Here's How to See California’s National Parks For Free

Here's How to See California’s National Parks For Free

From Yosemite to Joshua Tree, These Parks Are Free For Five Days a Year

By Mackenzie Hutson February 18, 2020

There are five magical days per year when the possibilities are endless, the views are breathtaking, and the national park entrance fees are waived. For the 2020 calendar, these free national park days fall on:

  • Monday, January 20 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • Saturday, April 18 (the first day of National Park Week)
  • Tuesday, August 25 (the National Park Service’s birthday)
  • Saturday, September 26 (National Public Lands Day)
  • And Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day) 
Yosemite National Park is a California gem that ought to be experienced at least once.

The 28 national parks throughout California make it possible to experience the best of every climate and region of the state. Whether you want to see the sparkling seascapes of the Channel Islands in Ventura; the salt flats of Death Valley (the largest national park in the contiguous United States); the untamed wilderness and vivid sunset skies of Joshua Tree; or the giant sequoias, billowing waterfalls, and granite cliffs of Yosemite, you can do anything in the Golden State. 

With the five free-entrance days in the national parks spread throughout the year, there’s no better way to see your favorite park in every season or to experience a variety of different parks across the state. California’s national parks are visited by over 40 million outdoor enthusiasts every year, making it clear that outdoor recreation is popular—and the preservation of the state’s natural and cultural resources is vital. 

Get transported into a faraway world upon stepping into Death Valley National Park.

While some parks offer free entrance all year long, the national parks in California that normally charge a fee and participate in the National Park Service free days are:

Cabrillo National Monument

Death Valley National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lava Beds National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

Pinnacles National Park

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Yosemite National Park

Mark your calendar to take advantage of free entry to national parks and explore the beauty of California. 

Let us know how you plan to spend this year’s national park fee-free days in the comments below.

Please note that the national park admission fee waiver does not include any additional charges such as parking fees, camping costs, boat-launch fees, transportation, or special tours. Additionally, as with all shared lands, it is important to take out what is brought in, avoid littering, and resist damaging the lands so they may live on for generations to come.


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