Early morning view along the Rio Grande looking towards Santa Elena Canyon in Texas' Big Bend National Park.
CNN  — 

And now the US National Park Service has an offer in 2022 for an inflation-shocked public as well: Five days when the entrance fees are waived at every park in the country.

The first one is coming up on Monday, January 17, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The free January day is a great time weatherwise to visit national parks that are blazin’ hot in summer – think Death Valley National Park in California, Big Bend National Park in Texas and Everglades National Park in Florida.

But given how popular the parks have become, it might be a good idea to plan early, arrive early and check online for potential timed entries on the free days. That’s especially true for the most popular parks with comfortable temperatures in January.

For instance, visitation to Big Bend is up 50% since 2016, according to the NPS. Its primary visitor season is October through April. You don’t want to head out on the free day and be flummoxed by long lines.

Check this link for possible closures before you head out for a trip or search for the specific site online.

Other free days this year

Can’t make it for MLK Day? The other four free entrance dates are scattered throughout the seasons and the calendar:

• Saturday, April 16: First day of  National Park Week

“National parks are really amazing places and we want everyone to experience them,” said  National Park Service Director Chuck Sams in the NPS news release about the free days.

“The entrance fee-free days encourage people to discover the beauty, history and inspiration awaiting them in more than 400 national parks throughout the country.”

The entrance fee waiver won’t cover fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

Many parks are free all year

An alligator swims at Everglades National Park in Florida.

NPS said that most national parks do not have entrance fees at all. Out of more than 400 national parks, about 110 have admission fees that range from $5 to $35.

Of course, like anything else, it’s the big names that command the money: Yellowstone in Wyoming (and bits of Montana and Idaho), Yosemite in California, Denali in Alaska and Everglades in Florida, to name four.

And some groups of people can also get in free all year with annual passes:

• US military members and their dependents, US veterans and Gold Star families

Finally, US citizens with a permanent disability can get a free lifetime pass.

Top image: Early morning view along the Rio Grande looking towards Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park in Texas. (Tim Speer/iStock/Getty Images)