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Black and white image of men standing under a Redwood tree in Yosemite.
Celebrate Veterans' Day in the beauty and splendor of Yosemite National Park. Admission is free! We'll see you there!

Free Admission to Yosemite National Park on Veterans Day

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — Yosemite National Park will offer free admission into the park on Friday, November 11, 2022 for Veterans Day.

Image of a veteran in front of a memorial

Fees being waived include the fees associated with entrance into the park only. All other fees associated with camping, lodging, or activities within the park are not waived.

The fee waiver is good on Friday, November 11, 2022, only.

If your visit during a free day extends beyond the free day(s) and you re-enter the park after the free day, you will be required to pay the regular entrance fee.

National parks are America’s best idea, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, especially one of the national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. The others are free all the time.

The entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

Image of Veterans in Yosemite

The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth-grade students, and disabled citizens.

Learn more about the variety of passes offered by the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass series.

Image of Yosemite Falls

Yosemite National Park Visitors’ Center
9035 Village Drive, Yosemite, CA 95389

A Brief History of America’s National Parks
Image of two deer in Yosemite Valley.

Image by Johannes Andersson.

The first national park in America was Yellowstone National Park, which was created by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. It is one of the oldest national parks in the world and it has been visited by over 400 million people since it opened for public use in 1872. The park’s name comes from a Native American word meaning “the beautiful place.”

Yellowstone National Park was the first national park to be established in the United States, but it wasn’t the first time that people had tried to protect lands from development. In 1864, Congress passed legislation creating a Yosemite Valley reserve that combined land from California, Nevada and Utah into a single area. In Yosemite Valley alone there are more than 3,000 species of plants and animals living together without any human interference.

Image of a valley in Noho National Park.

Image by Hendrik Cornelissen.

The 1864 law also set aside other natural areas such as Devils Tower National Monument (1890), Wind Cave National Park (1904), Lake Mead National Recreation Area (1931) as well as North America’s largest coral reef at Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (1982).

In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the Antiquities Act, which gave the president the authority to create national monuments from public lands. Since then, 16 presidents have used this power to preserve and protect land and water resources for future generations.

Image of Grand Tetons National Park.

Image by Nate Foong.

President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980, which created over 100 million acres of national parks, preserves and refuges. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Florida Everglades Protection Area and Wilderness Act, which established a new wilderness area in one of America’s most unique ecosystems—the Florida Everglades. In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the California Desert Protection Act, which created Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks.

Image of Zion National Park.

Image by Brigitte Werner.

The California Desert Protection Act also established three new national monuments: Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains. The Mojave Trails National Monument spans 1.6 million acres of desert ecosystems in southeastern California; Sand to Snow National Monument encompasses 30 miles of mountains with ancient fossil beds, as well as a diversity of plant life; and Castle Mountains National Monument is home to petrified wood trees that date back 250 million years.

Check out this great National Geographic video about Yosemite!


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