national parks

Find a Free Admission Day at Your Favorite National Park

Looking ahead to future outings? Discover the enter-for-free dates on the parks' 2021 calendar.


VAST EXPANSES, the big sky, giant trees, massive rocks, mountain ranges so rambling that you can't tell where they begin and end? The wide-reaching, wide-rolling, wide-of-heart feeling that standing inside a national park can give a person is a profound experience, and one that isn't easily replicated in any city. But it is an experience that can be imagined without too much effort, and plenty of Californians have been doing just that as 2020 came to a close and 2021 began. As the stay-at-home order ends, and people begin to again daydream of getting out, under a big sky, and seeing a national park like Death Valley or Yosemite, those same people will likely want to know what the calendar of free days looks like for the remainder of the year.

SO HERE IT IS, with five more national parks free days still to go in 2021. The first of the fees-waived days that happened this year occurred during California's stay-at-home order, but you can look ahead to Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2022, for the holiday honoring the civil rights leader is always observed as a free day, and day of service, in the national parks. Coming up in April 2021? It's National Park Week, and April 17, the first day of the week-long happening, will be free at fee-charging parks. Aug. 4, The Great American Outdoors Act's first anniversary, will see fees waived at well over 100 national parks, while the birthday of the National Park Service will also be a day to visit without paying admission (that's on Aug. 25). National Public Lands Day on Sept. 25 is another free day, and the final one of the year? It's Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2021.

FOR EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, and to find out which parks have a fee (and what that fee might be), start at this page, then get to dreaming about a future hike, swim, or sleep inside a glorious California-based national park.

Pictured: Death Valley National Park

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