(CNN) – The U.S. National Park Service is back with its offer of five days a year when the entrance fees are waived at every site under its domain in the country. That includes all 63 national parks and more than 420 places in total.
The first free day is coming up on Monday, January 16, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
But given how popular the parks have become, it might be a good idea to plan early, arrive early and check online for potential timed entries on the free days. That’s especially true for the most popular parks with comfortable temperatures in January.
For instance, visitation to Big Bend is up 50 percent since 2016, according to the NPS. Its primary visitor season is October through April. You don’t want to head out on the free day and be flummoxed by long lines.
Check this link for possible closures before you head out for a trip or search for the specific site online.
Other free days in 2023
Can't make it for MLK Day? The other four free entrance dates are scattered throughout the seasons and the calendar: