Saturday Feb. 15 through Monday Feb. 17, the public is invited to visit free of charge Bandelier and other national parks, monuments and many areas administered by other federal agencies throughout the United States.
The Presidents Day weekend is the second of the times in 2014 when all National Park Service sites open their gates to visitors without charging entrance fees.
“This should be a wonderful weekend to visit Bandelier,” Superintendent Jason Lott said. “The area really needs more snow, but in the meantime the weather is expected to be delightful, sunny and almost springlike.”
The Western National Parks Association bookstore in the Visitor Center will offer a 15 percent discount on all items, and the Bandelier Trading gift shop and snack bar will offer specials as well. This weekend also is the global Great Backyard Bird Count (gbbc.birdcount.org). Visitors may want to consider Bandelier as part of their backyard and continue their bird watching there; a free park bird list is available at the bookstore.
Juniper Campground is open this weekend, and although evenings are chilly, a nearly full moon is expected. Campers will need to pay the camping fee. For more information about Bandelier National Monument, check the park website at www.nps.gov/band or call the Visitor Center at 505.672.3861×517.
Other National Park Service entrance fee-free dates in 2014:
- April 19-20 – The first weekend of National Park Week
- Aug. 25 – Founders Day, The Birthday of the National Park Service
- Sept. 27 – Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
Fee Free day waivers apply to entrance fees, commercial entrance fees, and transportation entrance fees only. Other fees such as camping, tours and concession fees are not waived.
The standard entrance fee to Bandelier is $12 per vehicle and is good for seven days. For visitors planning a trip in 2014 that includes multiple national parks and monuments, it is worth considering the $80 annual America the Beautiful pass, which provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands. For local people not planning a long trip, but intending to ill visit Bandelier several times, the $30 annual Bandelier Pass might be a good idea. Passes are available at the Bandelier Visitor Center and the White Rock Visitor Center.
Inquire at Bandelier Visitor Center for other Federal Recreational Lands Pass options, including a free pass offered to all active duty military members and their dependents, a senior pass for US residents 62 and over, an access pass for American citizens with permanent disabilities, and a pass for volunteers who have volunteered 250 hours or more at Federal agencies. Detailed information on these and other passes is also available online at www.nps.gov.