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Deal: Entry to national parks will be free during National Park Week

Special programs are planned during National Park Week for Junior Park Rangers like young Tigran Nahabedian, left, who had collected 32 ranger badges when he met National Service Director Jonathan Jarvis last year at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument in L.A.

Special programs are planned during National Park Week for Junior Park Rangers like young Tigran Nahabedian, left, who had collected 32 ranger badges when he met National Service Director Jonathan Jarvis last year at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument in L.A.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Now is a good time to take off and explore a national park. National Park Week in mid-April means free entry to all parks -- and plenty of extra events and activities too.

The deal: The National Park Service turns 100 this year and is making an extra effort to connect Americans with its 410 units, including 59 national parks, national monuments, national seashores and other sites.

Not all charge an entrance fee, but those that do -- like Yosemite, which costs $30 to enter if you arrive by car -- will be free.

SERIES: Celebrating our national parks >>

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When: Entry to national parklands will be free April 16-24 (but camping and other entry fees still apply).

Valley View in Yosemite National Park.

Valley View in Yosemite National Park.

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

What to do: Check with the park’s website or visitor center before you go to find out about special events. Yosemite, for example, will host a free Earth Day Festival on April 23 as well as ranger walks, a Centennial Junior Ranger event for visitors 5 to 13, and screen the Ken Burns series “The National Park: America’s Best Idea.”

Resources: Go to FindYourPark.com to identify places to go and check out a list of centennial events planned around the country. You can participate in an Instagram-centric InstaMeet at a park on April 23 or a wellness activity on Park Rx Day on April 24.

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Check out the 2016 National Park Service Centennial website too.


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