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How to Visit America's National Parks for Free in 2023

How to Visit America's National Parks for Free in 2023

There are many beautiful and popular national parks to visit in the United States and the best one for you will depend on your personal interests and the type of experience you're looking for.

Over the past few years, we've had the pleasure of visiting many National Parks that include:

  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Redwood National Park 

For our most recent visits to Joshua Tree and Yosemite, we were able to access the park for free with the Every Kid Outdoors Program, which helped save us $65 in entrance fees.  If you're planning on visiting a few National Parks, the fees can add up fast, so taking advantage of annual passes or free entrance days can go a long way to optimizing entrance fee costs.

Free Entrance Days to National Parks

On five days in 2023, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2023:

  • January 16: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 22: First day of National Park Week
  • August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 23: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

And in case you didn't know, National Parks are protected areas of the United States that are managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and are set aside for the enjoyment of the public and the preservation of the nation's natural, cultural, and historic resources.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to visit America's national parks in 2023:

  • Natural beauty: The national parks of the United States are home to some of the most breathtaking and diverse landscapes in the world, from the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the vast wilderness of Alaska and majestic beauty of Yosemite Valley.
  • Cultural and historical significance: Many national parks are home to important cultural and historic sites, including ancient ruins, battlefields, and landmarks that tell the story of America's past.
  • Recreational opportunities: National parks offer a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and birdwatching.
  • Wildlife viewing: Many national parks are home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, making them great places to observe and learn about different species.
  • Relaxation and stress relief: Spending time in nature has been shown to have numerous mental and physical health benefits, making national parks a great place to relax and recharge.

Overall, visiting America's national parks is a great way to experience the natural beauty and cultural significance of the United States, as well as to get some much-needed rest and relaxation.

And if you need a little inspiration, here are a few national parks that are worth considering for a visit in 2023:

  • Yellowstone National Park: Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone is known for its geothermal features, including geysers, hot springs, and mudpots. It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bison, grizzly bears, and wolves.
  • Yosemite National Park: Located in California, Yosemite is famous for its towering granite cliffs, waterfalls, and old-growth forests. It is a popular destination for rock climbing, hiking, and photography.
  • Grand Canyon National Park: Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic and breathtaking landscapes in the United States. It is a popular destination for hiking, rafting, and sightseeing.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park: Located in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, as well as towering peaks, alpine meadows, and glacial lakes. It is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
  • Acadia National Park: Located in Maine, Acadia is known for its rocky coastline, wooded trails, and diverse plant and animal life. It is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and sightseeing.
  • Haleakala National Park and/or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: If you're planning a visit to the Big Island or Maui this year, be sure to add a visit to the National Park located on each island.

These are just a few examples and there are so many other national parks worth considering for a visit in 2023.  

Where will you plan on going and exploring next?