National Parks are no longer a free pastime as one needs to pay to be able to enter and enjoy nature’s bounty. This is simply because these parks need to be maintained and part of the burden has to be borne fairly by the public.

Despite the fees there are many ways to enjoy camping and traveling through these 392 parks with small budget expenses.


Several parks offer fee-free days. Keep an eye open for these offers and visit the national parks during the dates that are announced every year. With at least 5-6 days spread through the year, one can easily take advantage of free pass.

One can also buy a pass that allows access to multiple parks around the year. This proves smart if you are planning to visit more than one park. A $100 pass will give access to three adults (over 16) and a non-commercial vehicle to multiple parks.

Instead of staying at lodges you can also camp at thecamping grounds inside the park. Most have facilities for RV campers too.

If you decide to volunteer at the park for works like composting or trail maintenance, you get free access to the park. Also if you park your automobile outside and take the shuttle in or walk, there is no need to pay the non-commercial vehicle fee.

Besides national parks, off the route highways too can offer a lot to the budget traveler. Driving through less traveled highways like the Utah Highway 12 can give you a heady experience.

It takes you across the Capitol Reef National Park that protects the Waterpocket Fold, a 100 mile long red rock formation.

You will come across breathtaking natural beauty in the form of picturesque landscapes and scintillating sunsets and sunrises. You can take a look at spectacular slot canyons, sandstone and small towns. The drive through Hogback ridge would be the highlight of the trip.


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