Free Entry To US National Parks for NPS Birthday

a man sitting on a rock

The U.S. National Parks Service is turning 98 in a couple of days from now and will be offering a great perk which comes around just a handful of times each year.

Monday, August 25 will be one of the Free Entrance Days at the national parks, giving you access for free to all 401 parks. (Only 133 parks actually charge an entrance fee.)According to, the “Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise“.

Here are the remaining Free Entrance Days for 2014:

  • September 27: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veteran’s Day

While it’s important to support our national parks by paying certain fees, getting in for free is still a very nice deal!

Have you (or do you) plan to take advantage of the NPS Free Entrance Days promo?

Find out about NPS Free Entrance Days here and the NPS’ birthday here.

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8 thoughts on “Free Entry To US National Parks for NPS Birthday

  1. Michelle C- Sounds great! I have to check out your post. One of these days I need to do an extensive national parks trip.

    DaninMCI- Some good points. It seems like our tax dollars pay for many things two-fold so to speak. While I haven’t taken advantage of the free parks days ever, I do think it is a nice gesture to offer a few times per year.

  2. Although this is a good deal I can’t help thinking that our tax dollars already pay for such parks. I guess I shouldn’t expect free entry but if that normal fee is needed to cover costs then what additional tax money is needed to pay for free days like this?

    1. I think the free days can be seen as part of the National Park’s marketing and also making sure the Parks are accessible to all Americans. Hopefully new people will be drawn to visit and, once there, will recognize how important it is to support and protect the National Parks. To me, that justifies an additional cost. It’s my understanding that the current tax dollar funding is not adequate for the Parks, as they have been cutting educational and maintenance programs more and more each year.

  3. We love the National Parks! (Just shared the free entrance dates on our blog as well, actually.) I’m not sure we’ll get around to visiting on any of the remaining free days this year, but we did just finish our second, one-month road trip around some of the National Parks of the West. Highly recommend folks take a visit to their nearest Park- and check out a Ranger program- especially if they’ve never been!

  4. I took advantage of this deal for the Grand Canyon on MLK day and Arches National Park on Memorial Day. Always fun to go to the National Parks.

    1. Very nice! What were your thoughts? Of the 2 you mentioned, I’ve visited Grand Canyon West, the section where the Sky Walk is which is not part of the NP.

      1. I flew into Flagstaff, AZ and drove north to the Grand Canyon. I think that is one of the main entrances to the park. My brother and I walked down to the river and back in one day (16+ miles, not recommended). The views are amazing and you feel isolated from the rest of the world. How was the sky bridge?

        1. Sounds like you had an awesome experience. (Although a bit painful from all of that walking!)

          The views from the Skywalk are incredible as are the areas surrounding it.

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