When and how you can get in for free

Here’s a summer pick-me-up for travelers who love the outdoors: Twice this month, the National Park Service offers free entry to all 423 attractions, and one of those days is Wednesday.

Entrance fees will be waived on August 4th at all national parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national coastlines, national battlefields, and more in honor of Great American Outdoors Day. This is what the Home Office calls the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act, which approved up to 1.6 billion US dollars annually for maintenance projects on public land and tribal schools for five years.

It is one of six free entry days to national parks this year. The following is left:

  • August 25, Birthday of the National Park Service
  • 25th of September, National Public Land Day
  • November 11th, Veterans Day

►Park Ranger professional tips:What to Know Before Visiting a National Park This Year

► America’s Least Visited National Parks:These parks are perfect for nature lovers who hate the crowds

How do I get to national parks for free?

Visitors are only required to show up on free entry days, except for locations where reservations are required.

To avoid overcrowding, the National Park Service is requesting reservations at some of its most popular destinations this summer, including Yosemite National Park and Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road. Reservations can be made at Recreation.gov.

►Don’t leave any traces:How to Protect America’s Overcrowded National Parks

►National parks honor families of the fallen:How Gold Star Families get free entry to parks all year round

The Colorado River encloses Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona on February 11, 2017.

Year round, valet parking is free for multiple groups including Veterans, Gold Star Families, and U.S. residents and permanent residents with permanent disabilities.

In addition, fourth graders and their families can receive a one-year entry ticket to the Every Kid Outdoors program. This year, through the end of August, this program also includes fifth graders who may not have been able to travel in fourth grade due to the pandemic.

What’s not included

While admission is waived on days with free admission, the fees for camping, guided tours and other activities remain.

The Home Office advises that some parks may have restrictions and limited services. Not all locations may be open due to measures to contain COVID-19. Visitors can find the latest closures on the Parking Service Active Alerts website.

You can connect with Shanti Lerner, the Arizona Republic culture and outdoor reporter, by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter.

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