WASHINGTON - If your New Year's resolution is to get outside and explore the great outdoors, then look no further than America's national parks.
Between the lush sequoia groves and granite walls of Yosemite, the grandeur of the Grand Canyon and the wildlife and renowned Old Faithful geyser of Yellowstone — there’s a lot to see.
In 2020, there will be five designated days where visitors can access the parks without paying an entrance fee, which can range from $5 to $35 per vehicle.
A file image shows a sunset over Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. (Photo by Wild Horizons/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Dates for 2020 include:
Monday, Jan. 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Saturday, April 18 – First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
Tuesday, Aug. 25 – National Park Service Birthday
Saturday, Sept. 26 – National Public Lands Day
Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
“Across the country, more than 400 national parks preserve significant natural and cultural areas, each one an important piece of our national identity and heritage,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela. “Free entrance days serve as additional motivation for people to get outside and enjoy these places of inspiration and recreation.”
The National Park System includes more than 85 million acres and is made up of 419 sites, including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields and national seashores.
A total of 110 sites charge an entrance fee, while the other 309 national parks do not.
Fee revenue is used to “enhance the visitor experience,” according to the NPS website. Approximately 80 percent of the money stays in the park where it is collected, and the other 20 percent is used to benefit parks that do not change entrance fees.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.