Here are 5 free days you can visit a national park in 2020

Of the more than 400 parks in the National Park Service, the most popular charge parking and entrance fees.

  • Sunday, January 19, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

By Rich Thomaselli / TravelPulse

One of the terrific things about the National Park Service — aside from its incredible duty to serve as the caretaker of America’s greatest outdoor spaces — is the annual designation of five days during the course of the year that are free to the public.

Those five days have been announced for 2020.

Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

April 18: First day of National Park Week (a weeklong celebration of all parks)

Aug. 25: National Park Service Birthday

Sept. 26: National Public Lands Day

Nov. 11: Veterans Day

On those five days, you can visit any national park across the country without paying an entrance fee.

Full disclosure — three-quarters of America’s national parks are already free, according to Travel+Leisure. Of the 419 National Parks, 308 do not require an entrance fee.

That said, the remaining 111 are among the most popular and most visited — think Yosemite National Park — and charge anywhere from $5 per car to $35 per vehicle as an entrance fee.

Travel+Leisure also noted that the 111 parks that do charge fees use that money to benefit the parks themselves — 80% of the money stays with the park where you paid the fee, and 20% goes to the other 308 parks that do not charge an entrance fee.

The magazine also made a great point that if you plan to visit several national parks in 2020, consider getting the America the Beautiful pass for $80. The pass allows you to visit hundreds of national parks and federal recreational lands for a year without paying entrance fees.

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