Lonely Planet Writer

Free entry today to all national parks around the US to mark Presidents’ Day

To mark Presidents’ Day in the US, national parks around the country will be free to enter on Monday, 20 February.

Aerial of the Washington Monument.
Aerial of the Washington Monument. Image by NPS Photo

More than 400 national parks in the US are free every day, but the holiday fee waiver applies to 120 that normally charge an entry free, which can range from $3 to $30.

The holiday was first introduced to celebrate the birthday of the first US president, George Washington, and there are a number of events that explore the presidents of American history.

Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, California.
Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, California. Image by ©S.Borisov/Shutterstock

President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter will mark the day at Jimmy Carter National Historic Site by sharing personal insights on the Camp David Accords. The program will take place in the Plains High School auditorium Monday at 11:00 a.m. in Plains, Georgia. Travellers can even head to the house of a former leader as the NPS cares for the homes of 20 US presidents, such as George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument, the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park, and more.

If you can’t get to a park on Monday, there are more opportunities for free entry this year. The weekends of 15 to 16 and 22 to 23 April will be free for National Parks Week. The National Park Service’s birthday on 25 August is free, National Public Lands Day on 30 September is free, and 11 to 12 November is free for Veteran’s Day weekend.

Snake River and the Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA. national parks free
Snake River and the Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image by ©Mattias Lindstroem/500px

The fee waiver applies to entrance fees, transportation entrance fees and commercial tour fees. Other prices like camping, tours, concession and more are not included.

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