Free Entrance Days at National Parks | Black Hills Travel Blog
  • Free Entrance Days at National Parks

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This week the National Park Service announced its lineup of free entrance days for 2011. The first entrance fee-free days are actually coming up next weekend already (Jan. 15-17), so it could be a great time for you to visit one of the nearby national parks.

Several of the national park areas here in the Black Hills and Badlands region are always free to enter, but these fee-free weekends are especially good times to visit Badlands National Park or Devils Tower National Monument, since those two normally do charge a gate fee. Below is the official schedule of free entrance dates from the NPS.


America's Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.*

Mark your calendar for these fee-free days in 2011:

  • January 15-17, 2011
    (Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend)
  • April 16-24, 2011
    (National Park Week)
  • June 21, 2011
    (First day of summer)
  • September 24, 2011
    (Public Lands Day)
  • November 11-13, 2011
    (Veterans Day weekend)

Making the fun even more affordable, many national park concessionaires are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers.

Here’s a tip – many of your 394 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

About the Author

Joe is a resident of Spearfish, S.D. He grew up in the tall-corn state of Iowa, where he developed an early interest in all things outdoors. After high school he moved to Vermillion, S.D., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising.

During his college years, two things caught his attention: the beauty of western South Dakota’s Black Hills and a girl from those Black Hills. After graduating from college, Joe traveled across the country as a recruiter for the University of South Dakota. He saw the sights from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas and everywhere in between, but it was the Black Hills (and the girl) that kept drawing him back.

He and wife moved back to the Black Hills in 2008. He's an avid hiker, mountain biker and road cyclist whose future plans include trying to fit a pair of kayaks into the spare bedroom.

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