applies to entrance fees. You may still need to pay user fees for camping, boat launches, transportation, special tours, and other activities.

Other ways to save money at national parks, especially if you plan to drop by more than a couple, include purchasing the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which covers entry at all national park units for a full year. The pass costs $80. 

There are also free or discounted passes for current members of the U.S. military and their dependents, military veterans, Gold Star Families, fourth-grade students, people with permanent disabilities, and seniors. 

To search for national parks by state, go to NPS.gov/FindaPark.

Related: The Growing Number of National Parks Going Cashless

Pictured at top: hiking Old Rag Mountain at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia



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