National Get Outdoors Day: National Forests, Washington State Parks Celebrate By Offering Free Admission on Saturday

by Madison Miller

Here at Outsider, we believe that every day is another reason to get outside and enjoy all that nature has in store for us.

Whether it’s fishing or hiking or camping or taking the dog for a walk, outdoors is the place to be. As summer approaches and warm weather trickles in through everyone’s open windows, the itch to explore is greater than ever.

The COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to gradually come to a close, many Americans are starting to prepare for a summer filled with previously unheard-of activities. As a result, more people will be traveling, especially to exciting and beautiful national parks.

According to NPR, there were about 237 million people that visited 423 national parks all around the country last year. Those numbers are actually down 27.6% from the previous year. This is due to COVID-19 causing closures at some parks.

National Get Outdoors Day 2021

Now, the people are flooding in. For example, Grand Teton National Park had about 88,000 visitors in April alone, which is a 48% increase from the 2019 season.

With a busy 2021 season in store, national parks, forests, and other areas are preparing for National Get Outdoors Day. This national holiday happens to fall on Saturday, June 12.

According to The Seattle Times, all land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Washington State Parks is having a fee-free day. However, there will still be fees at national park sites and national wildlife refuges. Parking fees will be removed, which are enforced on a daily basis. It is one of several free days celebrated throughout the year. National Get Outdoors Day is always the second Saturday in June. It started in 2008 to encourage all kinds of people to get outside and support the public land.

Summer traveling may get pricier this year due to an increase in demand. This Saturday could be the perfect opportunity for a free adventure.

The day is described as, “On Saturday, June 13, these diverse partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently under-served populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors,” on the official Facebook page.

Reservations At National Parks

As for many different vacations and trips, it’s important to plan ahead this year.

If you want to explore a new national park or an all-time favorite this summer, you may need to make a reservation beforehand.

Both the Grand Canyon and the Great Smoky Mountains are not requiring any kind of reservations this year. According to Travel and Leisure, Yosemite is perhaps the most popular national park that is managing the number of visitors by using a specific reservation system. You need a reservation to enter the park all the way up until September 30.

Similarly, the Rocky Mountain National Park is requiring reservations up until October 11. Acadia National Park, Glacier National Park, and Haleakalā National Park all have some kind of reservations as well.

Like any successful trip into nature and national parks, some good preparation is coming into play this year.