DENVER (KDVR) — Fill your car up with gas, grab those hiking boots and head to one of Colorado’s national parks on Friday. Admission to all four parks will be free.
For only five days in 2023, the National Park Service opens the gates to all who want to explore the natural beauty of the U.S. for free. And, the next free day is Friday, Aug. 4.
Aug. 4 celebrates the third anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act. The act was passed in 2020 and provides funding to improve infrastructure and expand recreation opportunities in national parks and other public lands.
Colorado is home to four national parks.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Black Canyon of the Gunnison is located on the far west side of the state in Montrose. The park is home to some of the steepest cliffs in Colorado. Thanks to millions of years of work, the Gunnison River has sculpted a beautiful canyon.
Great Sand Dunes
Grab your family and friends and head south of Denver to see the tallest dunes in North America. The Great Sand Dunes is in Mosca and is open 24/7, year-round. The sandy dunes are home to a diverse landscape of grasslands and wetlands with a stunning backdrop of the mountains.
Travel back in time to when the Ancestral Pueblo thrived on the cliffs of Mesa Verde. The park is in Cortez and Mancos and is also known as a Dark Sky Park. When the sun sets, you might have a chance to glance up at the sky and see the stars.
And finally, Colorado’s most popular national park: Rocky Mountain is home to 415 square miles of mountains, alpine lakes and meadows. There are over 300 miles of hiking trails and plenty of views that can be accessed by car. The park is in Estes Park and Grand Lake.
Rocky Mountain National Park does require a timed entry permit. Those can be booked the day before, Aug. 3, at 5 p.m. Mountain.
Free day at the parks does not cover camping, cabins, boating and other amenities.
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