Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 free-admission days at national parks

The first entrance-fee-free day at national parks this year is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is Jan. 21. Admission and day-use fees are waived that day. I visited Grand Canyon National Park on a fee-free day in September and saved $25.

Looking for a national park in Arizona? Any of these would make a good weekend trip.

Note: The Hohokam Pima National Monument is not open to the public.

Of course, there are also national parks and monuments that never charge an entrance fee.

Other fee-free days are planned in 2013. They are:
  • April 22-26 for National Park Week, which celebrates "84 million acres of the world's most spectacular scenery, historic landmarks and cultural treasures."
  • Aug. 25 for the National Park Service's birthday.
  • Sept. 28 for National Public Lands Day, which I took advantage of in 2012.
  • Nov. 9-11 for Veterans Day weekend.
There is a disclaimer on the website that not all fees may be waived. It's best to call the park ahead of time to ask.

It says:

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

If you visit national parks often, consider purchasing an annual pass ($80), which gets to in to more than 2,000 national recreation areas. There are also senior, military, volunteer and access passes.