Pick a Park and Play (For Free!)

Only one “fee free” weekend left this summer!
Original post date: June 2, 2009

En Route to The Subway at Zion National Park

It’s the thought that counts.  I was already sold on the tremendous value of our national parks and monuments.

Montezuma's Castle


The National Park Service is waiving admittance fees at 147 sites that charge for entry on three weekends this summer.  The free admission weekends are June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16.

Bryce Canyon National Park

While the potential savings of $3 to $25 per national park may not be enough to propel travelers to distant locations, it might encourage people to check out the wonders in their own vicinity.  And for those already planning a national park junket, it might mean an extra souvenir or two…

Mammoth Cave National Park

*Find your getaway park in the “National Parks and Monuments” in the right sidebar.



4 Comments to Pick a Park and Play (For Free!)

  1. I read about the waiver – what a great idea, getting people back into the parks to enjoy some natural forms of entertainment. Lovely shots.

  2. That’s quite a list of national parks. I actually didn’t know that so many charged admission fees. Natural beauty should be free but I’m sure they use the money to maintain the parks after tourist wear and tear.

  3. All that beauty for free!

  4. Cate: The benevolent side of me agrees with you -so much of our lives is spent amongst shopping malls and freeways, it’s good for soul and body to submerge in natural beauty that surpasses “man-made” every time. Crowded parks aren’t as enjoyable, and that’s the downside of “free”… but even on a busy day if you choose a more challenging trail you can have nature all to yourself again!
     
    Fly Girl: Like you, I’d hate to think fees might prevent a family from experiencing the best of the US, and it seems that most parks charge at least a nominal fee. The “headliners” (Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon…) charge $25/vehicle for a 7 day admission.
     
    Personally, I consider the fees an absolute bargain for the convenience of restrooms, food, park maps and educational exhibits. Additionally, many parks use shuttle buses in peak season to enhance the experience by diminishing road traffic. ~And the educated outdoorsmen(and women) employed as park rangers are worth their salaries and then some! I think our park fees are generally necessary and well spent. The free weekends will probably create some new NP fans.
     
    Graham: We have a great national park system here, and I appreciate how most parks are geared to all levels of ability and interest. There are always a few flat paved trails in addition to the miles of strenuous backcountry hiking and climbing.

Thoughts? Comments?

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