When it comes to impressive scenery, the U.S. is one of the top destinations on earth. From the oldest national park at Yellowstone to Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, there are abundant natural wonders to explore. One of the concerns that might come up when planning a vacation to a national park is the cost. These parks tend to cost much less than a trip to Disneyland or one of the many Six Flags theme parks that dot the American landscape. Here are some tips that can allow travelers to access the national parks on a tight budget.
Use Fee-Free Days
There are a few days and weekends during the year that cost nothing to enter popular national parks. Obviously, free should fit into most people’s budgets. However, one of the negative aspects of these free days is the number of people who take advantage of them. This means the parks will be crowded. Those who don’t want to sit around and wait to see some of the major sites might opt for the next option.
Buy a Pass
A pass that grants access to all national parks and monuments costs only $100. These passes allow access for up to a year for no additional cost. Those who are looking to visit multiple parks in a year might find these passes a good investment. Each pass allows four adults and unlimited children under 16 years old to enter in a noncommercial vehicle.
Camp in the Park
Many of the major national parks have impressive lodges for patrons to stay in for a fee. Frequently, there are also hotels near the parks. These lodges and hotels can tend to be quite expensive, but there is another option. Most national parks have campgrounds that allow for tent or RV camping. Campsites can run as low as $20 a night, which will save quite a bit over a lodge or hotel.
Use Alternative Transportation
The park entrance fee is tied to passing through one of the gates in a vehicle. Parks that sit adjacent to a lake can provide water access. Also, hikers can enter parks for free. It’s possible to park off-site and then walk into the park and pay nothing for entrance.