Entry to All US National Parks Will Be Free on Great American Outdoors Day

It's the perfect time to take in the beauty of the nation's public land

Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, United States
Ray Wise / Getty Images

Dreaming of spending a summer day outdoors on some of the nation's most beautiful public land? You're in luck. In celebration of the first anniversary of the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act, entry to all US National Parks will be free on Wednesday, Aug. 4, officially designated Great American Outdoors Day.

Upon its passing last year, the Great American Outdoors Act established a fund of $1.9 billion, which will be used to address maintenance and infrastructure needs in America's national parks and public lands over the next five years. The timing couldn't have been more perfect: America's parks are in dire need of a little TLC. As of summer 2020, Zion National Park had a deficit of over $67 million in needed maintenance, and the Grand Canyon alone had a deficit of nearly $314 million.

“Through the Great American Outdoors Act, we are investing in the American people and in the future of our public lands and sacred spaces,” said US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “I invite all Americans to experience the beauty and bounty of our nation’s public lands—not just on Aug. 4 but every day of the year.”

The Great American Outdoors Act plans to take on new national park and public land maintenance projects in all 50 states and multiple U.S. territories over the next year. The maintenance projects are expected to support more than 17,000 jobs and generate $1.8 billion in local communities.

The best part? Aug. 4 isn't the only day you can snag free entry to your favorite national parks. Celebration of the great outdoors continues throughout the year with waived entry fees on Aug. 25 in honor of the National Park Service's 105th birthday, on Sept. 25 for National Public Lands Day, and on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.

While entry to all parks and fee-collecting public lands will be free on Aug. 4, other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use, and use of special areas, remain in effect.

Article Sources
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  1. The Spectrum. "Great American Outdoors Act: One year later, Utah's national parks, lands have gotten $28.8M." August 3, 2021.

  2. National Parks Traveler. "Free National Park Entry Wednesday In Celebration of Great American Outdoors Act." August 2, 2021.