With the fall colors starting to come in, and cooler winter months not long off, you may be trying to get out and enjoy the weather. You’ll have a great opportunity on Saturday when all U.S. national parks will be free to enter.
Saturday is one of five days the National Park Service is waiving admission fees for in 2023.
We’ve already had three free days this year: Jan. 16, which is Martin Luther King Day; April 22, which was the first day of National Park Week; and Aug. 4, marking the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act.
Sept. 23 is the fourth free admission day, which was enacted to recognize National Public Lands Day.
According to NPS, National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and has been held on the fourth Saturday of September every year. It is, traditionally, the U.S.’s largest single-day volunteer effort, encouraging people to connect with the nature spaces in their community.
In addition to visiting national parks for free, everyone is encouraged to volunteer to restore and preserve public lands around them.
While you won’t need to pay a fee to get into the national parks, fee are still required for overnight camping, cabin rentals, transportation, group day use and use of special areas.
There are 109 national parks that typically charge an entrance fee, according to NPS, including Missouri’s Gateway Arch National Park.
The fee-waived day also includes some of the most popular parks, like Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Olympic, Lake Mead, Hawai’i Volcanoes, the Grand Canyon, Denali, and the Everglades.
The next free admission day is Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.
Last year, there were roughly 312 million recreational visits to 395 national parks that track attendance, a 15 million increase over 2021.
The most visited park was Blue Ridge Parkway, which received 15.7 million visits last year, edging out the Golden Gate National Recreation Area by slightly more than 72,000 visits.