Mark those calendars and get planning! With a new year comes the updated schedule of Fee Free Days for Zion National Park!
2020 Fee Free Days
- January 20: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 18: First day of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 26: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Fee-Free Days provide an excellent opportunity for those wishing to get outside and visit a new place or revisit an old favorite. While the entrance fee to Zion National Park will be waived on the dates listed above, it is important to remember that the waiver does not cover amenity or activity fees such as camping spot fees, boat launches, transportation fees where applicable or special tour fees.
How to get the most out of your Fee Free Day
Fee Free Days in Zion tend to get crowded, as many want to take advantage of the waived fee to experience the beauty of the canyon. To ensure that you get the most out of your Fee Free Day, here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks.
Parking has become a struggle during the past few years for Zion Canyon. With parking within the park being limited, the key to getting a spot in the park is arriving early. Arriving early provides cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, and can help you hit those iconic hikes before the rest.
Go with a mission in mind
Like any vacation or adventure, having a plan thought out before hand of what you want to accomplish while visiting is key. Instead of worrying about if it’s possible to fit every hike and lookout into your visit, pick a few key items and hikes that you want to accomplish. Having a clear vision in mind can help you avoid the crowds and combine similar or related objectives together so you can do more with your time.
Travel Light and Pack Right
There’s nothing more exhausting than an over weighted pack while hiking through Zion Canyon. When visiting a national park like Zion, packing less is more! Pack the essentials; snacks for the day, a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at the different water stations throughout the canyon, plenty of sunscreen and a good hat will do you good. Always check the weather and keep the elements in mind when packing for your trip. It might be nice and hot during the day, but remember that temperatures can drop fast in the canyon once night hits.
While packing, don’t forget the importance of packing the right gear for what you’re wanting to accomplish in the park. If you plan on hiking the famous Narrows, be sure to have all of the water proof equipment you need with you or rented and awaiting you BEFORE you start your hike. Arriving in the afternoon and wanting to see the stars? Pack a headlamp or a flashlight to ensure you can see your path back to your vehicle once the sun goes down. Headlamps keep your hands free while you navigate your way around the park.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
While you may have planned out your trip down to every minute, it is still a great idea to check in at the Visitors Center when you arrive to the park. Park rangers at the center will have the insider info you need to make sure your trip goes according to plan without any issues. They can inform you of any closed trails and roads that you might not be aware of and help find alternative hikes for everyone in your party to enjoy.
Leave the park better than you found it
Zion Canyon is a world favorite. The scenery, rock formations and atmosphere of the canyon cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is important for us to help care for the park as best as we can. Follow the common rule of leaving the park better than you found it. If you see trash, throw it out. Remember to not disturb animals or their habitats. Respect warning signs that restrict access to certain areas of the park. Help others keep the park clean and don’t hesitate to report any behavior that is damaging to the park. Take the Zion Pledge and help us keep Zion the beautiful sanctuary that it is.
Annual National Park Passes
Looking to frequent Zion and other national parks on a more regular basis? The annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas for just $80 a year. Discounted fees or even free passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth-grade students, and disabled citizens.