National Parks Week kicks off Saturday with a present for every American: Admission to the nation’s 61 national parks and more than 300 other sites across the country is free.
That includes, of course, Utah’s five national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. It also includes seven national monuments — Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Grand Staircase/Escalante, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges, Rainbow Bridge and Timpanogos Cave — as well as Golden Spike National Historic Park and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
(The National Park Service also oversees four National Historic Trails that go through Utah: California, Mormon Pioneer, Old Spanish, and Pony Express.)
The entrance-fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for activities like camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.
National Parks Week actually runs nine days, with a series of special events: Saturday, April 20, is National Junior Rangers Day; Sunday, April 21, is Military and Veterans Recognition Day; Monday, April 22, is Earth Day; Tuesday, April 23, is Transportation Tuesday; Wednesday, April 24, is Wild Wednesday; Thursday, April 25, is Throwback Thursday; Friday, April 26, is Friendship Friday; Saturday, April 27, is Bark Ranger Day; and Sunday, April 28, is Park Rx Day.
For more information, go to nps.gov.
Saturday will be the second (after Martin Luther King Day) of five free-admission days this year. The parks will also be open free-of-charge on the National Park Service birthday (Aug. 25); National Public Lands Day (Sept. 28); and Veterans Day (Nov. 11).