Travel insights from Taylor Coulson, contributing editor of The Compass

National Parks Free Days in 2020

Calling all nature lovers! Every year, all 419 national parks offer five fee-free days with no admission charges. Please note that waivers only apply to entrance fees, so visitors should still expect boat launching, camping, special tours and transportation costs. So even without a valid national park pass, you’re still saving anywhere from $5-35 during these five National Park Service (NPS) sites’ fee-free days in 2020:

  1. Jan. 20, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday
  2. April 18, the first day of National Park week
  3. Aug. 25, the National Park Service’s birthday
  4. Sept. 26, National Public Lands Day
  5. Nov. 11, Veterans Day

Benefits of Visiting National Parks

If you’re following this year’s travel trends, visiting America’s National Parks is the perfect (and free!) idea for number three. Follow this list of participating parks by state from the NPS for reference. If that’s not enough “staycation” inspiration, here are some other benefits to consider:

  • Experience and gain knowledge on nature, wildlife, plants and historical monuments that are expressed through vivid real-life interpretation while hiking or wandering through the national parks.
  • Mental well-being improves since stress is minimized and tranquility, happiness and energy levels raise by breathing in fresh air, seeing new sights and taking a break from the world of technology.
  • Sustainability increases with each volunteer visitor that treks through. From picking up litter with a group of friends, to planting trees or grass, the overall health of parks improves by volunteer efforts.

“Fee-free days inspire people to experience the natural beauty, history and heritage we all share,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, which is the charitable partner of the NPS. “They remind us that across our 419 national parks, there is something for everyone and all are welcome to explore.”

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