Outdoors and Travel

Visit National Parks free for 10 days in 2017

First Published      Last Updated Nov 16 2016 08:47 am

Though many folks find it more economical to purchase an America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation lands Pass for $80 (or a senior lifetime pass for $10), the National Park Service will again offer 10 free entrance fee-free days for 2017.

These include Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 16, President's Day on February 20, National Park Week weekends April 15 and 16 and April 22 and 23, National Park Service Birthday on August 25, National Public Lands Day on September 30, and Veterans Day Weekend November 11 and 12.

During these days, all entrance fees are waived. Usually, 124 of the 413 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $30. The other 289 sites do not have entrance fee. The fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

The American Beautiful Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas including all national parks. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students and disabled citizens.

Last year, 307 million people visited a national park. They spent $16.9 billion, which supported 295,000 jobs and had a $32 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

"National parks are known for their priceless beauty," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "They are a bargain anytime but on these ten days in 2017, they really will be priceless. We want everyone to visit their national parks and the fee free days provide extra incentive to experience these amazing places."