A view of Half-dome from the
Yosemite valley floor.
A view of Half-dome from the Yosemite valley floor.

Veterans of the United States military, along with those who lost family members, can now enter Yosemite, Yellowstone, or any other national park in the United States at no charge.

Once available only to disabled veterans, the benefit expanded to all veterans and Gold Star families beginning Veterans Day 2020, and available at more than 2,000 federal recreation areas nationwide, including national parks, monuments, and historic sites operated by the National Parks Service. Click here for a list of sites in California.

It also includes recreation areas operated by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

A picture of Yosemite.
Rejuvenate your soul for free.

Veterans need only to present a Department of Defense ID card, a Veteran Health Card, a Veteran ID, or have a “VETERAN” designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or ID card.

Gold Star families must download and print a voucher to present to a ranger or, if unstaffed, place on the dashboard. A signed voucher attests they are relatives of those “who lost his or her life in a qualifying situation, such as war, an international terrorist attack, or a military operation outside of the United States while serving in the United States Armed Forces.”

For more information on free access to parks visit the NPS.gov site by clicking here.

The free access is limited to entrys fees and does not include camping, tours, special recreation permits, organized groups, or concessionaire facilities.

Snow on the ground surrounded by Redwoods.
An early snow in Sequoia National Park.

Reservations are no longer required to enter Yosemite National Park. However, winter road conditions into Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Lassen, or any other of the national parks in mountainous areas can restrict or hinder travel. Always check before going by visiting the California Department of Transportation’s Road Conditions page or by calling 1-800-427-7623.

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