(NEXSTAR) — For five days this year, all national parks will be offering free admission to all visitors. One of those special days is nearly upon us.
The National Park Service announced the 2023 free days late last year. There are more than 400 parks, monuments, seashores and other NPS lands, the majority of which do not require an entrance fee. For the roughly 100 that do, these free admission days open the gates to everyone.
We’ve already had two free days this year: Jan. 16, which is Martin Luther King Day, and April 22, which was the first day of National Park Week.
Now, on Friday, Aug. 4, we’ll have another, which marks the anniversary of the Great Americans Outdoors Act.
The act, GAOA, was signed in 2020 and brought bipartisan investments to “improve visitor experiences, bolster climate resilience, and invest in the economy by creating good-paying jobs” at the parks, the Department of the Interior explains.
In honor of the bill signing anniversary, you won’t need to pay entrance fees at parks that usually require them. Fees will, however, still be necessary for overnight camping, cabin rentals, transportation, group day use and use of special areas.
The next two free admission days are Sept. 23, National Public Lands Day, and Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
Last year, there were roughly 312 million recreational visits to 395 national parks that track attendance, a 15 million increase over 2021. The most visited park was Blue Ridge Parkway, which received 15.7 million visits last year, edging out the Golden Gate National Recreation Area by slightly more than 72,000 visits.