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National parks are giving veterans, Gold Star families free lifetime passes

And not just on Veterans Day, but everyday after it too

Curecanti Creek Trail at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on July 29, 2020 in Gunnison.
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Admission to Colorado’s four national parks and others across the nation will be free on Wednesday in commemoration of Veterans Day, and for veterans, it will mark the first day of lifetime free access.

The free entries apply to Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Mesa Verde national parks as well as the Colorado National Monument and other public lands managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. It applies to all veterans and Gold Star families (immediate family members of veterans killed in the line of duty).

“With the utmost respect and gratitude, we are granting veterans and Gold Star families free access to the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect starting this Veterans Day and every single day thereafter,” Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt said in a news release.

For non-veterans, annual passes good at all national parks currently cost $80, and one for Rocky Mountain National Park alone costs $70 per year. Seniors age 62 and over can buy lifetime passes good at all parks for a one-time charge of $80. The current single-day price is $25.

Wednesday will be the last free day at Rocky Mountain National Park this year. Other free days are Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King Day); April 18 (the first day of National Park Week); Aug. 25 (marking the date the parks service was created in 1916); and Sept. 26 (National Public Lands Day).

Parts of Rocky Mountain National Park reopened last week after a two-week closure due to the East Troublesome fire. Open areas include Wild Basin, Longs Peak, Lily Lake, Twin Sisters, Lumpy Ridge and Endovalley Road via the Fall River entrance. The Beaver Meadows entrance remains closed as well as Bear Lake Road and the west side of the park.

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