All the Fee Free Days You Can Visit National Parks In 2024

Every year the National Park Service has Fee free days where they do not charge entry fees to enter National Parks and other properties. For 2024 there are six days that have been identified, which is great! Now, not all NPS locations have a fee, but there are about 100 or so, which need the extra funding to support the mission of the park.

  • Jan 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Apr 20: First Day of National Park Week
  • Jun 19: Juneteenth
  • Aug 4: Great American Outdoors Day
  • Sep 28: National Public Lands Day
  • Nov 11: Veterans Day

Visit National Parks for Free Year Round

This is great for these six days, but how can you get a free yearly National Park pass? Check out my article on how to get a free park pass, to check out another way to enter the parks without having to pay. 

How Many National Parks are Free?

Of the 63 National Parks in the United States, 23 or only 37% do not charge for an entrance fee. Here is the list in alphabetical order:

  1. Biscayne National Park
  2. Channel Islands National Park
  3. Congaree National Park
  4. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  5. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
  6. Gateway Arch National Park
  7. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
  8. Great Basin National Park
  9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  10. Hot Springs National Park
  11. Katmai National Park and Preserve
  12. Kenai Fjords National Park
  13. Kobuk Valley National Park
  14. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
  15. Mammoth Cave National Park
  16. National Park of American Samoa
  17. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
  18. North Cascades National Park
  19. Redwood National Park
  20. Virgin Islands National Park
  21. Voyageurs National Park
  22. Wind Cave National Park
  23. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Fun Fact – Mount Rainier began collecting an entrance fee in 1908, eight years before the National Park Service was founded!

What is the Best Option If You Have to Pay for an Entrance Fee?

While Entrance fees to National Parks can be a little frustrating, it is a small price to pay to truly enjoy the amazing public lands in the United States. If you plan to visit more than two fee based locations in a year, I suggest in investing in the American the Beautiful pass.

At $80 a year, it will cover not only National Park Service sites, but almost every Federal recreational sites. This a can be US Fish & Wildlife, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and even US Army Corp of Engineers.

Where does the money go?

The National Park Service states that 80% of the money collected at a park go to support enhancing the visitation experience at the park where it is paid. The remaining 20% help other sites that do not have a fee. The fees help to improve the park experience with things such as new bathroom facilities, making sites more accessible to the public, repairing boardwalks, adding new interpretive programs and more.

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