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Park Visitor Information - Travel Tips

Visiting a national park is easier, and more affordable, than you might think. The hardest part is choosing between all of the parks and activities available.

A few tips to get you started:

  • Most national parks don't even charge an entrance fee. Admission for those parks that do range from $3 to $25, good for an entire carload of people for a week. And some days are fee free! An annual pass, to all of our parks, is also an option.

  • Find A Park helps you choose an adventure by park name, location, activity, or topic.

  • Once you've decided where you're headed, check out the park's Plan Your Visit section. You'll find great things to do, maps, directions, park brochures, and operating hours.

  • Be sure to read the park's Things to Know Before You Come section so you can have a safe and enjoyable visit.

  • If you're traveling with children, learn more about the Junior Ranger Program. It's sure to be a hit with the kids!

  • If you're traveling with pets, be sure to check with the park. Many of our parks allow pets on leashes and in campgrounds, some even have kennels. You'll generally find pet information in the Plan Your Visit section, or call the park — the number is always listed on the park's homepage.

  • Explore lodging options before you start out. Whether you're looking for hotels, campground, or backcountry camping, we recommend reserving a spot, when possible.

  • Check out www.recreation.gov. You can make online reservations for some of our tours and campgrounds here, as well as learn about activities at other recreation sites.

Once You Arrive

  • Stop by the park visitor center to pick up maps and guides and for up-to-the-minute information on everything from road conditions to hiking trails.

  • Learn about the special programs offered in every park. Enjoy a ranger program or two — they offer something special for all ages and every interest.

  • Ask a park ranger. These are some of the most knowledgeable people you will encounter on your travels … not to mention the friendliest!

  • Be respectful of wild animals and keep your distance. The animals you may encounter in some national parks are not captive in a zoo — these animals are in their natural habitat and behave accordingly.

  • Remember - Take only pictures, and leave only footprints. Please help us care for these places.