Thursday, February 17, 2011

Free National Parks Days in 2011

Last year, I managed to visit Joshua Tree National Park about five times without having to pay an entrance fee. Several visits were to parts of the park that don't ever charge a fee (Black Rock Canyon trailhead, for example). The others were on fee-free days.

So, as my Adventure Pass winds down through its last two weeks of eligibility, I got to thinking again about the same question I ask every year: Adventure Pass, or America the Beautiful Pass? Part of my calculation is whether I plan to visit one other fee areas beyond the local national forests, and how many of those other trips will cost me an additional entry fee. The answer to that question depends in part on if there will be any fee-free days coming up.

Well, I finally got around to looking for 2011 fee-free dates. Here they are:

April 16-24 (National Park Week)
June 21 (first day of summer)
September 24 (Public Lands Day)
November 11-13 (Veteran's Day weekend)

Here's a link to the NPS website that has the dates.

In the past, free national park days have also been fee-free days for national forest, BLM, COE, and other federal agencies that charge day use fees. So now I have a few more weeks to kick around the idea of which recreation pass or passes I ought to consider buying after my Adventure Pass expires at the end of the month.


  1. Hey, thanks again for the camera offer! Also thank you for this post. I've never been to Joshua Tree but now that I know the free dates, I'm going to make it a point to be there. I hope you don't mind that I'll share this post on my blog.

  2. Let me know if you change your mind on the camera.

    In the big scheme of things, saving $15-20 to get into a national park doesn't seem like much. But it will cover a pretty big portion of the gas to get there!