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You Can Get Into National Parks for Free on These 6 Days This Year

Every day is a good day to go to a national park, but these are really good days to go to a national park.

National PArks free entry 2021
Shutterstock/Berzina

If you could quantify the amount that national parks were appreciated in each year since the National Park Service was formed in 1916, 2020 might rank near the top. 

A year of social distancing has made parks even more indispensable than they already were, whether you're enjoying them as usual or just discovering what an incredible resource they are. Many parks are free year-round, but others charge an entrance fee to help maintain the park. But a handful of times every year, those fees are waived. In 2021, national parks will have fee-free days six times for your hiking/stargazing/animal watching/nature-loving pleasure.

The first of those arrived on January 18 for Martin Luther King Jr Day. Then, like with meteor showers, you'll be waiting until April for the fun to get going again. 

Here's a look at all six days when national parks will waive entrance fees in 2021.

  • January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • April 17: First day of National Park Week
  • August 4: One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 25: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
It's important to note that entry fees are waived, which will get you into the park for free. However, that does not mean that all fees are waived. Charges for tours, transportation, and camping are not waived. You'll still need to pay for those, but the fees at national parks are pretty reasonable considering everything that comes with them. Get out there and enhance your appreciation for the great outdoors. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.
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