National Park Service Announces Fee-Free Days for 2024
Celebrate the National Parks with Free Entry on These Dates
As 2023 winds to a close, it’s time to start planning those big RV trips for 2024. The National Park Service made that planning process a bit easier this past week by announcing its fee-free days for the year ahead. As usual, these dates celebrate America’s amazing national park system, making them more accessible to everyone by waiving all entrance fees.
For those looking to take advantage of the fee-free days in 2024, these are the dates to circle on your calendar:
- January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- April 20 – First Day of National Park Week
- June 19 – Juneteenth
- August 4 – Great American Outdoors Day
- September 28 – National Public Lands Day
- November 11 – Veterans Day
In a press release announcing the dates, National Park Service director Chuck Sams said, “National parks are places that awaken senses, inspire curiosity, encourage reflection, and foster joy. The entrance fee-free days expand opportunities for people to visit their national parks and experience the beauty and history of our country.”
The press release reminds us that there are 400 national parks to choose from, of which 300 are free every day of the year. That makes them an affordable option for every traveler. And with at least one national park in each state, these beautiful, educational, and inspiring locations are accessible to everyone.
Entrance fees for the national parks range from $10 to $35, with 80-100% of that money remaining in the park where the fees are collected. That means your dollars will help directly fund the places you visit, many of which are amongst the most popular destinations in the entire country. Those funds are used for wildlife conservation efforts, park improvements, establishing ranger education programs, and more.
It is important to note that the fee-free dates cover only the entrance fees to the national parks. Fees for campsites, backcountry trail permits, tours, boat launches, and the use of other facilities are collected where applicable.
Regular visitors to the national parks may consider purchasing the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for $80. This covers the cost of entry for over 2,000 federal recreation areas across the country for an entire year, making it a real bargain for travelers.
The fee-free days are an excellent way to encourage more people to visit the national parks. They are also some of the busiest days of the year in places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. If you plan to visit on those dates, be prepared for longer lines and possible traffic jams. If you want to camp in the parks on those dates, be sure to reserve your campsites early.