Did you know that there are FREE days to the National Parks? Did you know that families of 4th (always) or 5th graders (this year 2020-2021 school year) can get a free annual pass? What about the Access or Lifetime Senior passes? This post will explain all about the options.
Free Days at National Parks
Six days in 2021 will be FREE at all National Parks! Here is the list:
- January 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 17: First day of National Park Week
- August 4: One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 25: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Some parks have additional FREE days. Remember that the National Parks are likely to be more crowded on free days.
Every Kid Outdoors
Every Kid Outdoors, also known as Every Kid in a Park, is a program that started in 2015. Fourth graders receive a free National Parks Pass for one year, beginning Sep 1-Aug 31 of that year. If you have a 4th grader in your family, click to get your 4th grade pass. Because Covid closed the National Parks for several months, 5th graders are also eligible for this year only. Here is the 5th grade pass.
If you have a disability you may qualify for a $10 lifetime pass to all National Parks and a discount to other amenities, like camping and boat launches. Here is more information on the Access Pass.
If you are 62 years or old you can get either a Lifetime Senior Pass for $80 or an Annual Senior Pass for $20. You can also turn in four consecutive senior annual passes and get a free Lifetime Senior Pass. Here is more information on both the Lifetime Senior Pass and the Annual Senior Pass.
America the Beautiful Pass
If you are like me and love going to National Parks and don’t qualify for some of the other options, you can get an Annual National Parks pass, also called the America the Beautiful Pass. It costs $80 per year. All of the passes can be purchased at the parks or online here.
Check here to find all of the National Parks, Monuments, and National Recreation Areas.
Utah National Parks, Monuments, Recreation, and Historic Areas
Utah has one of the largest amounts of protected areas in the United States.
National Recreation Areas
National Conservation Areas
There are also National Forests, Rivers and other BLM land in Utah
Always Free National Parks
There are also a few National Parks that are always free!
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Tennessee and North Carolina (Here are my posts on Cades Cove and Laurel Falls in the Great Smokies)
- North Cascades National Park – North Carolina
- Great Basin National Park – Nevada
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio
- Congaree National Park – South Carolina
- Biscayne National Park – Florida
- Kobuk Valley National Park – Alaska
- Lake Clark National Park – Alaska
- Wrangell – St. Elias National Park – Alaska
- Kenai Fjords National Park – Alaska
- Redwood National Park – California (this is next to state parks that charge a fee)
- Channel Islands National Park – California (since this is an island, you’ll need kayaks or something to get there)
- Hot Springs National Park -Arkansas
- Voyageurs National Park – Minnesota (also need kayaks or something to get there)
- Gates of the Arctic National Park – Alaska (this one is only accessible by small plane)