Free entry to national parks and forests on Presidents Day

A lone hiker crosses Mesquite Flat Dunes, Death Valley National Park.
(Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)

If you don’t have plans for Presidents Day, maybe it’s time to make some. National parks and national forests that charge entrance fees will be free to all on the Monday holiday.

That means you save $25 at Joshua Tree National Park and $30 at Yosemite National Park, for example. And, in the local Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, you won’t need a $5 Adventure Pass to visit.

Once you’re in, check in at the visitor center to plan your own fun or join a ranger activity.


Yosemite will be hosting a ranger-led snowshoe walk at 10:30 a.m. Monday. Meet at the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and dress warmly; snowshoes will be provided.

For something less strenuous, meet a ranger in front of the Yosemite Museum at 2 p.m. for an hour and a half walk that will focus on “Yosemite’s First People.”

At Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, you can learn about the massive sequoia trees during a ranger talk at 10 a.m. Monday. Meet at the General Grant Tree in the Grant’s Grove section of the park.

Or you can go on a leisurely hourlong walk among the sequoias with a ranger as your guide. The hike meets at 2 p.m. at the General Grant Tree parking lot.

If you’re a desert fan, Death Valley National Park can keep you busy all day. Rangers lead walks at 9 a.m. in Golden Canyon, 10 a.m. to the sand-sculpted Mesquite Flat Dunes, 11 a.m. to the park’s lower-than-sea-level spot Badwater, and 2:30 p.m. to the historic Harmony Borax Works.

Need more ideas for Monday and beyond? The National Parks Foundation offers a number of ideas and guides, like the National Parks Owner’s Guide and Winter Wonderlands. Go to the website and register, and you can download them for free.




Antelope Valley poppy blooms expected to be moderate, but ‘surprise’ wildflowers may save the day

Mammoth Mountain plans to stay open until the Fourth of July, thanks to even more snow

Bob Hope, thanks for the memories. Name change to Hollywood Burbank Airport moves forward


Live your fairy-tale dream by winning five nights in this Scottish castle