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Free entry at national parks in Utah, countrywide for Veterans Day

Published November 5, 2013 7:21 pm

Nov. 9-11 • Visitors will still be required to pay other fees.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

National Park Service units in Utah and across the nation will offer free entry Nov. 9-11 as a tribute to all military personnel for Veterans Day. More than 401 parks will be open and free to everyone.

"Every national park tells a part of the American story, and many of the parks have a direct connection to those who have served in the military through the years," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a prepared statement. "I invite everyone to come to a national park to commemorate Veterans Day, whether it is to learn more about those who have given so much to defend our freedoms or to simply enjoy the beauty and majesty of the land they fought to protect."

While entry fees are being waived during the weekend, other fees — such as camping — will still be required.

As part of this year's Veterans Day celebration the National Park Service prepared a video highlighting ranger Dan Hottle, who served as a combat veteran in Afghanistan. Hottle talks in the video about how visits to Zion, Arches, Canyonlands and Rocky Mountain national parks allowed him "to reconnect with myself and leave the sights and sounds of war that I had behind on miles and miles of beautiful trails."

Hottle is now a ranger in Yellowstone National Park.

"I have been very proud to serve my country as a Marine and now again for the National Park Service," Hottle said. "Our parks bring out the very best in people from all walks of life, coming together to preserve our most valuable resources for our future generations."

brettp@sltrib.com