YOSEMITE — Here are some good dates to add to your calendar for the coming year: the National Park Service says it will waive entrance fees at Yosemite National Park and other locations on five days in 2019.
“The entrance fee-free days hosted by the National Park Service are special opportunities to invite visitors, volunteers and veterans to celebrate some important moments for our parks, and opportunities for service in those parks,” says National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith.
The five entrance fee-free days for 2019 will be:
- Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 20 – First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
- Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
- Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
- Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day
The National Park System includes more than 85 million acres and includes national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park site in every U.S. state.
Last year, 331 million people visited national parks spending $18.2 billion, which supported 306,000 jobs across the country and had a $35.8 billion impact on the U.S. economy.
Only 115 of the 418 parks managed by the National Park Service charge entrance fees regularly, with fees ranging from $5 to $35. The other 303 national parks do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
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. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the U.S. military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2019 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.