Next week is National Park Week, which means you can get into your national parks for free for the next two weekends. If you want to take advantage of the opportunity for a free visit, here’s what you can do to get the most out of your visit.

  • Find Your Park: If you’re not sure whether there’s a national park nearby this website, run by the National Park Service, will help you find out.
  • Make a Plan: Figure out where you want to hike and/or what you want to see. The National Park Service’s itinerary index is helpful for planning as is Chimani, an app that specializes in parks.
  • Avoid Crowds: Free entry means more people are likely to be visiting the parks. In a timely and helpful move, TomTom partnered with the National Park Service to help you find less hiked trails. If you want to go to the more popular parks or areas of parks getting an early start and beating the crowds is your best bet. Choose a nice long, hard hike. If you get a couple miles up it early you’re pretty much guaranteed to not see too many fellow hikers.
  • Fun Stuff for Kids: The National Park Service offers a super cool program to keep kids engaged called the Junior Rangers Program“Explore, Learn, and Protect!” 
  • Be Prepared: Be prepared for changing weather, bring a hat and shades, put on sunscreen and have plenty of water.
  • Be Respectful: The National Parks are OURS to enjoy, protect and preserve for future generations. Follow park guidelines, stay on trails, leave the wildlife alone and pack out your damn trash.

Now go out and enjoy National Park Week!