Plan Your Visit: Free Entrance Days in the National Parks for 2024

6 days national parks are free to visit in 2024

Every national park in America is free to visit for a few days yearly. That includes bucket-list destinations like the Grand Canyon, Arches, Shenandoah, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest, and Zion.

Come and experience the national parks! On six days in 2024, all National Park Service (NPS) sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free dates in 2024:

  • January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 20: First Day of National Park Week
  • June 1: Juneteenth
  • August 4: Great American Outdoors Day
  • September 28: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
Saguaro National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The cost to enter parks with entrance fees ranges from $10 to $35. The funds remain in the National Park Service and 80-100 percent stays in the park where collected. The revenue supports visitor services including enhancing accessibility restoring wildlife habitat providing ranger programs and adding or upgrading restrooms, campgrounds, trails, and other facilities.

The fee waiver for the fee-free days applies only to NPS entrance fees and does not cover amenity or user fees for camping, boat launches, transportation, special tours, or other activities.

If you can’t make it on these particular dates, there are still more than 400 NPS sites including national monuments, national historic sites, national seashores, and national recreations that are always free to visit. Currently, only 109 of the 400-plus NPS sites charge an entrance fee.

The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas including all national parks for the pass holder and companions accompanying them.

There are also free or discounted passes available for currently serving members of the U.S. military and their dependents, military veterans, Gold Star Families, fourth-grade students, disabled citizens, and senior citizens. 
Other federal land management agencies offering their fee-free days in 2024 are the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Joshua Tree National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More on national parks

Not sure which park to visit on these six days? 

RVing with Rex has posted a series of Ultimate Guides to…

These resources were written for RVers who wish to explore a national park or other location in-depth and often highlight cheap and free things to do while traveling in the area. Having a tried-and-true itinerary can assist you in maximizing your time in an NPS site by showcasing the highlights including hiking trails and campgrounds in and near the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Selected guides include:

White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You can also read:

Worth Pondering…

National parks are sacred and cherished places—our greatest personal and national treasures. It’s a gift to spend a year adventuring and capturing incredible images and stories in some of the most beautiful places on Earth.

—Jonathan Irish, photographer