National Parks to Offer 6 Days of Free Admission in 2021

Woman hiking in Zion National Park
Photo by EB Adventure Photography / Shutterstock.com

A new year soon will dawn, and an old tradition — fee-free days at America’s national parks — will continue.

Each year, the National Park Service waives entrance fees on special days.

In 2021, those days will be:

  • Monday, Jan. 18 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Saturday, April 17 — The first day of National Park Week
  • Wednesday, Aug. 4 — One-year anniversary of the enactment of the federal Great American Outdoors Act
  • Wednesday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 25 — National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day

The National Park Service comprises more than 400 places. They include national parks as well as other types of sites — national monuments, battlefields and seashores, for example. To find the park nearest to you, visit the Park Service’s “Find a Park” page.

Most of the 400-plus sites do not charge entrance fees at any time. Around 100 that do charge admission waive the cost — which can range from $5 to $35 — on entrance fee-free days.

Other types of fees, such as those for camping or special tours, still apply on free-entrance days.

Other ways to see national parks for free or cheap

There are many other ways to save money at national parks, regardless of when you decide to visit them.

For example, an annual pass that provides unlimited entrance to all 2,000-plus federal recreation areas, including national parks, is $80.

Admission to all parks will also continue to be free for children ages 15 and younger, as well as holders of the following types of passes:

  • Senior Pass — which costs $80 for the lifetime version and $20 for the annual version
  • Military Pass — a free pass for current U.S. military members and their dependents
  • Access Pass — a free pass for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with permanent disabilities
  • Volunteer Pass — a free pass for volunteers with 250 service hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program
  • Annual 4th Grade Pass — a free pass for fourth-graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors paper pass (which has been extended to fifth-graders for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year)

Additionally, under the Military Veterans and Gold Star Family Free Access Program created in October 2020, U.S. military members and Gold Star Families now enjoy free entrance to some 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.

For the purposes of this program, Gold Star Families are defined as “next of kin of a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost his or her life in a ‘qualifying situation,’ such as a war, an international terrorist attack, or a military operation outside of the United States while serving with the United States Armed Forces.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks

One company claimed the top ranking in several categories.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals in 2020
How to Achieve Your Financial Goals in 2020

New year, new you. Get your finances on track with the help of these tools for investing, saving, budgeting and earning.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question
70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question

Can you answer this fundamental retirement income question?

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.