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17 Days of Free National Park Entry in 2011

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January 6, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today (Jan. 5) announced that the National Park Service will waive admission fees on 17 selected dates throughout 2011 and encouraged all Americans to make a New Year’s resolution to visit a national park this year.

“Many people have made resolutions to spend more quality time with loved ones and to get outdoors and unplug in 2011,” said Secretary Salazar in a news release. “There’s no better place than a national park to help keep those resolutions. Parks offer superb recreational opportunities, making them perfect places to enjoy our beautiful land, history and culture, and nurture a healthy lifestyle.”

Salazar noted that with 394 national parks throughout the country, most Americans live within a few hours of a park, making them places for easy and affordable vacations any time of the year.

“In these tough economic times, our fee-free days will give families many opportunities to enjoy our nation’s heritage and natural beauty in meaningful and affordable ways,” he said.

The 2011 fee-free dates will be the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15-17), National Park Week (April 16-24), the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (Nov. 11-13).

“Visitors can literally walk in Dr. King’s footsteps at national parks such as Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia, Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, or the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “They are just a few of the dozens of national parks which trace the history of African Americans.”

“Several parks will also honor Dr. King by hosting volunteer projects for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 17,” added Jarvis. “It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a day on, not a day off.”

Many national park concessions will also offer discounts on fee free days, saving visitors money on food, lodging, tours, and souvenirs. More information is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

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Comments

7 Responses to “17 Days of Free National Park Entry in 2011”
  1. Gregg Garrison says:

    I count 16 days. Am I missing something. Also, why I am getting an Email about this in Feb when the article was dated Jan 6? Cyber Sam!!! REALLY!

  2. Greg, thanks for bringing this up. CyberSam went out the first week of January, therefore we were not able to include this article in that edition and included it in February. And yes, if you count the days there are 17.

    Happy RVing

  3. Robert Cornelius says:

    I know cyber Sam has nothing to do with this decision but in part tough economic times are a creation of too much government. Fees help with maintenance and improvements in the parks. I wonder what the revenue loss is and who will make it up. I worked for many many years with NPS. When I first started they gave free admission to anyone from a foreign country. Now I visit and you can’t here english spoken on many days. NPS on one hand complains relentlessly about maintenance backlogs and overuse yet on the other hand here they are trying to increase visitation. I don’t get it.

  4. Thanks Robert,

    You bring up a good point and something for us to consider. NPS has or used to have the Golden Age pass, now called the Lands Pass – Senior Pass and other has other passes available for a low cost. It would make sense to offers those up to help recoup some of the costs incurred by NPS for maintenance and personnel.

  5. karen says:

    Maybe you should also mention that any Veteran that is 100% can sign up for a “free” pass to the parks? We didn’t know anything about this, until another Vet told us about it, seems the government is still trying to withhold any “benefits” from our brave, men and women.

  6. Diane says:

    Please tell me more about this Veteran Free Pass, I am one and would love to go visit, but on a very tight budget. This would be cool!

  7. Yes, there are several passes available. There is an annual pass for $80, a senior pass for $10 (lifetime), a disabled pass for free (lifetime), and a volunteer pass (annual).

    Here is the link for more info http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm

    If anyone else knows of any other passes for the National Park Systems please share.

    Happy RVing

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