Been meaning to visit one of our nearby national parks?

If you’ve ever wanted to see El Capitan in all its glory or sled down a stories-high gypsum sand dune, April 22 will be a good day to do it.

The National Parks Service will begin observing National Park Week on that Saturday, and admission to national parks in and around El Paso will be free.

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Which National Parks Around El Paso?

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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

Among the El Paso-area parks nature seekers won’t have to pay to get into on Saturday, April 22, 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 springtime 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

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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

Barney Riley/Fort Davis National Historic Site Facebook
Barney Riley/Fort Davis National Historic Site Facebook

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.


• 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

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