If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get out more — especially, to visit one of America's great national parks — you'll get a few freebies if you visit on one of the dates listed below.
However, you should plan ahead of time and keep in mind the masking rules, which apply "regardless of COVID vaccination status," according to the park service.
In 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) will waive entrance fees for all parks on select days throughout the year.
The free entrance days, according to the service, are intended to encourage Americans to visit the more than 400 federal park sites.
Hello, is it free you're looking for? On five days in 2022, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer FREE admission to everyone. Learn more: https://t.co/e9xCwamkpf pic.twitter.com/BLnIng1K5n— National Park Service (@NatlParkService) December 29, 2021
Admission fees will be waived on these days:
- Monday, January 17 – MLK Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 16 – First Day of National Park Week
- Thursday, August 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Saturday, September 24 – National Public Lands Day
- Friday, November 11 – Veterans Day
According to the National Park Service, 237 million people visited America's national parks in 2020.
Then, in 2021, visitor numbers skyrocketed as millions of Americans yearned to get outside following months of isolation and separation due to COVID-19.
Last July was reportedly Yellowstone's busiest month in park history.
Parks have been taking precautions to avoid overcrowding.
Arches National Park in Utah is developing a new timed ticketed entry system to limit mass attendance and "overtourism." While Zion National Park is implementing a new lottery system for Angel's Landing.
The parks service mantra is: "Recreate responsibly."
Before visiting a park, the service recommends checking the park's website and official social media accounts to see if it is open for business.