National Park Service, Washington, DC — January 14, 2023
Monday’s holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is the first of five days in 2023 that the National Park Service will provide free admittance to the country’s national parks. There are five national parks in Michigan.
- Isle Royale National Park
- Keweenaw National Historical Park
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- River Raisin National Battlefield Park
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
If you are planning a vacation later this year, scheduling the time around one of these “fee-free” days allows for a bonus visit to one of the 423 national park sites in the United States. Here is the announcement of this year’s dates.
The National Park Service will have five entrance fee-free days in 2023 that provide free admittance to all national parks for everyone. On these significant days of commemoration or celebration and throughout the year, the National Park Service is committed to increasing access to national parks and promoting the advantages of outdoor recreation for public benefit and enjoyment.
The free entrance dates for 2023 are:
- January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- April 22 – First Day of National Park Week
- August 4 – Great American Outdoors Day
- September 23 – National Public Lands Day
- November 11 – Veterans Day
“National parks are really amazing places, and we want everyone to experience them,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The entrance fee-free days encourage people to discover the beauty, history, and inspiration awaiting them in more than 400 national parks throughout the country.”
Detailed information about what to see and do at each park is available on NPS.gov or the NPS app. It is important for people to know before they go what is open and available, especially if they are interested in overnight accommodations.
In 2021, 297 million people visited national parks and spent $20.5 billion in local communities. This supported 322,600 jobs across the country and had a $42.5 billion benefit to the U.S. economy.
Most national parks are always free to enter. Only about 100 of the 400+ national parks have an entrance fee. For parks with an entrance fee, the cost ranges from $5 to $35, and the money remains in the National Park Service, with 80-100% staying in the park where collected. The funds are used to enhance the visitor experience by providing programs and services, habitat restoration, and infrastructure maintenance and repair.
The fee waiver for the fee-free days applies only to National Park Service entrance fees. It does not cover amenities or user fees for camping, boat launches, transportation, special tours, or other activities.
The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks, for the pass holder and companions accompanying them. There are also free or discounted passes available for currently serving members of the U.S. military and their dependents, military veterans, Gold Star Families, fourth-grade students, disabled citizens, and senior citizens.
Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2023 are the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.