This summer, over 100 of our national parks that usually charge an entrance (or commercial tours) fee will offer several weekends during which the fees are waived. Specifically, these three weekends will be fee-free:
* June 20-21, 2009 (Father’s Day weekend)
* July 18-19, 2009
* August 15-16, 2009
Not only will the entrance and commercial tour fees be waived, but many of the concessionaires will be offering discounts of various kinds. Camping fees, reservations, etc. will not be waived.
You can get a list of which parks are waiving the fees here. There are a total of 147 parks that normally charge entrance fees. The other 244 are always free.
National Geographic has some more information stemming from remarks Secretary Salazar made in Ohio.
The NPS is also advertising its “National Parks: The Place to be for Family Fun – 2009” program. That sounds kind of hokey, but along with the usual Jr. Ranger programs, guided tours and hikes, etc., you might pan for gold or go on a guided lighthouse tour on the Apostle Islands or take the geeklets to Dayton to learn about the history of human flight.
I grew up within a day’s drive from the Grand Canyon and didn’t see it until I was in my 20s. Don’t let your geeklet miss out on all the wonderful sites that are so close to you. This summer, take advantage of the free entrance or special programs at your nearby national parks.