National Parks Are Now Free (Until Further Notice)
We’re all doing our part to help control the spread of COVID-19 by sheltering in place, but it’s still important to get outside for some fresh air and a little exercise. As long as you practice social distancing by keeping away from others by 6 feet or more, you might as well enjoy our country’s beautiful National Parks — and best of all, they’re now temporarily free.
Please note, that some parks have temporarily closed, while others have just closed some facilities like visitor centers and shuttles. We’ve rounded up which Bay Area National Parks are open and which have closed. We urge you to please practice caution and follow the “shelter-in-place” ordinance (ie: you shouldn’t travel to Grand Teton at this time).
Here’s the National Parks Press Release:
After careful consideration, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt directed the National Park Service (NPS) to temporarily suspend the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.
“I’ve directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees at parks that remain open. This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
Other states and municipalities have implemented similar policies waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing.
“Our vast public lands that are overseen by the Department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing.” Secretary Bernhardt continued.
At a majority of park locations where it is currently possible to adhere to public health guidance, outdoor spaces remain open to the public, while many facilities will be closed.
The Department of the Interior and NPS continue to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a park to follow CDC guidance by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
Specifically, the CDC recommends high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, take extra precautions to be best protected against the spread of coronavirus.