The National Park Service (NPS) will, once again, waive park entry fees on January 20, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., the former Nobel Peace Prize winner and globally celebrated African-American civil rights activist. Whilst only around one third of America’s 401 national parks levy a gate fee, fee free days like MLK Day are a great way to introduce potential campers and RVers -- and budget conscious day trippers -- to some of America’s stunning publicly owned national treasures.
Although the fee waiver does not apply to reservation, camping, tours, concession or fees collected by third parties, holders of the Senior, Access and Military versions of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass may still receive a 50 percent discount on certain amenity fees charged for camping, swimming, boat launch, and other services (varies by park location).
If you are a serving member of the U.S. Armed Forces and are considering a weekend camping trip to one of America’s national parks, check out Tents 4 Troops (T4T), a network of campgrounds across North America that offers two nights of free camping for active military personnel.
The National Park Service will waive admission fees on a further eight occasions in 2014:
- February 15-17 - Presidents Day weekend
- April 19-20 - opening weekend of National Park Week
- August 25 - National Park Service Birthday
- September 27 - National Public Lands Day
- November 11-Veterans Day
Colorado National Parks:
Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde National Park are the two most popular national parks in the Centennial State, pulling in 3.7 million visitors between them in 2012, but the state also boasts a further six national park destinations :
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Colorado National Monument
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
- Hovenweep National Monument
As the famed naturalist John Muir once said: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul,” a sentiment that would no doubt have been shared by the late Dr. Martin Luther King himself.