National Parks Free Day: Public Lands Day

Visit your beloved canyon, valley, or trees on Sept. 30 and pay nothing to get in.

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THAT FEELING OF FREE-A-TUDE? It's hard not to experience it the instant you enter a national park. The wide vistas, the towering rock formations, the tickling wind doing that whole hair-rippling thing in your tossed locks: It's all part of the exhilaration of being away from daily life and close to nature. But there's a way that this whole free-a-tude sensation can be notched up even more, and it involves visiting a national park on one of the posted Free Entrance Days. True, true, there are a lot of national parks and monuments and sites that don't charge an admission to enter, but over 100 do, including several in California (Lassen Volcanic National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area are on the list, which you can eye here.) If you're craving a bit of free-a-tude these days, especially before the weather turns damper and chillier, there's some goods news: Another pay-nothing day is ahead for all the national parks. It's in honor of National Public Lands Day, and it's happening on...

SATURDAY, SEPT. 30: It's a weekend day, no spoiler alert or blinking neon sign needed, and ranger-led talks and other park-based events will flower at several spots. Choosing your destination can involve an event or just the desire to soak in that fall feeling, which is beginning to settle in around the state, save a still-to-come heat snap or two. One Yosemite-related note? National Public Lands Day comes at the end of the Yosemite Facelift, the annual park clean-up effort spearheaded by the Yosemite Climbing Association. If you want to know more about spiffying-up one of our most beloved bastions of treeful peace and beauty, click. 

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