November 11: The Last Free National Park Day of the Year

Looking for that final escape to the outdoors for the year? Circle Thursday, November 11 (Veterans Day) on your calendar. November 11 is one of the "Free Entrance Days" at the 146 national parks that charge an entrance fee. According to a press release from the National Park Service:

The entrance fees being waived at the 146 sites usually charge for admission range from $3 to $25. There are 246 other parks that do not have entrance fees so you can plan a free visit year-round. The fee free waiver does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors — such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions.

Participating Parks

For a list of participating national parks by state, visit the free National Parks entrance fee list compiled by the U.S. National Park Service. This is one of the few times that you can get into iconic national parks for free, including:

Before you head out, just call or check online to make sure that the park is not shut down for the season.

Free National Park Days in 2011

If you're not able to get out to a park on November 11, start planning ahead for 2011. In 2010, there were five scheduled times to get free admittance to the national parks. These dates might change in 2011, but can be used as a possible indicator of future free days:

  • April 17-25, 2010 (National Park Week)
  • June 5-6, 2010
  • August 14-15, 2010
  • September 25, 2010
    (Public Lands Day)
  • November 11, 2010
    (Veterans Day)

Free Entrance to National Parks Year-Round

A little known secret to getting into national and state parks for free year-round is through your library. Many libraries offer opportunities to reserve state and national park permits, as well as tickets local museums — another of the many free things to get at your library. Just make sure to book far in advance.

National Park Discussion

  • Have you visited a national park during a Free Entrance Day?
  • Have you ever borrowed a park pass from your library? How long could you keep it?
  • What is your favorite national park?
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