National Park Week starts Saturday with free park entry for visitors

Saturday marks the start of National Park Week, and officials are celebrating by dropping the entry fees at all the country’s national parks on that day only.

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There are nearly 430 national parks across the U.S., with at least one in every state. Not all of them charge entrance fees, but the more than 100 that do will waive the fee on Saturday.

“With countless options of things to do and see, there really is something for everyone in our country’s national parks,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said in a statement earlier this month. “During National Park Week, and throughout the year, I encourage people to discover and enjoy the natural, cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities available in national parks and through National Park Service community programs.”

As part of National Park Week, officials will highlight aspects of the National Park Service with themed days:

  • Saturday, April 20: Discovery
  • Sunday, April 21: Volunteers
  • Monday, April 22: Earth Day
  • Tuesday, April 23: Innovation
  • Wednesday, April 24, Workforce Wednesday
  • Thursday, April 25: Youth Engagement
  • Friday, April 26: Community Connections
  • Saturday, April 27: Junior Ranger Day
  • Sunday, April 28: Art in the Parks

Saturday marks the second free entrance day for national parks this year after fees were waived for visitors on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January. Four more free entrance days are planned for National Park Service sites on:

  • June 19: Juneteenth National Independence Day
  • August 4: The anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 28: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

There are three National Parks in Washington: North Cascades, Olympic, and Mount Rainier.

Additionally, there are several historical parks in the National Park system, including Ebey's Landing, Fort Vancouver, Klondike Gold Rush, Lewis & Clark, Manhattan Project, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oregon Trail, San Juan Island, and Whitman Mission.

Information about all of these parks can be found on the National Park Service website here.

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