August 25 – Free Entrance Days at National Parks!

Posted on August 25, 2016

Today is the National Park Service birthday!

Not only that, it is the NPS Centennial! It is 100 years old today!!!

Because of that, today through Sunday, August 28, park admission is free for all U.S. National Parks. And for the rest of the year, fourth-graders are free to all national parks and other federal lands and waters.

The National Park Service was created by an act of Congress and was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on this date in 1916. The agency manages all U.S. national parks, many national monuments, and many other properties such as historic sites, battlefields, preserves and reserves, and seashores.

Park Service Coins

The U.S. Mint is celebrating the NPS Centennial with three limited-edition coins – a five-dollar gold coin, a silver dollar, and a half dollar. Can you see figure out what the pictures on the coins represent?

(Answers below)


There are so many amazing things to see at the United States National Parks. It's hard to choose just a few favorite things, but here are a few of mine:

Yellowstone has got to grab top honors, for me. It's crazy gorgeous and sometimes weirdly beautiful. I can see why it was the first national park in the country (and the world!).

I also love nature-sculpted rock soooooo much. Arches National Park is one of many of my favorite rockscape locales.

I have only seen the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument from afar – you have to win a lottery to be allowed to make the hike to see “the Wave,” pictured here – but even from afar these rockscapes...well, rock!

Did I mention that I love rockscapes? Well, Capitol Reef National Park is right there with some gorgeous vistas!

Another of my very favorite brands of beauty is snow-capped mountains coupled with multi-colored wildflowers. Here, Mount Rainier at its best!

And I love the alpine landscapes of Rocky Mountain National Park!

Last, a more recent sort of favorite beauty is the weird and convoluted formations seen in caves. This is from Carlsbad Cavern National Park.

Would-Be Favorites

I have been to – and loved! – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But I would love to see running lava, especially lava running into the ocean. From a safe distance, of course!

I'd also love to go to Dinali National Park, in Alaska, someday...

There are other beautiful national parks in Alaska as well. Since I've never been to Alaska, I've never clapped my eyes on Lake Clark National Park, pictured here, nor any other Alaska landscape...

ANSWERS to the question about the National Park Service commemorative coins:

  • Gold coin – likenesses of John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt in front of Yosemite's Half Dome on one side...

    ...the National Park Service arrowhead-shaped logo on the other
  • Silver dollar – Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser on one side...

    ...a Latina Folklórico dancer and the National Park Service arrowhead-shaped logo on the other
  • Half dollar – Hiker enjoying the wilderness, and a child discovering a frog, on one side...

    ...the National Park Service arrowhead-shaped logo on the other

Also on this date:

National Second-hand Wardrobe Day

Constitution Day in Paraguay

Plan ahead:

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