If you’re a fan of national public lands, have we got some good news for you – it’s time to talk about free entrance days in 2019! There has been a recent trend at some national parks and monuments to raise entrance fees. At some locations, park officials have threatened to charge visitors as much as $70 or $80 to enter their park. The rising cost of infrastructure maintenance and the decline of public funds allocated for the National Park Service are both contributing factors to this sharp increase. Currently the most visited parks in Southern Utah all charge $35 each. (Which can really add up on a road trip.) So we at the Lodge sure are grateful for free days!
The Official Dates
Here are the official Waived Entrance Fee Days for next year:
- January 21: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 20: First day of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 28: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Other Ways to Save
If you can’t make it to the national parks on those specific days, but still want to save a few bucks, there are a couple of things that might help you out.
If you have a child, and that child is in fourth grade (or aged 10, if they don’t go to public school) you can get an “Every Kid in a Park” pass. This is kinda like a golden ticket for families visiting national parks. Just show your child’s printed pass (digital copies not accepted) and voilà, you can get into the park for free! Of course, this scheme only works if you have a fourth-grader sitting at home. If not…
Buy an annual pass. It’s currently $80 and will give you access to all of the parks and monuments under the purview of the National Park Service. This may seem a little pricey at first, but it’ll save you big bucks on any national park road trip. Plus, if you’re a senior, you can get the annual pass for only $20!
Everyone Should Visit a Park
Hopefully with these cost-saving suggestions, you too can enjoy some quality time in your national parks. Everyone should get the chance to see these amazing public lands.