Here are the Fee Free Days for Michigan National Parks Sites in 2022
Each year the National Park Service offers a handful of “Fee Free Days” during which entrance fees are waived so that more people can get out and enjoy everything our national parks have to offer. In past years these days have only applied to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Isle Royale National Park, but in 2022 four of them will apply to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (fees begin on March 1) as well. Today we will look at the five dates, the regular fees for each park, and some examples of what you can enjoy during your free visit. The first fee free day is only a week away!
Fee Free Days for 2022:
January 17th – Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
April 16th – First Day of National Parks Week
August 4th – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
September 24 – National Public Lands Day
November 11th – Veterans Day
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore fees are being introduced for the first time this year and increase a little bit over each of the next three years. For 2022 it is $10 for a weekly motorcycle or vehicle pass and $20 for an annual pass. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore currently charges $20 for a motorcycle or $25 for a vehicle for a weekly pass, and $45 for an annual pass. All weekly passes are good for up to 7 days, and annual passes are good for 12 months from the date of issue. Isle Royale National Park charges a $7 daily fee to visitors to enter the park (typically via boat or seaplane) – the park is closed until April 15 so only four of the dates would apply there.
Two of the Fee Free Days are tied in to opportunities to volunteer. “MLK Day of Service is a defining moment in volunteerism, as Americans across the country step up to make communities more equitable and take action to build the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed this community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action. This is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Many national parks traditionally host a variety of service projects that people can sign up for as volunteers.” National Public Lands Day in September “is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits.”
Isle Royale National Park is located more than 50 miles from the mainland of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and it is the largest island in Lake Superior. There are no roads on the island, and visitors head there each year to hike the miles of trails, kayak, and see the park’s lighthouses, moose, and wolves. Boat service to the island runs from Copper Harbor and Houghton in Michigan and Grand Portage in Minnesota.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is known for its beautiful beaches, towering sand dunes, historical sites, trails, and more. Check out our post about Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, one of our favorite places in the park, or our list of 22 Things to See and Do at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is famous for its tall, colorful sandstone cliffs. These are best viewed from the water on a kayak trip or boat tour. Trails in the park lead to waterfalls, natural formations, and stunning views. Check out our 50 Things to Do at Pictured Rocks post for a look at all the park has to offer, or check out our Pictured Rocks First Timers Guide for the most accessible attractions. Our 8 Pictured Rocks Day Hikes post offers more great options.