The Morning Call (Sunday)

Visit any national park for free on 6 dates in 2021

- By Laurie Baratti

Of the more than 400 national parks, monuments, historical sites, seashores, trails, rivers, lakes and other public lands managed by the U.S. National Park Service, roughly one-quarter usually charge admission fees.

That’s over 100 fascinatin­g sites scattered across 36 states, including some of the most well-attended natural reserves in the country — Yellowston­e, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, Everglades, Zion and more. Many of them normally charge entry fees of up to $35 per vehicle, according to Frommer’s.

But, each year, the federal government designates several days when entrance fees are waived for all visitors at every single NPS site. The number of free-admission days varies from year to year. For 2021, six fee-free dates have been announced:

Jan. 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

April 17: First day of National Park Week

Aug. 4: One-year anniversar­y of the Great American Outdoors Act

Aug. 25: National Park Service’s 105th birthday

Sept. 25: National Public Lands Day

Nov. 11: Veterans Day

The waiver applies to admission fees only, and won’t cover charges for other amenities such as campsites, boat launches, transporta­tion, parking, special tours or other activities (many of which are operated by private vendors).

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired Americans to prioritize social distancing and escape into the great outdoors, national parks have become go-to destinatio­ns during 2020 — a trend that promises to continue into 2021.

 ?? KAREN BLEIER/GETTY-AFP2012 ?? The sun hits the tips of the Grand Tetons in Grand Teton National Park.
KAREN BLEIER/GETTY-AFP2012 The sun hits the tips of the Grand Tetons in Grand Teton National Park.

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