Plan Ahead, Skip the Entrance Fee - NBC Bay Area

Plan Ahead, Skip the Entrance Fee

Who says nothing is free?



    Plan Ahead, Skip the Entrance Fee
    Getty Images
    Visitors to Yosemite National Park in California paddle down the Merced River.

    Entrance fees to National Parks have skyrocketed in recent years and in some cases are enough to keep folks from enjoying the great outdoors.  Camping is no longer a low budget vacation.

    If you are among the money conscious, you will probably want to know the list of free dates for the rest of 2011.

    Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the 17 freebies public Wednesday.

    "In these tough economic times, our fee-free days will give families many opportunities to enjoy our nation’s heritage and natural beauty in meaningful and affordable ways," he said.

    Fees will be waived everywhere from Point Reyes to Yosemite to Joshua Tree:

    1. January 15
    2. January 16
    3. January 17
    4. April 16
    5. April 17
    6. April 18
    7. April 19
    8. April 20
    9. April 21
    10. April 22
    11. April 23
    12. April 24
    13. June 21
    14. September 24
    15. November 11
    16. November 12
    17. November 13

    The free days are centered around holidays like Veteran's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the first day of summer and National Park week.