Visitors Get In Free To National Parks On MLK Day

Plus, other ways to save on admission

Kim Wonderley
January 17, 2020 - 4:09 pm
Snow blankets the cacti at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.

Getty Images, David McNew

Do you like the idea of getting into Yosemite National Park for free? Mark your calendars. The National Park Service has announced a handful of dates where you can do just that, and one of them is coming right up. Kim Wonderley takes a closer look in this week's Road Report.

The normal entrance fee for Yosemite National Park is $35, the same as Sequoia and Kings Canyon. It's $30 for Death Valley, Lassen and Pinnacles. This Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, happens to be one of give days where the National Park Service is allowing free admission to all the National Parks and Monuments that stretch across the United States.

The other four free days for 2020 will be April 18, Aug. 25, Sept. 26 and Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

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Dreaming of the open road, mountains for miles, and nothing but Joshua trees in between? We are too, but... busy season is here! Parking is scarce, and finding solitude can be difficult this time of year. Here are some #TripTips to help you make the most of your visit:⠀ ⠀ - Plan ahead and be flexible. Trails are getting busier, parking lots are packed, and campgrounds are full early in the day. Come prepared with a plan, but be prepared to improvise.⠀ ⠀ - What trail are you looking forward to hiking? While it's always good to have a tick list of trails, bring your sense of adventure and be prepared to improvise if trailhead parking lots are full. All of our trails are wonderful, so get ready to explore a new path!⠀ ⠀ - Curb your enthusiasm! Always check the color of the curb before parking. Areas with red-painted curbs are off limits to parking. Please only park in designated spots and in allocated pull-out areas.⠀ ⠀ Most of all, make memories and stay safe! We want all of our visitors to enjoy the beauty of the park, and return home happy to share their stories. What #TripTips do you follow when visiting Joshua Tree National Park?⠀ ⠀ Photo: NPS / Brad Sutton

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Now, if you're an avid outdoors person or frequent visitor to the parks, you might want to consider buying the America the Beautiful Pass. It can quickly pay for itself with just a few park visits. The cost is $80 for the year which gains you access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks, wildlife refuges and tons of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Army Corp of Engineers. 

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This pass allows entrance for one passenger vehicle and its occupants. Plus, the America the Beautiful Pass is free to active military. It's also a bargain for those over 62 years old at only $20 for an annual pass, or $80 for a lifetime pass for seniors. You can now purchase your pass online at store.usgs.gov or in person at many of the federal recreation areas, such as in Muir Woods, Point Reyes or the Presidio.