Photo credit: Dudarev Mikhail
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The Trump administration announced toll-free days for the national parks this month. The best thing is that there is still a day off next year!
National parks offer places of restoration, reflection, and recreation. From hiking to fishing To climb peaks in Denali, there is always something to look for in these sacred locations. And with more than 400 locations across the country, the NPS likely has a place near you.
The good news is that only 108 of these parks have entry fees, and if you want to bypass them these are the days you can. In addition, the total days off in national parks increased from 5 in 2020 to 6 in 2021 – thanks to the new ones Great American Outdoors Day National park vacation.
Free National Park Days in 2021
- Monday January 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Saturday 17th April – first day of National Park Week
- Wednesday, August 4th – One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Wednesday, August 25th – National Park Service Birthday
- Saturday September 25th – National Public Areas Day
- Thursday November 11th – Veterans Day
Great American Outdoors Day
Photo credit: Andrew Opila
Legislators added Great American Outdoors Day to the NPS calendar to commemorate the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill adds funds and resources remove the maintenance backlog of the NPS and the Land and water protection fund.
The number of toll-free days has risen sharply in recent years, which can be directly attributed to the massive maintenance backlog and budget deficits in the national park system. From 2017 to 2018 12 days off have been reduced from 16 to 4.
As GAOA funding begins to equip the NPS with more resources, those days could keep climbing.
Fifth graders, veterans, and Gold Star families get free access
Since 2015 the Every Kid Outdoors program has given every fourth grader in the US a free National Parks Pass for their family. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fifth graders can take advantage of the opportunity again in 2021.
The active military and their families have also been given free access to national parks. Earlier this year, however, Secretary Bernhardt signed contracts granting veterans and Gold Star families lifelong free access to national parks.
Seniors (62 years and older) also receive a discount on the annual pass, which can be purchased for $ 20 per year. Or they have the option to pay $ 80 for a lifetime pass.
By Nicole Qualtieri
Nicole Qualtieri lives in Montana and is GearJunkies Hunt + Fish Editor. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s probably hunting, fishing, or sitting on the back of her little brown horse with a border collie named Butch Cassidy on her heel in the mountains. Find her on Instagram @nkqualtieri.