Everyone Can Visit National Parks for Free This Weekend

National parks across the US will waive entrance fees on January 17.

free national park days 2022
Photo by AndrePagaPhoto/Shutterstock

There is not a bad time to visit one of America's national parks. However, with the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the US, it’s a great time to spend a day or two outside.

Every year, the National Park Service picks a handful of special occasions where entry fees to parks everywhere are waived. The first day of open doors for 2022 is January 17 for Martin Luther King Jr Day. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors and one of the best things the US has ever created: national parks.

Of course, many of the nation’s parks are free every day of the year. The ones that aren’t, however, will welcome your desire to hike, bike, camp, or stare at some trees on January 17. Though, just because you don't have to pay to get in does not mean that every fee is waived. The cost for tours, transportation, and camping, among other activities, will not disappear. Still, the rates are shockingly reasonable.

Some parks are currently running on a reservation system, so it’s worth checking ahead to be sure you’re getting in on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It might be the dead of winter, but this is a great opportunity to get out there. 

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