Free Entry Into National Parks 2021 in the United States for Certain Days

The United States has some of the most scenic topography in the world. To preserve the diversification of natural settings around the vastness of this country, a system of national parks was created in 1916 currently known as the National Park Service, which is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.

Free Entry Into National Parks 2021 in the United States for Certain Days

Delicate Arch Arches National Park Utah

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park in Utah. A trip report is forthcoming. Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Some of the more famous parks and monuments under the auspices of the National Park Service include Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho — considered the first official national park in the world when it was established in 1872 and known for its geysers and abundant wildlife; Yosemite National Park in California, with its giant sequoia trees; Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina; the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, where you can once again visit the crown; and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

At one time, access to these treasures of the United States covering greater than 84 million acres of land and 4.5 million acres of water was free of charge — but the National Park Service started to charge entrance fees a number of years ago to cover costs. The entrance fees range in cost up to 35 dollars for seven days when entering via private vehicle — which is still considered a bargain.

Canyonlands National Park Utah

Canyonlands National Park in Utah. A trip report is forthcoming. Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

The good news is that 315 of the 423 national park units have no entrance fees at allever — but the even better news is that there are times of the year where free access is available to those national parks which do charge an entrance fee. Here is the list of dates in 2021 when free access to all national parks is available, as officially announced by the National Park Service:

  • January 18, 2021 Martin Luther King, Junior Day
  • April 17, 2021 First day of National Park Week
  • August 4, 2021 One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • August 25, 2021 National Park Service Birthday
  • September 25, 2021 National Public Lands Day
  • November 11, 2021 Veterans Day

Summary

Rainbow Point Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

Rainbow Point at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. A trip report is forthcoming. Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

This is a list of the participating national parks whose entrance fees will be waived during the aforementioned list of days. Keep in mind that the fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

If you plan on visiting multiple national parks within one year, consider purchasing the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for $80.00. Other passes are available as well.

Please see this article for additional information and photographs pertaining to my experience at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. All photographs ©2014 and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

3 thoughts on “Free Entry Into National Parks 2021 in the United States for Certain Days”

  1. NB_ga says:

    Breathtaking photos! Wow!!! I look forward the associated trip reports.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you, NB_ga — but I literally have hundreds of photographs to sort through…

      …but I intend to get there!

  2. Randy says:

    And all honorably discharged / retired veterans now get in free all of the time.

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