Here’s how to access Utah’s national parks for free Saturday

Entrance fees will be waived in celebration of National Public Lands Day.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The late afternoon sun ignites a rainbow during a brief rain shower in the Devils Garden campground at Arches National Park on May 19, 2013. Admission to the park is free on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

On Saturday, visitors can get into Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks for free.

The National Parks Service is waiving entrance fees on Sept. 24 in celebration of National Public Lands Day, one of five free-admission days in 2022. Entrance fees to all five of Utah’s national parks typically cost $20 or more per car.

Each year, National Public Lands Day falls on the fourth Saturday of September. It is a day when volunteers get to work beautifying green spaces that range from urban parks to national parks. Find a service project near you by going to NEEFUSA.org/NPLD/volunteers.

Arches’ timed-entry system, enacted to help manage traffic, will still be in place Saturday; visitors just won’t be required to pay an entrance fee after making a reservation. Except for Saturday, visitors will be required to purchase a ticket to enter the park through Oct. 3, according to NPS.gov.

In Zion National Park, permits are now required to make the strenuous hike to Angels Landing, to help control foot traffic on the trail. The lottery for next-day permits opens every day at 12:01 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m., and it costs $6 to apply for a permit. People who get a permit Saturday will still be required to pay $3 per person for the hike.

If you would like to see Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef in the same day, take a drive on the Highway 12 Scenic Byway. The drive features a national park at each end, with scenic points like Kodachrome Basin and Anasazi state parks in between.

The next national park free-admission day is Nov. 11, on Veterans Day.