<p>April 17-25 is National Park Week, with free entrance to 392 sites administered by the National Park Service. But, if you do your research, you can find free national parks year-round: 246 park properties—including national monuments, historic sites, and battlefields—never charge admission.</p><p>Waived fees next week may not have much financial impact at, say, Pinnacles National Monument in California, where vehicle admission is $5, but they could well make a difference in a family’s ability to see Grand Canyon National Park, where the normal rate is $25 per vehicle.</p><p>Of the 58 sites with national park designation (not monuments, historical sites, and other properties in the national parks system), four, including Gates of the Arctic, lie in remote, roadless Alaska. Gates, which is always free, saw just 11,397 registered visitors in 2008, making it the fifth least-visited national park that year.</p><p><em>—Mel White</em></p><p><em>Mel White is the author of</em> National Geographic's Complete National Parks of the United States, <em>released in February 2010.</em></p>

Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska

April 17-25 is National Park Week, with free entrance to 392 sites administered by the National Park Service. But, if you do your research, you can find free national parks year-round: 246 park properties—including national monuments, historic sites, and battlefields—never charge admission.

Waived fees next week may not have much financial impact at, say, Pinnacles National Monument in California, where vehicle admission is $5, but they could well make a difference in a family’s ability to see Grand Canyon National Park, where the normal rate is $25 per vehicle.

Of the 58 sites with national park designation (not monuments, historical sites, and other properties in the national parks system), four, including Gates of the Arctic, lie in remote, roadless Alaska. Gates, which is always free, saw just 11,397 registered visitors in 2008, making it the fifth least-visited national park that year.

—Mel White

Mel White is the author of National Geographic's Complete National Parks of the United States, released in February 2010.

Photograph by Alaska Stock Images, National Geographic

PHOTOS: Hidden Park Gems—Free Next Week and Year-Round

April 17-25 is National Park Week, with free entrance to 392 sites administered by the National Park Service. But, if you do your research, you can find free national parks year-round: 246 park propertiesincluding national monuments, historic sites, and battlefieldsnever charge admission.

Read This Next

The science behind seasonal depression
These 3,000-year-old relics were torched and buried—but why?
How the Holocaust happened in plain sight

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet