This Weekend, Put The “Me” In Yosemite

yogi-bear national parksRevise those Friday Estimates everyone because this weekend access to America’s National Parks is free:

Though most of the National Park Service’s 407 sites are free year-round, the 128 parks that charge a fee — like Yellowstone and Yosemite — will be free those two days.

It’s all part of National Park Week, happening April 18 through April 26, and it’s hosted by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.

Check out night-time astronomy parties, daytime Revolutionary War programs, Earth Day parties and family-friendly Junior Ranger activities at national park sites across the country.

Find your closest park here! Or fade into misty, watercolor memories of your favorite federally protected wilderness experiences. My father, who turned his nose up at Disney World, dragged us to every damn place with a canyon or a bridge in the Four Corners, and I have to admit every single one was like a 3D sunset, one you could stare at for hours and even investigate on foot.

As a not-particularly-outdoorsy adult, I had a lot of fun up at Glacier in Montana, too. Ben and I drove up from Missoula and stayed near the park, first on the east side in an AirB&B and then on the west side in what was supposed to be a small hotel but ended up being a trailer on someone’s horse farm, from which we had to walk through dark woods to get to the outdoor facilities that functioned as a bathroom. The owners were super nice, though, and I fell in love with their four dogs who followed me everywhere. At Glacier, we saw real bears (from far away) and bighorn sheep (from closer up) and we hiked all the way up into the sky — occasionally over ice, even though it was August — singing like Von Trapps. FOUR STARS, RECOMMEND.

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