National parks I’ve visited include Mount Rainier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Everglades, Olympic, Denali, Carlsbad Caverns, Crater Lake, and North Cascades.
My daughter Mona, who’s a botanist, loves visiting the Joshua Tree National Park, which has a Joshua tree that’s more than 1,000 years old.
Today’s free parks day is on National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest one-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994 and held every year on the fourth Saturday in September, it brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country.
In 2020, 237 million people visited national parks.
Most national parks don’t have entrance fees. Out of more than 400 national parks, about 110 have admission fees that range from $5 to $35.
Free annual passes are available for members of the U.S. Military and citizens with a permanent disability can obtain a free lifetime pass. Citizens 62 years and older can purchase an $80 lifetime pass or a $20 annual pass. And the annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is available for people who visit national parks frequently.
So visit a national park today or soon before winter weather sets in.
Recreational experiences include picnicking, walking, camping, fishing, stargazing, swimming, paddling, white-water adventure, and more. Wildlife in their natural habitats and geological formations can be seen in some parks. Visitors centers also offer information on the parks and their history.
“Whether on an entrance fee-free day or throughout the year, we encourage everyone to discover their national parks and the benefits that come from spending time outdoors,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams.