April 16 -24 is National Park Week which celebrates and recognizes national and state parks, national monuments, and historic sites in the U.S. All national parks have free entrance this week, so you still have time to visit a national park near you for free this weekend. If you do go, one of the things that you are bound to realize is that you should be visiting the national parks more often.
I love going to national and state parks and make an effort to visit them on a regular basis. I have been to over 40 national and state parks and monuments so far this year. If I had paid the daily fee for each of these I would have spent over $300, but I have only spent $205 ($80 for a National Park Pass and $125 for a California Park Pass — I will also soon be investing in a Nevada Park Pass for $100) and will get free entrance for another 8 months.
If you like the outdoors at all, one of the best investments that you can make is to purchase an annual National Park Pass. This gives you free admission to all of the national parks and national monuments in the US for free for one year for $80. They can be purchased at any national park. It only takes a few visits to make the national park annual pass a worthwhile investment. If you happen to be 62 or older, you can get a lifetime national park pass for only $10 (absolutely the deal of the century).
It also make sense to consider buying a state park pass for the state where you live or for surrounding states where you visit often. State park passes tend to be a little more expensive than the national park pass, but they’re still a deal for those that enjoy nature.
Even better, these passes encourage you to visit these beautiful places more often and can greatly cut down on your entertainment costs. Once you have the pass and free entry to these parks, visiting them makes for an inexpensive day outing or vacation. I figure I will save well over $1000 this year by having invested in these park passes and I’ll get to see some of the most fantastic scenery on earth.