Last-Minute Travel Guide to Celebrate Free Admission for the National Park Service’s 105th Birthday

Beautiful Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Canada.
sara_winter / Getty Images/iStockphoto

This year marks the National Park Service’s 105th birthday and in celebration of this event, entrance fees are waived for visitors on August 25. There are over 400 national parks across the U.S., providing a great opportunity to go out and enjoy some fresh air.

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There are currently 108 fee-charging national parks across the country, ranging from  $5 per person to $35 per vehicle. These fees are used to help offset the costs to run that park. At least 80% of the money stays in the park where it is collected, and the other 20% is used to benefit parks that do not collect fees.

You can plan your visit to a local park or explore in-park programs or virtual events hosted by parks across the country. While the entrance fee is waived, it does not include amenities or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

To take advantage of this fee-free day, all you need to do is show up, except in locations where reservations are required. To help with overcrowding, USA Today reported that National Park Service is requiring reservations at some of its most popular destinations, which include Yosemite National Park and Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. Reservations can be made at

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Not able to make it on August 25? The park service offers free admission to veterans, Gold Star families and U.S. citizens and permanent residents with permanent disabilities all year round. Fourth and fifth graders and their families can also get a year-long entrance pass through the Every Kid Outdoors program.

The Interior Department stated that some parks may have restrictions and limited services, USA Today reported, and not all sites may be open due to COVID-19 mitigation measures.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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