National Parks, Travel Tips, Travel with Kids, USA

USA National Parks – 10 Free Days in 2017

I adore the USA National Parks and am currently on a quest to see all of them! Every time I set foot in a National Park my life is changed!


My parents always took my brothers and I camping and on road trips, and I was blessed to visit many national parks growing up. I also participated in the Junior Ranger programs  both at the MN State Parks and the National Parks, and to this day cherish all the memories I made with amazing park rangers in amazing places. The first 5 years my husband and I were married we did a lot of international and luxury travel. When we had our daughter 3 years ago, we decided our new mission was going to be to see more our own country, the USA. It was time to get back to road tripping and camping, and staying closer to home. This has been AWESOME, as the trips we have taken in the past three years outshine many of my other travel memories.

Zion, Lake of Fire, Lake Mead Trip May 2015 811.JPG

Currently, I have seen 15 out of the 59, so it’s safe to say I have a way to go! In 2017, I have two big trips planned so far, and I am super excited to check more off my bucket list!


In the end of January I am heading to Arizona with a friend, and we will be visiting the Grand Canyon, and in June my family is planning an epic road trip west from Minnesota to Washington, stopping at all the National Parks along the way! Feel free to send me any suggestions or favorites from these parks (keeping in mind we will have two kiddos with).


If you are also looking to enjoy the National Parks this year here are 10 days when you can visit for FREE!

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 20: Presidents Day
  • April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend


I’d also like to add that the Beautiful Great Smoky Mountain National Park is free year round, every year. We were surprised when we learned this on our recent visit. To read more on why click here!


The National Parks have already left me with countless memories as well as life lessons! You learn a lot in nature; about yourself, and about the world! The National Parks are the perfect place to connect with nature and nature lovers. With so many to choose from, there is something for everyone!


I hope you enjoyed the photos of my last few years of National Park visits! Cheers to many more!


Much Love & Happy Travels,



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  • Reply theexploringyogini

    Such an AWESOME goal! I’ve never been to a National Park (U.S.A.) before!

    January 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      I can’t believe you’ve never been to one with all your travels! I have a feeling once you visit one you will be hooked like me 👍🏻

      January 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm
  • Reply quotesandmore (Chitra)

    Enjoyed seeing your pictures. That’s quite an adventure you have planned. Visiting the Grand canyon at this time of the year is good, summer with kids would have been tiring, but some trails are closed at this time of the year. You will never be disappointed in the canyon. Enjoy your visit.

    January 5, 2017 at 8:28 pm
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      Thank you so much! I’m very excited! It looks beautiful in the winter photos I have seen!

      January 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm
      • Reply quotesandmore (Chitra)

        It is, I have been there during winter, spring and summer, every time its a different kind of beauty you see. The mountains aren’t going to disappoint you, have fun.

        January 6, 2017 at 10:08 pm
  • Reply milfordstreet

    Thanks for the list of dates. You have some impressive looking plans. Enjoy!

    January 5, 2017 at 10:50 pm
  • Reply Ancient Skies

    I love this! I want to go there! I’ve only been to a few so far.

    January 5, 2017 at 10:52 pm
  • Reply Paige Wunder

    I love all of your adorable sign photos! My family has done the same thing since I can remember! I’ve been to 26 (repeating a lot of them several times) of the parks, and my life, like you said, is changed each time I go! Beautiful posts and way to spread the word of the free dates! Do you guys have a National Park Pass? It saves a ton of money and works on the National Monuments as well!

    January 6, 2017 at 12:16 am
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      Thank you! We don’t have the pass yet, but we are planning to purchase before the travels! I’m very excited! So happy to connect with you!

      January 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm
      • Reply Paige Wunder

        Likewise! I’m excited to see how your adventures go throughout the year!

        January 7, 2017 at 12:59 am
        • Reply minnesotayogini

          I’m excited to have connected! Looking forward to following yours as well!

          January 7, 2017 at 2:53 am
  • Reply Browsing the Atlas

    Thanks for the tips about free days at the parks. I may have to take advantage of a few of those. I often overlook the parks, but like you, am always amazed and refreshed when I visit one.

    January 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      You are so welcome! They are so beautiful! I can’t wait to see more!

      January 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm
  • Reply Ingrid

    Wow, you’ve already made quite a dent in that list. The Grand Canyon is stunning after a dusting of snow. I’d say dress warm, but your from MN and know how to dress for the weather 😀 When we lived in the Midwest, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area was our go to place for summer vacation. Happy New Year and enjoy your travels.

    January 6, 2017 at 10:32 pm
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      Thank you! Yes! The boundary waters area is so beautiful! Happy to be connected! Happy new year!

      January 7, 2017 at 2:56 am
  • Reply usfman

    Here are a few National Park adventures that my wife and I enjoyed if you would like to be consider.
    1. Yellowstone in Winter – Stay at the Flagg Ranch Lodge north of Jackson.
    2. Denali in Alaska – Drive there from Anchorage. Watch out for flying rocks on your windshield.
    3. Grand Canyon from the North Rim – Hike the steep, North Kaibob Trail
    4. Mesa Verde at Night – Show up for the Indian storytellers or any night talk to experience living history.

    Thank you for reading my blog. We will be road tripping in the West for three months this summer.

    January 7, 2017 at 12:47 am
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      Great suggestions! Thanks so much! I’m happy we connected!

      January 7, 2017 at 2:53 am
  • Reply BilingualGirl

    I love the idea of visiting all of the national parks in the US. My fiancee and I are planning on going to Glacier National Park in Montana to experience that connection with nature and more of a camping-road trip type of trip as well! The landscapes there are breathtaking. Have you included visiting this one on your June road trip? If not, you should consider doing it! 🙂

    January 7, 2017 at 3:40 pm
    • Reply minnesotayogini

      We will be visiting Glacier! I am super excited for it! It looks soooooo magical! It’s been on my list since I was young so it will feel great to check off the list! I hope you have s great trip! ❤️

      January 7, 2017 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Retrato

    Great article. Makes me want to see US national parks in the future! Cheers!

    January 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm
  • Reply Bill's Travel Blog

    Beautiful photos! It looks like you enjoyed your adventures! -Bill

    January 21, 2017 at 2:03 am
  • Reply Vikas Acharya

    Reblogged this on Journal Edge and commented:
    Article source:

    February 7, 2017 at 7:36 am
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