| | | | | | | |

Free National Parks Entry in Texas: 6 Days a Year to Explore the Great Outdoors

The National Park Service (NPS) offers free admission to all national parks five six times per year. Each year there are days in each of these months:

On these days, the NPS celebrates with nationwide free admission for everyone (some parks are always free and are denoted with an asteriks (*). This is a great opportunity to explore some of Texas’ most popular national parks, including:

Alibates Flint Quarries*

Flint and petroglyphs and lizards…oh my! Just outside of Amarillo experience prehistoric Texas!

Amistad National Recreation Area *

We tend to think of 1-10 as a straight East-West corridor, but truly if you head due West you will switch to Hwy. 90 in San Antonio to keep a solid westerly heading. Do this and just before you hit Mexico turn a bit north. This 5 and half hour drive from Houston will take you directly to Amistad National Recreation Area to bird, hike, bike,…scuba dive?

Big Bend National Park

The good news is after your nine-hour drive, in August, getting a campsite is pretty easy. The bad news is, it’s August all the visitor’s centers are closed and the heat is dangerous and oppressive. Bring water and more water.

BBNP Window View Trail Sunset

Big Thicket National Preserve*

An easy day trip from Houston, celebrate by joining a ranger-led hike. Just under 2 hours away experience 1.7 miles of forest, cypress sloughs, and creeks. Don’t forget the bug spray!

Fort Davis National Historic Site

If you are going to head out to east anyway, be sure to add Fort Davis to the list. It is about 8 hours east of Houston and you can swing by Balmorhea on the way in.

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Just south of the Texas-New Mexico border and, a mere 10-hour westerly drive from Houston visit GUMO to celebrate with a hike and free entry.

Lake Meredith*

If you feel like a jaunt to the pan-handle Lake Meredith has a full host of activities – camping, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, etc.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park*

Our 36th President’s beloved ranch tells his history beginning with his ancestors until his final resting place. About 3 1/2 hours from Houston, just north of San Antonio.

Padre Island National Seashore

If ever you needed an excuse to follow the gulf coast south four hours to visit some of Texas’ most beautiful beaches this is it! Additionally, there are usually ranger-led activities.

Palo Alto Battlefield*

And, if you just keep going another hour and a half past Padre Island you can visit the place that changed the map, Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park.

San Antonio Missions*

A different side of San Antonio can be visited by touring these four historic missions. This National Historic park is free everyday but often they will also host special ceremonies or events on free admission days.

NOT FREE but worth the admission: Waco Mammoth National Monument Texas

If I had just one pick for a quick Houston day trip today, this would be it. It is just under three hours from Houston. Plus, Waco Mammoth National Monument is amazing! It is also easy to access for all ages and stages. And, when you are done you can go pose in front of the silos

In addition to these popular parks, there are many other national parks across the country that offer free admission on these special days. So whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, fishing, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, there’s a national park in Texas (or beyond!) that’s perfect for you.

Here are some tips for planning your free national parks day in Texas:

  • Check the park’s website to see the day’s activities. Many parks offer special ranger-led hikes, talks, and other events.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. Some parks are more popular than others, so plan your route to avoid traffic.
  • Prepare for the weather. Texas weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to pack accordingly.
  • Bring water and snacks. Most parks don’t have restaurants or shops, so it’s a good idea to bring your own food and drinks.
  • Have fun! National parks are a great place to explore the outdoors and learn about Texas’ natural and cultural history.

Where will you adventure today!?

Similar Posts

One Comment

Comments are closed.