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US National Park Service to offer 6 days of free entry at all sites in 2024

Posted at 8:51 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-14 20:51:00-05

(CNN) — What could be better than five days of free entry all US National Park Service sites? Well, you’ll get six chances in 2024.

The NPS has upped the ante for next year by bringing in an additional day that celebrates Juneteenth. The free entry includes all 63 national parks and the almost 430 total places under the NPS umbrella. Here’s the free-entry calendar for 2024, according to the NPS:

January 15 (Monday): Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
April 20 (Saturday): First day of National Park Week
June 19 (Wednesday): Juneteenth National Independence Day
August 4 (Sunday): Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
September 28 (Saturday): National Public Lands Day
November 11 (Monday): Veterans Day

The free January day could be a fortuitous time weatherwise to visit national parks that are often blazin’ hot in summer – think Death Valley National Park in California, Big Bend National Park in Texas, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and Everglades National Park in Florida.

Plan your park trip early

Given how popular and crowded the marquee parks have become in recent years, it might be a good idea to plan early, arrive early and check online for potential timed entries on the free days.

Check this link for possible closures before you head out for a trip or search for the specific site online. Any number of things can prompt partial or full closures of sites – from blizzards and bears to wildfires and overcrowding.

NPS said that most national park sites do not have entrance fees at all. Out of the 428 national park sites, only 109 have admission fees that can go up to $35 per vehicle.

Of course, like anything else, it’s the big names such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier and Acadia that command the big money and are the biggest enticements for the free days. You can see a full list of the sites that usually charge a fee here.

Some groups of people can also get free passes or get discounts all year. They include:

• US military members and their dependents, US veterans and Gold Star families
• Fourth grade students
• Disabled citizens
• Senior citizens