The entry fee to Washington’s state and national parks will be free on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day. It is the first of four fee-free days at National Parks this year after the agency waived fees 10 days last year and 16 days in 2016.
The entry fees to Mount Rainier and Olympic National parks are $25 and a one-day pass to use state recreation land is $10.
Both the state and federal government set aside free days each year.
Additional state park free days: March 19 (State Park’s anniversary), April 14 (Spring day), April 22 (Earth Day), June 2 (National Trails Day), June 9 (National Get Outdoors Day), June 10 (Fishing Day), Aug. 25 (National Park Service birthday), Sept. 22 (National Public Lands Day), Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) and Nov. 23 (Autumn Day). Fees were also waived on New Year’s Day.
Additional National Park free days: April 21 (First day of National Park Week), Sept. 22 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day).
The National Park Service slashed the number of fee-free days because of the improving economy, reported National Parks Traveler.
“From 2003 through 2008, the National Park Service had two fee-free days a year,” agency spokesman Jeremy Barnum told National Parks Traveler. “In 2009, because of the economic recession, the number of fee free days was increased to encourage visitation despite the recession. The number was also increased in 2016 to commemorate the National Park Service Centennial.
“Now that the nation is recovering from the recession and the Centennial has passed, the NPS is returning to a lower number of fee-free days. Fewer fee-free days means additional revenue to improve facilities, address deferred maintenance issues, and enhance the overall park experience for visitors.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service predicted “a slight chance of rain” on Monday.