Celebrate The 'Great American Outdoors Act' Anniversary With Fee-Free Day At These Utah Public Lands

Celebrate The 'Great American Outdoors Act' Anniversary With Fee-Free Day At These Utah Public Lands

At "Utah is Awesome," we're all about celebrating the natural beauty and adventures that our state has to offer. That's why we're so excited to highlight the three-year anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) August 4. This groundbreaking act, as stated by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, "ensures that our public lands are safe and accessible for all visitors and staff by investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects."

Utah’s public lands benefit from the GAOA through key infrastructure projects that are preserving and enhancing our beautiful landscapes. With a generous annual budget of $1.6 billion dedicated to improving facilities, accessibility features, roads, trails, bridges, and parking areas, the Act ensures that Utah's public lands remain accessible and safe for all.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, entrance fees will be waived at all lands managed by the Department of the Interior on August 4. Do note that other fees, such as overnight camping and cabin rentals, will still apply. This is a golden opportunity for Utah locals and visitors alike to explore the public lands that we so love and cherish, without the usual entrance fee.

The Act doesn't just improve the now, but it also focuses on training the next generation of workers through collaborations with youth corps. By investing in the future, the GAOA ensures that our public lands continue to be maintained and cherished by generations to come. The Act also supports Indigenous communities, improving the learning environment for over 2,200 students and faculty in BIE-funded schools each year.

Apart from supporting maintenance projects, the GAOA also permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with $900 million annually. The LWCF, since its inception in 1965, has invested over $5.2 billion in more than 45,000 projects across the country, safeguarding our natural and cultural heritage while ensuring that recreation opportunities remain open to all Americans.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of the fee-free day on August 4 and explore the spectacular landscapes that our Utah public lands have to offer. Let's continue to support and celebrate the remarkable efforts of the Great American Outdoors Act, and most importantly, let's remember to enjoy and protect the stunning natural wonders of our beloved Utah. For more details, visit the Great American Outdoors Act website.

Here's a list of the participating parks in Utah that are waiving their entrance fees:

  1. Arches National Park: Home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, Arches National Park offers an otherworldly landscape of contrasting colors and textures unlike any other.
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park: Famous for its unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
  3. Canyonlands National Park: This park invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries.
  4. Capitol Reef National Park: Discover the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline extending almost 100 miles and filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges.
  5. Cedar Breaks National Monument: Sitting at over 10,000 feet in altitude, this park offers a breathtaking view of a naturally formed amphitheater filled with a dazzling array of colors.
  6. Dinosaur National Monument: Step back in time and explore dinosaur fossils, petroglyphs, and stunning river canyons.
  7. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Offering unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation, the area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah.
  8. Golden Spike National Historical Park: Visit the place where the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S. was completed.
  9. Hovenweep National Monument: Explore six prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons.
  10. Natural Bridges National Monument: This monument features some of the finest examples of ancient stone architecture in the southwest.
  11. Zion National Park: Utah’s first national park, Zion offers hiking, camping, backpacking, and more, making it a popular outdoor destination.