There are five free-entrance days (no fee!) in 2019 for national parks and national monuments in Northern California. Hike your favorite trails, picnic, explore, and enjoy nature with your friends and family.
2019 Free Entrance Days to Northern California National Parks and Monuments
Here are the five days in 2019 that you can save your hard-earned money and not have to pay a entrance fee to visit Northern California national parks and national monuments:
January 21, 2019: Official birthday recognition for Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 20, 2019: First day of National Park Week
August 25, 2019: Birthday of the National Park Service
September 28, 2019: National Public Lands Day
November 11, 2019: Veterans Day
Entrance fees have gone up substantially in recent years. As of this writing, it costs $35 to get into Yosemite National Park, for example, so taking advantage of these free-entrance days can save you some serious money.
Hiking Northern California National Parks and Monuments
Here’s a list of the Northern California national parks and monuments and related federal entities that are particularly attractive to hikers who want to hit the trails on the fee-free days. Make sure you check trail conditions and restrictions, and be aware that higher elevation trails are usually snow-bound from late fall to early summer.
Yosemite National Park
Definitely one of the most popular parks in the country, and for good reason. Tons of hiking opportunities in all parts of Yosemite National Park, including some on/near the valley floor that are low enough in elevation to be accessible much of the year. Definitely the most popular destination of all the ones listed here!
Lassen Volcanic National Park
One of my favorite spots on the planet and also the host of many of the hikes in my two books Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions and 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, fourth edition, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a must-visit. Note that the hiking trails are all above 6000 feet and are only accessible from mid-summer to mid-autumn.
Lava Beds National Monument
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Low-elevation and accessible year-round, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has a beautiful lake and lots of trails. However, much of it was burned by the 2018 Carr Fire, and many trails will not reopen until the middle of 2019 or later. Whiskeytown Lake will definitely have warm water for swimming on August 25th, though!
Redwood National and State Parks
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is always free (no entrance fee) and is always worth a visit for the wide variety of paths that explore the shoreline and nearby.
Muir Woods National Monument
You can hike through stately redwood groves, through mixed forest, and along open slopes. You also have the option to explore nearby Mount Tamalpais State Park.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Pinnacles National Park
Hiking and climbing are just two of the popular activities at volcanic Pinnacles National Park.
Hiking and Camping the National Parks and Monuments on Free-Entrance Days: Be Prepared for Crowds
Want to camp? Reserve as early as you can. Go to the specific park website for details on making reservations. Same goes if you want to stay in a hotel or motel. Book now!
Consider Buying an Annual Pass…
That will get you into all (or nearly all) federal lands that charge entrance fees. Details here.
Your Take on Free-Entrance Days at Northern California National Parks and Monuments
Questions or comments? Put ’em in the comments section below!