How to visit National Parks for free in 2020

Community Reports
Chaco Canyon_685612

FILE – In this Nov. 21, 1996, file photo, tourists cast their shadows on the ancient Anasazi ruins of Chaco Canyon in N.M. Research suggests that the three biggest archaeological sites in the Southwest–Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins and Casas Grandes represent three successive stages of the same political regime. A group of archaeologists and professors […]

This March 19, 2011 file photo shows the shifting dunes of White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – National parks have long been touted as one of America’s best ideas. Everyday, more than 400 parks are available for travelers to choose from, creating unique adventures all over the U.S.

Fee-free days offer families the opportunity to make new memories, without breaking the bank, but they only happen a few times out of the year. Here’s when you can experience protected natural beauty in your backyard, for free.

Fee-free days in 2020

January 20: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Commemorated on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King Day is also a day of service when hundreds of volunteers participate in service projects at parks across the country.

April 18: First day of National Park Week

This Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, shows Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Each April, during National Park Week, the NPS teams up with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to celebrate America’s treasures. National Park Week is a time to explore, discover stories of history and culture, help out, and find a park near you.

August 25National Park Service Birthday

This April 8, 2019, file photo, provided by the National Parks Service shows a California condor in Zion National Park in Utah. (National Parks Service via AP, File)

The National Park Service is turning 104-years-old this year! To celebrate, park fees will be free. President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act into law on August 25, 1916.

September 26: National Public Lands Day

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National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It’s held on the fourth Saturday in September, and has been happening since 1994. The holiday celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, aims to inspire environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits.

November 11: Veterans Day

A Vietnam veteran salutes the flag during a Veterans Day ceremony. (Steffi Lee/Nexstar Media Group)

Many national parks have direct connections to the American military. Dozens of battlefields, military parks, and historic sites commemorate the service of American veterans. To pay tribute to our soldiers, Veterans Day is fee-free at national parks across the nation.

Designated National Parks in New Mexico

To explore other protected areas like national monuments, trails and more in New Mexico, click here. To find events near you, volunteer opportunities and more, click here.

The NPS reminds travelers that 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.

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