All National Park Entrance Will Be Free April 16 for National Park Week 2022

by Jon D. B.

Get ready, Outsiders: Entrance to every single U.S. National Park will be free on April 16, 2022 to celebrate National Park Week!

National Park Week 2022 is almost upon us, and NPS is sweetening the celebration with free entry to all national parks on the first day of the festivities. On Saturday, April 16, entrance to every single NPS site in America will be free to all visitors.

And if you don’t live close to one of the 63 main national parks, don’t fret! There are well over 400 NPS sites across America. So be sure to find your park before the 16th to enjoy all it has to offer.

The Breakdown: National Park Week

  • National Park Week 2022 is Saturday, April 16 to Sunday, April 24
  • Entrance to all NPS sites is free on Saturday, April 16
  • Each day will hold sPark Connection themes (below)

According to the National Park Service (NPS), “Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences” to celebrate all nine days of National Park Week. This presidentially-proclaimed celebration is hosted by both NPS and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Together, they hope to help any and all celebrate America’s treasures.

Indeed, National Park Week is a time to explore America’s most amazing, historic, and cultured places. Plenty of volunteer opportunities are available, too, for those looking to become involved with their local parks.

And if you can’t join in person, NPS will also host virtual events all week long.

2022’s National Park Week Theme is ‘sPark Connections’

As NPS announced earlier this year, 2022’s National Park Week theme is “sPark Connections”. Each of the nine days of NPW will hold a specific sPark a connection exploring a new theme:

Saturday, April 16: sPark Discovery

For 2022, NPW “kicks off with a fee-free day to encourage everyone to find something new by visiting a national park, especially one that may be close to home, a park you haven’t considered visiting, or one you never realized is a NPS site! What new national park will you discover?” NPS asks.

Sunday, April 17: sPark Creativity

“National parks have inspired artistic expression and creativity for generations,” NPS adds, asking “What is your park muse? What masterpiece can you create?”

Join fellow Outsiders and NPS enthusiasts by creating a work of art inspired by your favorite park. Better yet, find a peaceful spot in said park to create your masterpiece on Sunday, April 17!

Monday, April 18: sPark Collaboration 

On April 18, NPS will put the spotlight on their “many partners that help expand our reach and offerings and connect people to parks.”

The 18th will also highlight ways NPS enthusiasts can become involved or participate in park opportunities.

Tuesday, April 19: sPark Innovation 

Then, the 19th will be all about NPS’s innovative technology. As they state, NPS “incorporates the latest technology to support conservation and preservation efforts while consistently working to improve the visitor experience. How can we surprise you with innovation?”

Wednesday, April 20: sPark Opportunities

Visitors can also “learn about the work we do and the employment opportunities available in the National Park Service and with partner organizations” on April 20’s Workplace Wednesday.

Thursday, April 21: sPark Preservation

NPS is a leader and partner in preservation of historic, cultural, natural and recreational resources nationally—and even internationally. “How can you get involved in preservation?” NPS asks.

Friday, April 22: sPark Action

On Friday, April 22, NPW will overlap with Earth Day! Together with NPS, visitors can “look at the health of the environment and how we impact its wellbeing and vice versa.”

What actions can we take to contribute to a healthy world? Brushing up on (then abiding by) NPS’ Leave No Trace partnership program is an excellent way to start.

Saturday, April 23: sPark Curiosity

The second Saturday of NPW highlights how our NPS “preserves and protects unique places with fascinating stories and unique landscapes,” asking “What are you curious about? What fascinating things can you discover?”

Will you visit the Great Smoky Mountains to do so? Or Make the trip to Yellowstone? Acadia?

Sunday, April 24: sPark Memories

Then, it’s all about memories on the final day of NPW. “Generations of visitors have created lasting memories in national parks. What memories and traditions will you create?” NPS asks.

Hopefully this April 24 will bring a day of reflection for all Outsiders as we visit our nation’s greatest treasures. Until then, stick with us as we bring you all the latest from NPS.