Five Free National Park Days in 2023!

I have good news! This year of the Lord, 2023, there will be five days to visit National Park in the United States for free! Today I am only concentrating on the San Diego County area and a few other Southern California National Parks. Let’s go!

Which Five Days Are Free?

As you probably can guess, all five days are National Holidays.

  • January 16, 2023 (Monday)- Martin Luther King Day
  • April 22, 2023 (Saturday)- First day of National Park Week
  • August 4, 2023 (Friday)- Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 23, 2023 (Saturday)- National Publics Land Day
  • November 11, 2023 (Saturday)- Veterans Day

I am unfamiliar with a few of these National holidays, so for fun, let’s take a closer look at them.

What is National Park Week?

This year, National Park Week is from April 22 to April 30. So what exactly is National Park Week? Well, due to a Presidential Proclamation- National Park encourages American citizens to get out into nature and appreciate the natural world. I like this sentiment!

A Bit of National Park History

  • March 1, 1872– President Ulysses S Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act, creating the very first National Park in the United States
  • 1901-1909–  While President Theodore Roosevelt was president, he made the United States Forestry Service and established 150 national forests, 51 bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks, and 18 national monuments
  • August 26, 1916– President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Organic Act creating the National Park Service
  • February 26, 1919– Congress passed the act that launched the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
  • 1947– President Harry Truman established Everglades National Park in Florida
  • October 2, 1968– President Johnson signed a bill to create Redwoods National Park in California
  • 1994– The California Desert Protection Act was passed and established both Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks
  • January 10, 2013– The Pinnacles National Park Act was signed into law to protect the mountains of California.
  • December 20, 2019– White Sands National Park in Southern New Mexico was created and was signed into law, becoming the 62nd national park

What is the Great American Outdoors Act?

This year marks the third anniversary that allocates national funds for the protection and maintenance of national parks, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) funded schools, United Fish and Wildlife Services, Forest Service, and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Some money is also used for recreational infrastructure and public land access. It is believed that these investments improve outdoor recreation and contribute to economic growth in rural America.

What is National Publics Land Day?

National Public Lands Day (NPLD), first established in 1994, is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September and is the largest single-day volunteer event for public lands in the nation.

Events are coordinated by National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).

Click on the link for more information.

What it Do and See at Cabrillo National Monument!

visitor center entrance sign cabrillo national monument

Cabrillo National Monument is the only National Park in San Diego, and it has some of the most incredible views of the city of San Diego and San Diego Bay. Whether you like to hike, visit the lighthouse and Nature Center, or sit at the whale-watching station, there is something for everyone to do over here!

A Few More Southern California National Parks to Consider

  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Mohave National Preserve
  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area

I have listed these National Parks for your consideration; though some are not very close to San Diego, they are not too far away in the long run.

Until next time!

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