National Park Free Entrance Days in 2017

Yosemite National Park - On the top of Half Dome

Yosemite National Park - On the top of Half Dome

What does food and National Parks have in common? They're both better when it's free!

The U.S. National Park Service just turned 100 years old and to celebrate they are giving away 10 free entrance day at all of their parks. Free admission! Not every National Park charges a fee to enter, but the ones that do are free on these days in 2017:

Free admission days in 2017

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  • February 20: Presidents' Day

  • April 15-16: National Park Week

  • April 22-23: National Park Week

  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday

  • September 30: National Public Lands Day

  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

The National Park Service was established in 1916 and has grown to more than 275 million visitors every year. Known as America's Best Idea, National Parks are not just limited to the 59 that everyone knows, like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Yellowstone.

Besides the popular 59, you'll be surprised to hear that there are actually almost 450 National Parks in the United States. Why 450? Because National Park also includes National Preserves, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas, National Military Parks, National Historical Parks, National Seashores, and National Battlefields.

Of the almost 450, there are 120 National Parks that normally charge an entrance fee anywhere between $3-30. The free entrance days this year includes waived entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. You must still pay other fees, such as fees for reservations, campsites, tours, and concessions.

More good deals from the National Park service includes free annual passes for fourth-grade students through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free annual passes. For more information about the types of passes available, check out the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass page. If you don't fall into one of the free annual pass categories, you can buy a $80 Annual National Park Pass at one of these locations.

Whether one of the free days is coming up or not, start planning a visit to one of the best National Parks in California, such as Pinnacles National Park, San Gabriel Mountains National MonumentSequoia and King's Canyon National Park, or Joshua Tree National Park.

The free entrance deal doesn't cover State Parks, but there are still some really cool California State Parks to visit, like Point Lobos State Reserve, Donner Memorial State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Did you go to a National Park during a free admission day in 2017? Tell us how it was in the comments below!