National Park Week: Free entry for all on April 16

A young deer between two sequoias in Giant Forest. (NPS)

Nature-lovers rejoice! 

All national parks are allowing free admission on April 16 to kick off the start of National Park Week. 

Maybe take a trip to the United States’ first national park, Yellowstone, which turned 150 on March 1. 

Park officials hope a fee-free day will encourage locals to visit a national park near them and "sPark" an interest in discovering nature close to home.


Yellowstone National Park: rapids on the Gibbon River; Jim Peaco; June 2015; Catalog #20135d; Original #IMG_1127 (NPS/Jim Peaco)

"National Park Week 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 national park," the national park website read. 

RELATED: Inheritance Pass offers entry to Yellowstone National Park in 150 years 

"sPark Connections" 


Acadia National Park view from Cadillac Mountain of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. (NPS Photo/Kent Miller)

The theme for this year’s National Park Week, which takes place every April, is "sPark Connections." 

"With more than 400 national parks and National Park Service programs and partnerships in communities across the country, there is something new for everyone," according to the NPS website. 

NPS encourages nature enthusiasts to share the "sPark" connections they create via social media using the hashtags #NationalParkWeek and #sParkConnections. 

Each day of the week will be inspired by a different "sPark" theme. For instance, this Saturday for fee-free day, the theme will be "sPark Discovery." 


Theodore Roosevelt National Park - The River Bend Overlook is a short walk from the parking area along the North Unit Scenic Drive. (NPS / Nathan King)

On April 17, the theme will be "sPark Creativity." 

"National parks have inspired artistic expression and creativity for generations. What is your park muse? What masterpiece can you create? #sParkCuriosity," the NPS website read. 

National Park Week takes place from April 16 through April 24. For more information about the different themes for each day, visit