Olympic, Rainier National Parks to Offer Free Admission on Black Friday

Washington parks encourage visitors to get outside instead of shopping
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Washington parks encourage visitors to get outside instead of shopping
Olympic National Park

Dawn breaks over Mt. Olympus in Olympic National Park. Olympic and Mount Rainier national parks will be free on Black Friday this year. (Photo by Les Williams/Flickr)

Washington’s two most popular national parks—Olympic and Mount Rainier—will offer free entry on Black Friday this year in an effort to encourage people to spend time outside instead of in stores.

Olympic National Park superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said in an email that this could help the park create a new holiday tradition for families, which she calls “Green Friday.”

“Thanksgiving is a time-honored American tradition, and we invite families to create new traditions by enjoying a fee-free day at two of the Northwest’s premier national parks,” she wrote.

Last month, REI announced its #OptOutside campaign that encourages people to go outside and take pictures of how they spend Black Friday. In the following weeks, other retail stores followed suit in order to promote family time, including GameStop and Staples.

The Olympic National Park Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Hoh Visitor Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Mount Rainier National Park Longmire Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“National Park Service employees and partners work all year to ensure that the country’s most treasured places and stories are protected and available for visitors to experience first-hand,” Tracy Swartout, Mount Rainier National Park's deputy superintendent, wrote in an email. “This year we want our visitors to know how thankful we are that they also care about their parks.”