If you have been following me for awhile, you know that this past summer our family took an amazing vacation!
As we traveled cross country on our family road trip (crazy I know) we visited many National Parks for my Junior Ranger, National Park loving 10 year old.
Last night, I was talking to a grandmother about this trip and mentioned how we go in FREE to every park.
She was obviously curious as to how we did this and I realized, what I thought was common information, may not be so common.
So, in an effort to always help my fellow mommas out, I am sharing, how we visited five National Parks on our trip FOR FREE.
This really isn't a big secret, BUT, like the Junior Ranger program, I think it's something that those who don't regularly visit National Parks never hear about.
See, our amazing National Park Service has FOUR passes where you (and up to 3 other people) can visit any National Park for FREE.
So, with some Park entrance fees as high as $35 (Grand Canyon was the highest we saw), visiting many parks can rack up some spending. Great for hiking, camping and more our National Parks are designed to be enjoyed, loved, and teach us and future generations how to preserve these beautiful places.
On our trip, we visited Joshua Tree National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, Kings Canyon National Park/Sequoia National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Parks. And we paid zero entrance fees.
We were able to do this all because Cayden was in 4th grade last year.
That's it. We had a 4th grader. WE have a 4th grader again this year so guess what, we will do our best over the year and next summer to visit a few more. All for free. Every National Park, National Monuments (think Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine), National Forests,
Many National agencies (National Parks, Fish and Wildlife and others) came together to create EveryKidinaPark.gov.
So, at all National Parks, our 4th grader and up to 3 other people, get in for free. All year long.
Pretty amazing right?
Don't have a 4th grader? There are a few other ways that the National Park Service allows you to visit for Free.
All members of the Military get a FREE Military Pass.
Disabled individuals qualify for a FREE Access Pass.
And, if you or a family member are really interested in volunteering with the National Park service, you can get a FREE Volunteer pass.
In the past, there was one more Free Pass. The Senior Citizen Pass. My in laws grabbed this before it went out (so yep, they will often tag along on our trips), BUT you can pay $80 for a LIFETIME pass. Which means no more fees at any park as long as you live.
For all the information on the various passes and what you need to do to obtain one, CLICK HERE to visit the National Park service website.
And because, this is a photo blog normally....a few of my favorites from our trip to these Amazing National Parks.