Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Park Week April 17 - 25 , FREE ACCESS TO ALL PARKS in U.S.

by Janis Brett Elspas

Our family loves National Parks, National Monuments and all other National Lands.  We've actually been to more than 100 different ones with the kids who are just now reaching their teens.

Pictured here are our four kids several years ago hiking the Cliff Palace Trail to see one of the major ancient Anasazi archeological sites where dwellings are carved out of rock at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

For the last three years we've purchased a $80 Annual National Park Pass which actually will pay for itself after just a few uses, if for example, you use it just 4 times at parks such as Grand Canyon that usually charge $25 per car to enter. 

This week though -- coinciding with Earth Week and the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day which is this Thursday, April 22nd -- ALL families can get into any of America's 392 national parks FREE throughout National Park Week .

The National Park Service has a number of special events nationwide.  In California, in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area just a 30 minute drive from Los Angeles, there are many activities on the calendar for April and May.  Among historic trails you can walk is one that will lead you to where old Paramount Ranch Studio was located and where many Westerns and television series such as Cisco Kid, MASH, and Dr. Quinn were once filmed.  They also have the Satwiwa Native American Indian Cultural Center where kids can learn about some of the ancient Indian residents and wildlife of this coastal mountain range park.  A fun thing to do that my own family has enjoyed often, since we live nearby.

For information on the U.S. National Parks System and all the special events being held coast-to-coast not only this week, but year-round, access the main NPS website here.

FTC Disclosure: MommyBlogExpert and her family hold a current annual National Park Pass which they purchased themselves.  MommyBlogExpert did not receive any payment or other compensation associated with this post.  See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.  

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