How to Visit Grand Canyon National Park for Free in 2023

Welcome to our guide on how to visit Grand Canyon National Park for free in 2023! The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder that draws millions of visitors every year and is known for its breathtaking views and rich cultural history.

While visiting the Grand Canyon typically requires an entrance fee, there are ways to experience this iconic destination for free. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how to visit the Grand Canyon for free in 2023, including information on free days and special events.

So if you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon in the coming year, be sure to check out our full Grand Canyon Trip Planner for tips on how to save money and make the most of your visit.

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Pinterest graphic with text "How to Visit Grand Canyon National Park" over magnificent picture of canyon walls lit by the setting sun

One of the best ways to save money on your dream Grand Canyon trip is to go during one of the park’s free entrance days. So mark your 2023 calendars now for the five entrance fee-free dates recently announced by the US National Park Service. 

Visit Grand Canyon National Park for free in 2023 when you go on one of the following five days.

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

woman with large, wide brimmed hat and large day pack sits facing away from the camera an towards the canyon while hiking in the Grand Canyon
Prepared day hiker with hat and hydration pack stops on South Kaibab Trail while hiking in the Grand Canyon

The 2023 entrance fee-free days at Grand Canyon National Park and more than 400 other parks are:

  1. Monday, January 16: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.,
  2. Saturday, April 22: First day of National Park Week,
  3. Friday, August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act,
  4. Saturday, September 23: National Public Lands Day, and
  5. Saturday, November 11: Veterans Day.

Of course, the entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

Days with no entrance fee are perfect opportunities to revisit one of the 108 parks managed by the National Park Service,  which charges regular entrance fees ranging from $5 to $35.  Or it’s the perfect time to explore new parks.

Even better, you can visit Grand Canyon National Park for free on five different occasions throughout 2023.

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Here's how to save money on National Park fee days

America the Beautiful 2022 Annual Pass

How to save money on fee days at Grand Canyon National Park? Buy the annual $80 America the Beautiful and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. The pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that normally charge entrance fees. 

Since the vehicle permit to gain entry to Grand Canyon is $35 for seven days, you can save money with the annual pass if you plan to visit at least three times in one year. Or if you plan to explore other national parks within the year.

I bought the annual America the Beautiful Pass for about 15 consecutive years until I turned 62. Then I purchased the lifetime senior pass, and I’ve been skating free ever since. 

However, I’m not quite sure what happens if I lose it. If you know, please leave a comment below.

Another tip for the budget-savvy National Park visitor

man in park uniform has arms around a woman and a man in military uniforms - one holds National Park Pass in front of the Grand Canyon
On May 19, 2012, Armed Forces Day, Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga issued Grand Canyon’s first two America the Beautiful Annual Passes for Military to Camp Navajo Sergeants Morse and Lozier | NPS Photo by Michael Quinn

Here’s another tip for the budget-savvy National Park visitor: Free or discounted passes are available for

Senior citizens,

Current members of the military,

Families of fourth-grade students and

Disabled citizens.

Cha-ching! Get all the details about National Park Passes.

We hope you liked our article about how to visit Grand Canyon National Park for free. If you did, please share it with your friends on social media!

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was NOT provided with accommodations, meals or other compensation for the purpose of this guide. The Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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