National Parks Free on Veteran's Day

Salazar waives entrance fees for all national parks on Veteran’s Day
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Salazar waives entrance fees for all national parks on Veteran’s Day

Got plans for this Veteran’s Day (November 11)? You could be trekking around a national park…for free.

On Tuesday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced plans to waive entrance fees to all national parks on Veteran’s Day in honor of the country’s servicemen and servicewomen.

In Tuesday’s news release, Salazar said this:

“The Department of the Interior is honored to offer this fee free day to thank our nation’s service men and women,” said Salazar said “The sacrifices and achievements of the brave men and women of our armed forces can never be understated. We invite all of our visitors to enjoy this fee free day and take time out on this national holiday to remember our service men and women who are currently serving overseas in harms way. ”

In years past, free admittance to national parks on Veteran’s Day has been reserved for the families of veterans and active military personnel.

This is the fourth day this year that the Department of Interior has granted free access to parks for everyone. The L.A. Times reported that earlier this year, Salazar explained that parks allow for affordable family vacations “during these tough economic times.”

November 11th, however, is about a bit more than economy or vacation. Visiting our nation’s national parks and forests might seem like a strange way to remember the all men and women who have given and risked their lives in service to our country. But think about it: Their bravery and sacrifice allowed us to fully enjoy America's most beautiful spots in the first place.

Thinking about visiting a national park on Veteran's Day? Plan your trip on BACKPACKER's Destinations page.

--Jessie Lucier

Secretary Salazar Honors Veterans with Fee Free Day at National Parks, Refuges, and Other Interior Lands (doi.gov) via LA Times