Visit the national parks for free

By Tod MarksConsumer Reports

If you love the great outdoors, few wonders can match the grandeur of America’s National Parks. From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah, there are 401 parks that belong on the bucket list of every traveler. And in 2015, in advance of the National Parks Service’s centennial a year later, nine days have been set aside to commemorate the occasion by waiving all entrance fees at the 133 park sites that charge admission.

That could add up to substantial savings since some parks impose fees of as much as $25. Parks charge either per vehicle or per person, and fees start at $3. The parks that charge $25 are all per vehicle.

Continue Reading Below

National Park Service sites are in every state and in many major cities, including New York, which is home to 10. While entrance fees will be waived for the fee-free days, amenity and user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, and special tours will remain in effect.

The free days are:

• Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. day)

• Feb. 14 to 16 (Presidents Day weekend)

• April 18 and 19 (National Park Week’s opening weekend)

• Aug. 25 (National Park Service’s 99th birthday)

• Sept. 26 (National Public Lands day)

• Nov. 11 (Veterans day)

—Tod Marks

Planning a hiking adventure? Check our buying advice on handheld GPS devices.

Copyright © 2005-2014 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission. Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this site.