Free – yes FREE – National Parks Days in 2012

Posted by on Dec 8, 2011 in National Parks | No Comments

They say that nothing is free in life, but there are days when there is something free!

The fabulous National Parks Service has published the days in 2012 when people can get into the many National Parks for free.


The dates are:

January 14 to 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend)

April 21 to 29 (National Park Week)

June 9 (Get Outdoors Day)

September 29 (National Public Lands Day)

November 10 to 12 (Veterans Day weekend)


If you have been reading our blogs on this site and, perhaps, our affiliated travel blog – - you will notice that we really like National Parks. National Parks include a multitude of parks, national monuments and other locations that are generally well-signed and can offer a variety of great outdoor activities.

We have traveled to National Parks in many states and will offer recommendations as we revisit some that we have not seen for some time.

My personal favorite is Bryce Canyon National Park (in southern Utah), which is as if the earth created a play land with varying rock colors and formations. It has overlooks for those less physically able, but hiking trails that are easy for most. The win-win situation at a National Park is that you get the health benefits of hiking – or walking at a more leisurely pace – while seeing the most fabulous scenes of nature.

Plan to have extra charged batteries if you like photography when you visit the National Parks because you will want to take photos – galore! On my first trip to Bryce, I think I took 12 rolls of film (that was when digital cameras were not yet available).

You will find great experiences when you visit National Parks – especially terrific Park rangers who seem to have endless patience for the many tourists who probably ask the same questions hundreds of times a day. How many people could have the same questions asked over and over and still smile!

Even if you are contemplating visiting a National Park when it is not free to get in, it is still very reasonably priced. (Rates vary, but there are special park passes for those 62 and over – buy it once for $10 and you get a permanent pass for life that is good for everyone in the vehicle!) Depending on the park you might pay just a few dollars, again for everyone in the vehicle. Or, you could buy an annual pass that is currently $80.

So, pick your paradise! There are National Parks in every type of environment from “sea to shining sea,” so take the opportunity to visit a National Park (State Parks are often great too, but today we’re featuring the National Parks).

In the USA, we are fortunate to have these National Parks! Thank you to Ulysses S Grant for setting up the first National Park in 1872!

Find a wealth of info at