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National Park Service Birthday Means Free Entry To Parks Across The Country

On Monday, the National Park Service turns 98 years old, almost as old as Arizona. In celebration of its birthday, they’re offering you a present. You can get free entry to select parks all over the country, 16 of those parks are right here in Arizona and they draw huge crowds every year. In fact, Arizona is home to the second-most visited National Park in the country. You can probably guess which one it is.

"The Grand Canyon alone generates 5 million visitors a year. But all of the 22 parks and monuments in the state actually generate over 10 million people," said Sherry Henry, Director of Tourism for Arizona. "So, you’re talking about an economic impact of about $774 million."

Henry said that even though many of our schools have resumed classes, neighboring states are still on summer vacation and their residents are enjoying road trips through Arizona. She said free admission to many of the National Parks offers a perfect opportunity for people to visit.

"It’s like getting people through the doors," Henry said. "You have a new generation of people and they really want to introduce all levels of people, particularly the younger people, into the experience of a National Park."

The National Park Srvice offers a full list of parks that are offering free admission.

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Kaitlin Stein is a KJZZ Production Assistant, and she can rarely be found sitting still. An avid runner, hiking enthusiast, and obstacle racer, she’s usually muddy or gallivanting in the desert. She is also a self-proclaimed geek who loves video games and Star Wars.