National Parks Free Days 2016

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
13,957
Location
Tahoe
Phil and I have enjoyed several National Parks and hope to get a chance to enjoy a few more this summer.
With the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, they are offering 16 days of free admission.
Some of the dates of free admission have passed but some are coming up.
I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy some of what the park service has to offer.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

From their web site.
The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and we want everyone to join the party! On 16 days in '16, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone.

Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2016:

  • January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • April 16 through 24: National Park Week
  • August 25 through 28: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 24: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day


A few shots from some of our visits in the past few years.
Petrified Forest


Painted Desert

Grand Canyon


More Grand Canyon

Hoover Dam
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
13,957
Location
Tahoe
Its been years since I've been to Yosemite to actually spend time there. We drove through Yosemite on our way to Laguna Seca with the Miata....
What a gorgeous drive that was!
We will be getting back there for a real Yosemite visit.



@Mike King has some great shots of Yellowstone. I hope to get up there, too.
 

RachelV

Hi.
Skier
Joined
Nov 8, 2015
Posts
494
Location
Boulder, CO
Am I allowed to toot my own horn for a minute? My company made an app that REI is promoting as part of the Centennial that's really quite a good National Parks guide:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1031987936
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adventureprojects.nationalparks

Look forward to sneaking in some weekday Rocky Mountain National Park visits this summer, so I can enjoy the place without the crush of summer crowds. Winter is often the best time to explore a lot of the parks for crowd avoidance, if you're into traveling on snowshoes and skis. :)
 

VickiK

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
575
Location
So. Calif.
Am I allowed to toot my own horn for a minute? My company made an app that REI is promoting as part of the Centennial that's really quite a good National Parks guide:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1031987936
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adventureprojects.nationalparks

Look forward to sneaking in some weekday Rocky Mountain National Park visits this summer, so I can enjoy the place without the crush of summer crowds. Winter is often the best time to explore a lot of the parks for crowd avoidance, if you're into traveling on snowshoes and skis. :)
I'll definitely check this out. Just need to remember my login password.
 

fatbob

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
2,509
Regardless the annual pass is stunningly good value . I always try to visit Arches and Canyonlands when I'm in Colorado and a few years back took my parents on the following summer road trip

DEN- Bighorn- Yellowstone- Grand Teton-Arches-Canyonlands- Natural Bridges -Hovenweep-Mesa Verde-Black Canyon-Rocky Mtn-DEN
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
7,003
Location
The Bull City
We are in the midst of planning a trip to Yellowstone next June. The current plan is to fly in to SLC and rent a small motor home Winnebego type vehicle and live out of that for a week, most if that up at Yellowstone with stops at surrounding attractions. Never done the motor home thing before but seems more flexible and cost competitive with a regular rental car and motel rooms..

Anyone out there have experience renting something like this?? Referral to a place in SLC near the airport would be even more helpful

 

Jim Kenney

Travel Correspondent
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Contributor
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Posts
1,130
Location
VA
Nice PSA and beautiful photos. I turned 62 last birthday and need to get to nearby Shenandoah Nat'l Park this summer to get my senior pass that I now qualify for, $10 lifetime. I've spent many a fine day there. These free days for the general public are a fine idea. Our park system is working to adapt to changes over time. Some parks are in a slight state of disrepair due to low funds. Overall visits are up, but per capita visits are down and because there are more parks now the attendance is spread out, so is funding for management and upkeep. I can tell you that Shenandoah Nat'l Park is not as crowded as before during the summer. When I was young folks used to stream up there to escape the heat, now they all go to the shore. Good for us who keep visiting, maybe not so good for park revenue. Some of these changes may be due to the couch potato ways of millennials who look at computer screens instead of sunsets. Same people who are not replacing boomers on the ski slopes:-(

Grabbed this info off the web about a recent study on the national parks:
"Last year (2014), America’s national parks received more visits than ever before. A record-setting 292.8 million people visited national parks in 2014, breaking the earlier park attendance record set back in 1987.
But a lot has changed since 1987. Population has increased considerably, and so have the number of parks. How do the new visitation numbers compare once we consider these other factors?
Since 1987, U.S. population has increased by approximately 75 million people. Measured on a per capita basis, national park visitation is about 20 percent less than it was in 1987. As a share of the population, park visitation has gradually declined almost ever since.
This decline is even more pronounced once we consider the growth of the National Park System. Since 1980, more than 70 national park units have been added to the National Park System. Yet these additional parks do not seem to be attracting more overall visits per capita. As the National Park Service prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2016, there is much emphasis being placed on its ability to attract people to parks—especially millennials. Park visitors can play an important role in funding parks in their next century and helping to address the agency’s $11.5 billion maintenance backlog. But these data suggest that the National Park Service still has much work to do."
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
13,957
Location
Tahoe
Regardless the annual pass is stunningly good value . I always try to visit Arches and Canyonlands when I'm in Colorado and a few years back took my parents on the following summer road trip

DEN- Bighorn- Yellowstone- Grand Teton-Arches-Canyonlands- Natural Bridges -Hovenweep-Mesa Verde-Black Canyon-Rocky Mtn-DEN
That is true about the annual pass. We were surprised at how inexpensive it was.
When we traveled, we got the 7 day pass which was 25/car. (not its 30.00)
The annual pass for Yosemite is $60.00/year and allows anyone in your car entrance with you.
Here is a list of prices for anyone who is interested.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fees.htm



Am I allowed to toot my own horn for a minute? My company made an app that REI is promoting as part of the Centennial that's really quite a good National Parks guide:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1031987936
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adventureprojects.nationalparks

Look forward to sneaking in some weekday Rocky Mountain National Park visits this summer, so I can enjoy the place without the crush of summer crowds. Winter is often the best time to explore a lot of the parks for crowd avoidance, if you're into traveling on snowshoes and skis. :)
That looks like a great app. I downloaded it and will be exploring it a bit.
 

Staff online

Top