If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get out more — specifically, to get out and visit one of America's great national parks — then you've got a few freebies coming your way from parks that normally charge admission if you visit on one of the dates announced below.

Planning well ahead, though, is strongly advised — and you must make note of the masking requirements, "regardless of COVID vaccination status," the park service urges.

The National Park Service (NPS) is waiving entrance fees for all parks on certain days of the year in 2022.


The free admission days, the service says, are designed to encourage Americans to discover the more than 400 park sites that comprise the federal system.

"With at least one in every state, national parks are accessible places to visit to refresh body, mind and spirit," according to the National Park Service.

Entrance fees will be waived on the following dates: 

Monday, January 17 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Saturday, April 16 – First Day of National Park Week

Thursday, August 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act

Saturday, September 24 – National Public Lands Day

Friday, November 11 – Veterans Day

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming: Visitors watch bison and their newborns as they cross the road in Yellowstone National Park on June 8, 2021. Yellowstone saw a record number of visitors since all entrances were open for the 2021 tourist season. (Photo by William Campbell/Getty Images)

Some 237 million people visited America's national parks in 2020, the NPS reported. 

Then, in 2021, visitor numbers surged as millions of Americans clamored to get outside after long months of isolation and distancing because of COVID-19 restrictions, mandates and concerns.

Last July, for example, was Yellowstone’s busiest month in park history, according to reports.

A sign is shown here at Yosemite National Park in California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

Parks have been taking measures to guard against overcrowding. 

Arches National Park in Utah, for example, is implementing a new timed ticketed entry system to regulate mass visitation and "overtourism," according to reports.

The parks service emphasizes this mantra: "Recreate responsibly."

It notes at the top of its website: "To best protect our staff and visitors, masks are required inside all NPS buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status or location. The NPS expects everyone to follow the mask requirement. Individuals who violate this requirement may be subject to citations as appropriate."


The service also advises checking specific park websites before travel to determine the operating status of individual parks. 

Also, keep in mind that not all of the national parks normally charge admission. Many do; check the National Parks Service site for the list and all details.