Don’t you agree that camping fun is maximized when you save money? Keep your wallet in your pocket and keep on driving through the admission gate of your favorite National Park! Five events throughout the year have staff members hanging out the “Fee-Free Entrance Days” signs at National Parks across America.
Mark them on your calendar and plan to visit a new Park during every season of the year. Here are the dates to remember!
Fee-Free Entrance Days Means FREE Admission To National Parks!
Remember, these free entrance days allow you to enter the park at no cost. This does not include other fee-required activities once you are inside the park boundaries. For example, camping and hiking activities that require additional permits/fees or any other fee-based activities still require you to pay.
Winter Season Fee-Free Entrance Days With FREE Admission To National Parks
Day #1: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday celebrated to honor Mr. King who is considered to be the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement which opposed racial discrimination found in federal and state laws.
The annual holiday occurs on the third Monday of January. This year it falls on Monday, January 15, 2024.
Presidents’ Day (Not included every year)
Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday that was originally established to recognize President George Washington and was eventually expanded to honor all U.S. Presidents.
The annual holiday occurs on the third Monday in February. This year it falls on Monday, February 19, 2024 but THIS YEAR THE FEE MAY NOT BE WAIVED so you should check the details at the specific park you are interested in visiting by viewing their website or calling their office.
Spring Season Fee-Free Entrance Days With FREE Admission To National Parks
Day #2: Celebration Of National Park Week
National Park Week is an annual celebration of “America’s Best Idea – Our National Parks.” The weeklong celebration recognizes national parks and programs across the country with the focus on encouraging people to experience the country’s natural and cultural heritage. The FREE admission to the National Parks happens on the weekends of National Park Week in April.
This year the week-long celebration is scheduled for April 20 – 28 and the fee FREE day is the first day of National Park Week: Saturday, April 20, 2024.
Day #3: Juneteenth National Independence Day
Juneteenth National Independence Day commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States. The national holiday was signed into law on June 17, 2021. This year the holiday falls on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.
Summer Season Fee-Free Entrance Days With FREE Admission To National Parks
Day #4: Great American Outdoors Day
On August 4, 2020, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act which uses revenues from energy development to pay for maintenance of critical facilities and infrastructure in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and American Indian schools. It also uses royalties from offshore oil and natural gas to fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The Great American Outdoors Act anniversary falls on Sunday, August 4, 2024 this year.
National Park Service Birthday (Not included every year)
The National Park Service Birthday is an annual celebration of the agency which was established by Congress in 1916. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act which created the National Park Service.
The annual celebration occurs on August 25. This year it falls on Friday, August 25, 2024 but THIS YEAR THE FEE MAY NOT BE WAIVED so you should check the details at the specific park you are interested in visiting by viewing their website or calling their office.
You can find more information about the celebrations throughout the country by visiting the National Park Service’s Event Calendar.
Fall Season Fee-Free Entrance Days With FREE Admission To National Parks
Day #5: National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day is an annual single-day event when hundreds of thousands of volunteers help restore public lands across America. The purpose of the day is to connect people and green space in their communities with the goal of inspiring environmental stewardship, and encouraging the use of open space for education, recreation and health benefits.
The annual event occurs in September. This year it falls on Saturday, September 28, 2024.
Day #6: Celebration Of Veterans Day
Veterans Day Weekend is the weekend surrounding the annual Veterans Day holiday that honors United States Armed Forces military veterans. This holiday celebrates all people who have served in the U.S. military. This holiday is different from Memorial Day which honors people who have died while in military service.
Veterans Day officially occurs on November 11 each year. This year the fee-free entrance occurs on Veterans Day itself, Monday, November 11, 2024.
If you are visiting the National Parks during the colder months and want to enjoy a homemade meal that will warm your bones, try this campfire chili recipe!
Need help finding a National Park to visit on a FREE Admission Day?
You can Find A Park on the National Park Service website as well as special events happening for various celebrations.
One of the best things about FREE Admission To National Parks on Fee-Free Entrance Days is taking the cash you saved and spending it on a souvenir in one of the gift shops!
Visiting parks on days of FREE Admission To National Parks Fee-Free Entrance Days does save you money but lots of people like to take advantage of those budget-friendly events so you may want to check out our post with 12 Tips To Avoid Crowds In National Parks So You Don’t Go Crazy!
When it comes to our awesome National Parks, one of my personal favorites is Yosemite. If I could, I would actually move their permanently.
Check out our post to see why! Yosemite National Park Must See Attractions VIDEO And Tips.
FREE Admission To National Parks on Fee-Free Entrance Days is a great benefit but if you decide you want to give a little back … consider volunteering.
There are soooooooo many interesting ways to donate some of your time and talent, check out our post Go Volunteer At National Parks for more information.
Menu Planning For Your Trips
Whether you are doing a day trip or a long vacation … we’ve got tons of camping recipes that are perfect for every meal of your day.