If you’ve ever wanted to see El Capitan in all its glory or sled down a stories-high gypsum sand dune, this Saturday would be a good time to do it.

The National Parks Service is observing National Park Week beginning Saturday, and admission to many national parks will be free.

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The purpose of the presidentially proclaimed National Park Week is to encourage people to discover our federal lands for the first time, or get back in touch with nature and revisit one of our 400 national parks.

Which National Parks Around Here?

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Among the El Paso-area parks nature seekers won’t have to pay to get into this Saturday, April 16, are Guadalupe Mountains National Park, White Sands National Monument, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Hikers should definitely take advantage of both the get-in-free offer and the mostly pleasant weather spring time in our little corner of the desert offers. And, there are few better times to visit White Sands than April when the sun isn’t at peak skin melting degrees.

Not All Fees

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
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While entrance fees to the park itself will be waived, fees for things like camping, boat launches, transportation, and special activities and tours are not.

You should also check each park's respective website to see if advance online reservations are needed to enter before piling into the car and making the drive.

Farther But Free

If you're up for a longer and farther road-trip, the parks listed below are also participating in the free day. Most are in the 5 to 7 hour drive-time range, except for Fort Davis which is about 4 hours.

Texas

• Big Bend National Park
• Fort Davis National Historic Site

New Mexico

• Bandelier National Monument
• Capulin Volcano National Monument
• Chaco Culture National Historical Park
• Valles Caldera National Preserve

Future Free Admission Days

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Mark your calendar and plan ahead for these future free entrance days in 2022.

• August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
• September 24: National Public Lands Day
• November 11: Veterans Day

Borderland Hikes Perfect For Beginners

The Breathtaking Beauty of White Sands National Park