Travel deal: Parks, forests are free on National Public Lands Day

Elk make their way across the road in Yellowstone National Park. National parks and forests across the country waive fees Sept. 27 for National Public Lands Day.
(Richard Derk / Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of thousands of volunteers turn out every year to plant trees and clean up trash for National Public Lands Day. Their (and our) reward for lending a hand: free admission to national parklands on the day, which falls on Sept. 27 this year.

The deal: The fee-free day applies to lands overseen by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Not all national parks and forests charge to enter, but those that do will waive fees on Public Lands Day. For example, national park visitors won’t have to pay $20 to enter Yosemite or $25 for cars and $12 for walk-ins at Yellowstone.


When: Fees are waived Sept. 27 only. The next fee-free day will be Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.

Details: According to the event’s website, more than 175,000 volunteers in every state last year pulled 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, built or fixed up 1,500 miles of trails and planted about 100,000 trees.

If you want to pitch in to protect and preserve America’s parks and forests, there are opportunities to volunteer throughout the country on and around Public Lands Day. There will be a park-wide cleanup at Yosemite Sept. 23 to 28, and a reforestation project where people are needed to make seed balls from Joshua tree seeds at Joshua Tree National Park.

Go to the interactive map and filter by state or by ZIP Code to find events near you or where you’ll be traveling.

Info: National Public Lands Day

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