National Park Week is coming: Here’s when you can get in for free

Here are the remaining free admission days for 2022

A tourist takes a picture of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from outside the park in Keystone, South Dakota. (Scott Olson, Getty Images)

One of this year’s entrance fee-free days is coming up at our country’s National Parks, meaning if you want to visit, you won’t have to pay admission.

“The free admission days are designed to encourage discovery and visitation of the country’s variety of national parks,” the NPS website reads. With at least one in every state, national parks are accessible places to visit to refresh body, mind and spirit.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was one of the free days. The ones remaining are:

National Park Week is held every April.

It’s intended as a time to explore amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, help out and find your favorite park.

This year, National Park Week is set for April 16 to 24. And again, it’s that first day, Saturday, April 16, that’s free.

Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events and digital experiences. Join NPS on social media, check out each days’ themes, and find in-person and virtual events in the links listed above.

Thinking about planning an outing -- a day trip or something a bit bigger?

Visitors are encouraged to begin their trip to a national park with a stop at NPS.gov or the NPS app to help prepare.

Online, you can find tips to help Plan Like a Park Ranger and Recreate Responsibly.

It’s important to know before you go what’s open and available, especially if you want to stay overnight. There are maps, updated conditions and suggested activities to help you decide where to go and what to do.

Just a note: The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days applies only to National Park Service entrance fees and does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

Most national parks don’t have entrance fees at all. Out of more than 400 national parks, about 110 have admission prices that range from $5 to $35.

All of the money provided by entrance fees remain in the NPS, and 80-100% stays in the park where it was collected. The funds are used to directly support the visitor experience by providing programs and services, habitat restoration and building maintenance and repair. In 2020, $170 million was collected in entrance fees.