KPAX: GNP entrance fee waived Saturday for National Parks Week

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — This is National Parks Week and to celebrate you can get into Glacier and Yellowstone for free on Saturday. 

Yellowstone, the country’s first national park, was established in 1872. Now, 146-years later, there are more than 400 across the country offering countless opportunities for exploration.

“National Park Week is a week for all Americans to celebrate our national treasures and our national parks,” said Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley. “It’s an opportunity to get out and go to your favorite park or go to a park that maybe you have never been too.”

“I challenge you to find time in your schedules and visit a national park, our national parks are what makes us distinctly American because in Montana hiking, backpacking, fishing, whitewater rafting, it’s a way of life,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).

If the free entry doesn’t get you off the couch, another benefit doctors say getting outside on a regular basis can also improve health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and depression.

Parks across the country are also extending a dose of nature to all by celebrating Park Prescription  Day on Sunday.

“It’s a partnership with the Summit and we are going to have park rangers up at Lake McDonald Lodge,” said Alley. “They will be taking blood pressure and answering questions about the park and then Summit fitness experts will be there and they will have complimentary treats for those heading up the Going-to-the-Sun road to bike and then they also have some fun activities planned.”

Alley adds there have been a few sightings of bears out and about so make sure to pack your bear spray and keep it with you not in your backpack but on your hip or in a harness.