A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Salazar Announces National Park Service Will Waive Entrance Fees During National Park Week Annual Celebration takes place April 17- 25
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that all 392 national parks will have free admission during National Park Week, April 17 to 25. Parks will also offer additional family friendly activities and special offers on tours, lodging, food, and souvenirs. A listing of parks and promotions is available at www.nps.gov/npweek.
“We are rolling out the red carpet and inviting everyone to visit a national park and help celebrate National Park Week,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Parks are fun and affordable destinations and great places to engage in healthy, outdoor activities, whether for a few hours or a few days.”
National Park Week, a program of the National Park Service, is an opportunity to engage families and communities in America's Great Outdoors, reconnecting them with nature and creating close to home opportunities for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.
“National parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences, and provide places of quiet refuge,” said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. “Most people live within a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spend some time enjoying America's Great Outdoors during National Park Week.”
There will be hundreds of family friendly events on Saturday, April 24, for National Junior Ranger Day. Each child participating in Junior Ranger activities will receive a certificate, patch, or pin.
Other National Park Week highlights include the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and the 75th anniversary of the nation's most visited national park – the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Normally, 146 of 392 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 246 do not charge for admission. The fee free waiver for National Park Week does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations and use of concessions.