free national park days

Every year, the National Parks Service allows visitors free entry on certain days, encouraging residents to get out and explore the outdoors while also promoting conservation. We have some beautiful National Parks here in Texas and all across the country, and this year, you’ll have 5 chances to visit them for free.

Here’s the free National Parks Day schedule for 2020:

  • Monday, January 20: MLK Day
  • Saturday, April 18: 1st Day of National Park Week
  • Tuesday, August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • Wednesday, November 11: Veterans Day

On these days, there will be no fees for admission or parking. However, if you plan to camp, take a guided tour, or engage in other additional activities, fees may still apply.


National Parks Across Texas

While there are over 400 parks across the nation, Texas is home to 16 of them, including:

  • Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
  • Amistead National Recreation Area
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Big Thicket National Preserve
  • Chamizal National Memorial
  • El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail
  • El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail
  • Fort Davis National Historic Park
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
  • Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
  • Padre Island National Seashore
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park
  • Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River
  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  • Waco Mammoth National Monument

You can learn more about each of these on the National Park Service’s official website.


Other Ways to Get in Free or Cheap

It’s also worth noting that even if you can’t visit on one of the free days, you could still be able to check out our great national parks free or at a discount.

Free or discounted passes are available to military members, senior citizens, disabled individuals, and families of fourth-grade students. You can learn more about these passes here.


When’s the last time you visited one of our state’s beautiful national parks? It’s a great way to spend a weekend!