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Freebie Alert (plus Photo Albums): No Entrance Fees at National Parks on Saturday

See a park, save a buck. Saturday (Sept. 24) is National Public Lands Day, which offers you and me the opportunity to:

1. Chip in some volunteer work to enhance a public space near you. This blog presented some details for how to participate earlier this week.

2. Visit a park and just soak up the scenery. For free. Entrance fees at federal parks and landmarks are waived for the day.

Where to go? This online guide from the National Park Service shows you what parks are near you. 

Why bother? Because open spaces, national parks in particular, are wonderful to experience. If you need additional persuasion, I offer a couple of photo albums from just one state, Utah, that is home to 5 of the finest parks in the U.S.

I explored 2 of them at length this year. First Bryce Canyon:

Then Zion:

I have wandered extensively in the other 3 within the past 3 years. That trio includes Canyonlands (the Needles district shown below):


Capitol Reef (you can find some amazing alcoves in remote nooks of the park, as shown below):

Capitol Reef

And Arches (the car-accessible Double Arch shown below):


I'm itching to return to all of them.

What's your favorite Utah national park? If you're in the vicinity, maybe you could go check one of them out. Zion is just a 3-hour drive from Vegas, folks.

So, the advice from this corner is this: Make a plan. Colors are changing, decent weather remains, winter draws closer. If a park lies near you, go and volunteer. Or just go and see. Just go.

All photos © 2008-2011, T.D. Wood

Posted on at 11:02 PM

Tagged: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, National Public Lands Day, national parks, utah and zion

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This applies to most federally managed lands - not just National Parks - National Forest lands and Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges among others are free (parking /entrance fees).

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T.D. Wood Staff Member

Yes, in addition to national parks, entrance fees (though not campground fees or concession fees for things such as guided tours) are being waived on Sept. 24 for all federally managed public lands, which includes national forests and BLM-administered lands. Some arcane exceptions may be lurking out there, but anyone visiting federal public lands should be able to enter or park for free. It is important to note that this one-day, fee-free offer does not apply to parks and other public lands owned or managed by individual states. I'm sorry if my emphasis on national parks obscured the wide range of this fee-free day. The last federal fee-free event of 2011 is Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend.


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