Utah’s five national parks are gearing up to celebrate National Park Week 2019 from April 20 until April 28, providing free entrance to parks on April 20 and hosting events and special programs all week.
National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed event, is the result of a partnership between the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of national parks in the United States.
Here’s a schedule of what visitors can expect from the parks during National Park Week:
Saturday, April 20: National Junior Ranger Day and free entrance day
The first day of National Park Week will begin with fee waivers to enter. Visitors will get in for free all day. In addition, it will celebrate the Junior Ranger Program through special events for kids to come explore the parks and get some ranger swag. They’ll also learn why the parks matter and become official Junior Rangers.
Sunday, April 21: Military and Veterans Recognition Day
The second day of National Park Week recognizes the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Military and their family members, offering them connections and opportunities within the parks.
Monday, April 22: Earth Day
Visitors will learn about how the National Park Service engages in earth sciences and get involved as stewards of the parks. These outdoor recreation spaces are preserved as places where humans contemplate nature, and the national parks will highlight this goal on Earth Day.
Tuesday, April 23: Transportation Tuesday
Innovation of transportation has always been central to the development of National Parks. Transcontinental railroads prompted the creation of parks to bring tourists to the west, and the advent of cars led to a need for expanded access and scenic roadways. The fourth day of National Park Week celebrates how transportation has influenced their creation and development.
Wednesday, April 24: Wild Wednesday
Wild Wednesday will celebrate the wild side of national parks through wildlife and wilderness. Wilderness is essential to the appreciation of outdoor spaces, and the National Park Service wants to encourage people to “go wild” for the day. Read some ways to go wild in one of Utah’s big five here.
Thursday, April 25: Throwback Thursday
Take some time to appreciate the history of national parks on Thursday by learning about their development over time and reminiscing on one’s own experiences. The National Park Service suggested throwing back on social media by using hashtags like #nationalparkweek, #throwbackthursday and #findyourpark.
Friday, April 26: Friendship Friday
National parks place a lot of emphasis on friendship, whether that be using the parks as a place to facilitate friendships or engaging in philanthropic partnerships. More than 200 philanthropic organizations and cooperating associations have partnered with parks to celebrate their passion for the outdoors. Honor friendship with the National Park Service on Friday by bringing your friends on an adventure!
Saturday, April 27: BARK Ranger Day
Take your dogs to the national parks and help them become a “BARK Ranger”.
Sunday, April 28: Park Rx Day
It’s the doctor’s orders — get outdoors and into a national park to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor recreation. Park Rx programs collaborate with health care providers to utilize these spaces for the improvement of health among individuals and the community. Learn some of the health benefits of national parks here.
Whatever your plans for National Park Week, take some time to honor and celebrate Utah’s national parks. Want to share your National Park Week experiences on social media? Use the following hashtags: