Free National Park Weekend!

Me overlooking Zion Valley from Angels Landing, January 2011

Hey everybody! In case you haven’t heard, admission to all National Parks is free this weekend! That also includes National Monuments (like Tent Rocks), National Seashores (Assateague Island), and National Historic Places (Chaco Canyon).

Winter is a great time to visit National Parks! Even if you’ve been before or seen a thousand photos, experiencing a park in winter, under a blanket of snow, adds a new dimension to already iconic landscapes.

Yosemite Falls & Half Dome in January. The waterfall was turning to snow on the way down and piling in a huge mound at the base. So cool!

Admission fees to individual parks often run $20 and up and an America the Beautiful year-long pass is $80. I’ve bought a pass every year since college and I always get my money’s worth. I won’t be going to a National Park this weekend, but I have plans to visit the Taos Pueblo and attend a ranger-led pronghorn antelope ecology hike at the Cerrillos Hills State Park. Stay tuned for posts on both!

I hope you all get out and see more of the World this weekend! Enjoy!

In some parks, you're even more likely to spot wildlife in the winter, like this Bison in Yellowstone, as they often use plowed roads as byways. Drive slow!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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2 Responses to Free National Park Weekend!

  1. seekraz says:

    Beautiful photos again; I love the shadowy bison. Very nice.

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