Did you know the area now known as Death Valley was inhabited as early as 7,000 BC? The area got its name when a group of European-Americans became stuck in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, even though only one of their group died there. The National Park was established in 1994.
So come enjoy our spring-fed pool and our Oasis in the Desert and play in America’s largest sandbox. During 2016, the entrance fee to Death Valley National Park, and the nation’s other National Parks and Monuments, will be waived on the following days:
- January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- February 20 – Presidents’ Day
- April 15-16 and April 22-23 – National Park Week weekends
- August 25 – National Park Service’s Birthday (and following weekend)
- September 30 – National Public Lands Day
- November 11-12 – Veterans Day Weekend
“America’s national parks welcome more than 280 million visitors a year. To say thanks for that support and invite every American to visit these treasures that they own, we are declaring sixteen days of free admission this year,” said National Park Director Jonathan Jarvis. “Whether it’s that once-in-a-lifetime family trip to Yellowstone or taking a daily walk along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., or the moment at Central High School that your child suddenly understands what civil rights are all about, national parks offer places for unforgettable experiences.
“National parks not only protect and preserve the places we most value; they also add enormous economic value to nearby communities and the entire nation. Visitor spending represents a $30 billion annual benefit to the national economy and supports more than 250,000 jobs,” said Jarvis. “Fee-free days are a great way to both thank those visitors and introduce parks to first-timers who can find a new place to call an old favorite.”
Those in search of superlatives will find them in national parks, including the country’s highest point (in Denali National Park) and lowest point (in Death Valley National Park), deepest lake (Crater Lake National Park), longest cave (Mammoth Cave National Park), tallest trees (Redwood National Park), and highest waterfall (Yosemite National Park).
Normally, 133 national parks charge an entrance fee that ranges from $3 to $25. The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for things like camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
Other Federal land management agencies that will offer fee-free days in 2015 are the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service also participate in the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass and Federal Recreational Lands Pass programs. These passes provide access to more than 2,000 national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, grasslands, and other federal lands. Four passes are available:
- free annual pass to current military members and their dependents
- free lifetime pass for people with permanent disabilities
- $10 lifetime senior pass for those aged 62 and over
- $80 annual pass for the general public.