Do Veterans Get Free Access to National Parks?

Starting Veterans Day 2020, veterans and Gold Star families have a new benefit.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons/Tuxyso CC BY-S.A. 3.0


Veterans and Gold Star families get free access to national parks starting on Veterans Day 2020.


On Veterans Day 2020, the U.S. National Park Service announced that as of Nov. 11, 2020, veterans and Gold Star families will have access to all national parks, free of charge.

The announcement from the park service states that going forward, “Gold Star Families and U.S. military veterans receive free access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests. The free access program is a way to thank America’s veterans and Gold Star families for their support of our country and to encourage them to explore recreational opportunities on their public lands and waters.”

Any veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, can get free access to national parks by presenting certain identification. Their families benefit as well, per NPR:

“Free access is for the veteran or the holder of the Gold Star Family voucher as well as travelling companions who are occupants of a single, private non-commercial vehicle OR the veteran or voucher-holder and three persons (16 and older) where per person fees are charged. The voucher is non-transferrable and void if altered.”