THE GREAT OUTDOORS — In continuing the effort to get more people outdoors and into the national parks, the National Park Service announced Friday that entrance fees will be waived on five days in 2019.
The number is slightly up from 2018, which only offered four free-entrance days, but is down from 2017’s 10 free days and the 16 free days in 2016.
The free entrance days for 2019 will be:
- Monday, Jan. 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 20 – Start of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
- Sunday, Aug. 25 – National Park Service anniversary
- Saturday, Sept. 28 – National Public Lands Day
- Monday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
The free days only apply to entrance fees and does not apply to fees for camping, backcountry reservations, tours or other uses, National Park Service visual information specialist J. Chris Wonderly said in a news release.
The entrance fees vary by park and age, but the annual nationals parks and federal recreational lands pass is $80 and allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas.
“Normally, 115 of the 418 national parks in the country charge an entrance fee, while the other 303 national parks do not,” the news release stated. “The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 418 sites, including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.”
Utah is home to five national parks — Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands — and eight national monuments, which provide a variety of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, to name a few.