Celebrate our glorious national parks and historic sites during National Park Week, April 16 to 24 with FREE admission. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, with special events at many parks.
Here’s what’s on the calendar everywhere for National Park Week:
April 16: National Junior Ranger Day
Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger.
April 22: Earth Day
On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.
April 23: National Park Instameet
Join an InstaMeet in a park. Gather in a designated place at a specific time to take photos and short videos to post on Instagram (and other social media) with the same hashtag: #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #NPS100
April 24: Park Rx Day
On Park Rx Day, parks host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. Find out more here.
America’s national parks welcome more than 280 million visitors a year, to world-famous destinations such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, and to national landmarks operated by the National Park Service, including the Statue of Liberty.
America’s national parks are important both to the economy and the environment. They protect and preserve the places we most value, and add enormous economic value to the small towns and family-owned businesses near the parks. It’s a $30 billion annual benefit to the national economy and supports more than 250,000 jobs, according to the National Park Service.
With more than 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, 17,000 miles of trails, 5,000 miles of shoreline, 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures, and 100 million museum items and an infinite number of authentic American stories to tell, America’s national parks are true superstars. They include:
- the country’s highest point, in Denali National Park
- and lowest point, in Death Valley National Park
- deepest lake, Crater Lake National Park
- longest cave, Mammoth Cave National Park
- tallest trees, Redwood National Park
- highest waterfall, Yosemite National Park.
Normally, 133 national parks charge an entrance fee that ranges from $3 to $25. The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for things like camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
Four passes are available:
- free annual pass to current military members and their dependents
- free lifetime pass for people with permanent disabilities
- $10 lifetime senior pass for those aged 62 and over
- $80 annual pass for the general public.