Free entry to all national parks offered for National Park Week 2024 – what to know

FILE - The setting sun casts light and shadow across the face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park on Aug. 4, 2021. The view of Half Dome is from Washburn Point along Glacier Point Road. (Mark Hume/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Ima

Outdoor enthusiasts can get an early start on Earth Day celebrations by visiting any U.S. national park for free this weekend. 

The National Parks Service is offering free entry to all national parks on April 20, 2024, a kick-off to celebrating National Park Week 2024 – which runs through April 28. 

Here’s everything to know ahead of your visit:

National parks near me 

The National Park Service manages more than 400 sites, including more highly-visited parks like Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona and Nevada.

Other iconic national parks include Yosemite National Park in California, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Yellowstone National Park mostly in Wyoming, and Zion National Park in Utah. 

To find a national park near you, visitors can search by state on the National Park Service’s website

You can also filter the search by activity or topic. 

National Park Week 2024

National Park Week is a nine-day celebration of everything "parks," aimed at educating the public on what the National Park Service does with events and activities all week.

Each day has a special theme, including "volunteer" on April 21, to encourage people to volunteer for a day or year-round.

April 24 is "Workforce Wednesday," to showcase the National Park Service’s employees, interns, fellows, volunteers, contractors, partners, and to encourage others to apply.

"Youth Engagement" day is April 25, highlighting opportunities for kids and young adults to get involved.

Click here for a full list of National Park Week events.

Other free national park days

For those who can’t make it to a national park on April 20, there are other days with free admission being offered in 2024. 

Other upcoming free entry dates for national parks in 2024 include: 

  • June 19: Juneteenth National Independence Day
  • August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 28: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

This story was reported from Cincinnati.