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Feb 24th
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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Visit a National Park For Free During National Park Week, April 17- 25

Visit a National Park For Free During National Park Week, April 17- 25

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You won't get a ‘get out of jail free' card, and you won't collect two hundred dollars, but during National Park Week, April 17-25, you will get free admission to a national park of your choice.

"National parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences, and provide places of quiet refuge," said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. "Most people live within a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spend some time enjoying America's Great Outdoors during National Park Week."

National Park Week, a program of the National Park Service, is an opportunity to engage families and communities in America's Great Outdoors, reconnecting them with nature and creating close to home opportunities for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.

There will be hundreds of family friendly events on Saturday, April 24, for National Junior Ranger Day. Each child participating in Junior Ranger activities will receive a certificate, patch, or pin. Other National Park Week highlights will include the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Normally, 146 of 392 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 246 do not charge for admission. The fee free waiver for National Park Week does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors-such as fees charged for camping, reservations and use of concessions.

The tradition of offering free entrance to a national park goes back to the 1940s, a National Park Service spokesperson said, as a way to celebrate Founders Day, Aug. 25, 1916, the day the National Park Service began.

Since then, the idea of offering free park admission has expanded to observe National Public Lands Day, Sept. 25, and Veterans Day, Nov. 11, as a way to encourage the public to visit a national park site.

Offering the public free admission costs the National Park Service roughly a million dollars for each free day.

"We are rolling out the red carpet and inviting everyone to visit a national park and help celebrate National Park Week," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The National Park Service is a division of the Dept. of the Interior. "Parks are fun and affordable destinations and great places to engage in healthy, outdoor activities, whether for a few hours or a few days."

To find a national park close to you, visit the National Park Service Web site at