When will national parks, other public lands be free in 2024?


The fee-free holiday calendar is about to begin on U.S. public lands.

National parks, national forests and other federal lands will once again waive entrance and parking fees on a select number of days in 2024, starting with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15.

In all, there will be nine fee-free holidays this year, spanning from January to November, recognized by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – though not every holiday is recognized by each agency.

The four days recognized by all five federal agencies are Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15, Juneteenth on June 19, National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28 and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

The National Park Service will recognize an additional two fee-free days: the first day of National Park Week on June 8 and the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act on Aug. 4. The U.S. Forest Service will also recognize National Get Outdoors Day on June 8, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will waive fees for the agency’s birthday on June 16.

Presidents Day, widely recognized as a fee-free day as recently as 2023, is not included on this year’s calendar. None of the agencies offered any reasoning for the decision not to include the February holiday.

However, with last year’s addition of Juneteenth to the calendar, the number of free days has more or less remained consistent.

Most land management agencies also sell annual passes that allow people to access public lands for no additional charge all year. Options range from the $30 Northwest Forest Pass offered by the U.S. Forest Service to the $80 America the Beautiful Pass that applies to all federal lands.

State parks in Oregon and Washington, as well as local agencies, have their own set of fee-free days throughout the year.

Here are all the federal public lands free days for 2024:

Jan. 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

April 20 – First day of National Park Week (National Park Service only)

June 8 – National Get Outdoors Day (U.S. Forest Service only)

June 16 – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Birthday (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only)

June 19 – Juneteenth

Aug. 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (National Park Service only)

Sept. 28 – National Public Lands Day

Oct. 13 – First Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only)

Nov. 11 – Veterans Day