National Parks will be free April 21-29
The National Park service will open its gates to the public from April 21-29, with free admission for National Park Week.
The free entry includes not only the 58 National Parks such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and Grand Canyon, but 397 sites ranging from national monuments to national battlefields to national recreation areas. About 280 million people from the U.S. and around the world visit National Park Service locations each year.
Admission normally ranges from $3 for many historic sites up to $25 per car at National Parks. Some sites are always free. At all units, Children 16 and under and disabled people and those accompanying them – family, friends or aides – can enter free. U.S. citizens and Green Card holders who are permanent residents and over age 62 can purchase a discounted lifetime Senior Pass for $10.
In addition to free entry, during National Park Week, rangers will offer special scenic hikes, interpretive walks and children's programs. Some vendors who work with the parks will offer discounts on food, souvenirs and other concessions.
April 21 is designated Volunteer Day, where people can volunteer to help the National Park Service maintain integrity and make improvements. More than 220,000 people volunteer each year at National Parks Service sites. April 28 is National Junior Ranger Day, with special programs aimed at young visitors to "explore, learn, protect" the parks and be sworn in as Junior Rangers.
There are many resources online to help visitors enjoy National Park Week. Go to nps.gov/npweek for an overview of events. Volunteer signups are at nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm. To find National Park locations near you that are offering the free admission, go to nps.gov/findapark/index.htm. Those without web access can call the National Park Service western regional headquarters in San Francisco at 415-623-2100.