Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced their 2023 fee-free days, via a release. The USDA Forest Service offers six fee‐free days throughout the year to encourage Americans to explore the outdoors and visit their public lands.

The first of these fee-free days is today, Monday, January 16, in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Rocky Mountain Region is a great place to enjoy a variety of winter sports, including snowmobiling, ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more.

As with all recreational activities, visitors should consider best practices to stay safe. Know before you go! Be prepared with the appropriate clothing, gear, food, and water before venturing out in winter conditions. Check the status of roads and trails at your destination. Be aware of weather and avalanche conditions before heading into the backcountry. Numerous online resources and interactive maps are available to help plan your outing.

For the latest updates and information on how to stay safe in avalanche country, visit

For additional outdoor safety tips, visit HERE.

The fee waiver includes many Forest Service picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Fees for camping, cabin rentals, or other permits still apply.

Fees will continue to be charged at Forest Service standard amenity fee recreation sites operated by concessionaires unless individual managers choose to participate.

Fee-free days in 2023

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: January 16, 2023
  • President's Day: February 20, 2023
  • National Get Outdoors Day: June 10, 2023
  • Juneteenth: June 19, 2023
  • National Public Lands Day: September 23, 2023
  • Veterans Day: November 11, 2023

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