Holidays

Visit a national park for free on MLK Day – one of four no-fee days this year

Visitors pose for pictures at the top of Nevada Fall in Yosemite National Park on Oct. 14, 2017. All U.S. national parks will waive entry fees on Jan. 15, 2018, along with three other dates this year.
Visitors pose for pictures at the top of Nevada Fall in Yosemite National Park on Oct. 14, 2017. All U.S. national parks will waive entry fees on Jan. 15, 2018, along with three other dates this year. aalfaro@modbee.com

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, Jan. 15, all national parks will waive entrance fees. This year is the first since 2007 that King’s birthday and the national holiday honoring the civil rights leader, who would have been 89, fall on the same day.

“National parks are America’s best idea, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day,” an announcement on the National Park Service website said. “The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, especially one of the national parks that normally charge an entrance fee.”

In addition to Monday’s free entrance day, the National Park Service will offer fee-free entry on April 21 (first day of National Park Week), Sept. 22 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day).

A deadline for public comment on a National Park fee increase proposed by the Trump Administration that California leaders moved to block was originally set for Nov. 23, 2017, but was extended to Dec. 22. Though that comment period is now closed, no further details on whether the fees will increase have been released.

On Monday, President Trump named the birthplace of King a National Historic Park, signing the law on Air Force One in the presence of Alveda King, King’s niece, according to CNN.

If unable to make it to a National Park, two MLK Day marches will take place Monday in Sacramento.

For those looking to visit a park sooner, a year of free admission kicks off Saturday, Jan. 13 for more than 40 California state redwood parks to celebrate 100 years of saving the giant trees. Passes are limited and given on a first-come, first-serve basis. The free redwood park admission will take place on every second Saturday of 2018.

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