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Bookmark It: 2016 National Park Free Days


By Vicki Little

When a family needs to get away from it all — the noise, screens, gadgets, technology, other people — one of the most perfect places to go is a National Park. There are so many things to do, from camping and fishing, to hiking and picnicking, to biking and bird-watching. It also happens to be a great place to go on a free day because there is enough space for everyone. So get your calendars out, mark off these dates, and make some plans!  The 2016 National Parks Free Entrance Days are:

    • January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • April 16-24: National Park Week
    • August 25-28: National Park Service Birthday
    • September 24: National Public Lands Day
    • November 11: Veterans Day

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Of the 563 public national wildlife refuges, only a few normally charge a fee. All will be free on January 18, February 13-15, September 24, October 9, and November 11-13.

Bureau of Land Management – The BLM will waive fees for visitors to the National System of Public Lands on January 18, February 13-15, September 24, and November 11.

U.S. Forest Service – Fees are waived at most of its day-use recreation sites on January 18, February 15, June 11, September 24, and November 11.

In addition to these free days, any 4th grade student, active duty military, and citizens with a permanent disability can get a free annual pass. For more information about the variety of discounted passes available, please visit the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass page. Another great option if you are planning multiple visits is buying the National Park Annual Pass for only $80 for the entire family that gives you access to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many others. Find more info here.


Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. When she isn’t writing or trying to keep up with her kids she can be found volunteering, reading, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.

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