Veterans Day: U.S. veterans to receive free national park passes for life

A canyon at Zion National Park
Zion National Park and other parks that charge fees will be free on Veterans Day.
(Jud Burkett / Spectrum & Daily News/Associated Press)

America’s public lands have become a refuge for our pandemic nerves. What could be better than free entry? On Wednesday, entrance fees at national parks and forests will be waived for one day in honor of Veterans Day. That means you can skip the $35 fee at Yosemite and the $30 fee at Death Valley.

Also starting Wednesday, U.S. military veterans and Gold Star Families may receive a lifetime America the Beautiful pass to national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, preserves and other federal lands.

The action is a recognition of the sacrifices made by military members and their families, according to a Department of the Interior news release. Active members of the military and their families already qualify for free annual park passes, which this year cost $80. Now, as the result of a bill approved by Congress and signed by President Trump, veterans and others have been added.


To receive a pass, veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, must present a Veteran ID card or other form of identification that proves they have served in the armed services.

Gold Star Families are those who have lost a family member because of military service, specifically wars, terrorist attacks and military operation outside the U.S.