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Upcoming National Park Week means free entry at Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree and more

Upcoming National Park Week means free entry at Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree and more
Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park, one of the parks you can visit for free Saturday. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

National parks that charge admission fees — including Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California — will be free Saturday to mark National Park Week. It's one of just four free entry days at national parks in 2018.

Visitors who go Saturday will save $25 to $30 per car, depending on the park. By the way, fees at 114 national parks across the country will increase by $5 starting June 1.

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But back to the free day.

Not only will some of the most popular national parks waive fees, but they also will host free events.

Yosemite, for example, will hold an Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in front of the Valley Visitor Center. Expect to meet rangers, hear live music and visit information booths. The day will also feature photo walks, a Shakespeare play and cleanup project. For a full list of activities, go to Yosemite's website.

At Death Valley, rangers offer activities for kids from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Or you can join a 6 a.m. hike Sunday (not a fee-free day) at Zabriskie Point on the Badlands Loop. (Note that landmarks like Scotty's Castle and Dante's View are temporarily closed.) Find more info at Death Valley National Park's website.

Need some help planning your national park getaway? The National Park Foundation offers ideas on what's happening nationwide during National Park Week and helpful guides to parks — from Roadtrippin' to Places Nobody Knows — that you can download. (You have to register with an email address.)

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