GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
The gates to all national parks will be wide open and entrance fees waved during National Park Week.
The parks are now in their busy season and officials say this week is dedicated to thank those who do visit the park year round, and it’s also a way to encourage some new visitors.
For tourists like Tom Baker and Kent Valin, the reason they're returning back to Moab for the second time is to show their wives the beautiful landscapes.
“My husband in particular will holler stop or pull over if he is driving and has his camera very handy and he takes shots along the way,” said Nora Valin, tourist from Ohio.
It's hard not to, since these national parks have the highest concentration of natural arches in the world, you're left with breathtaking sites.
“I love it,” said Kathy Baker, tourist. “I am seeing things I’ve never seen before. There’s nothing like this in Ohio.”
“It’s just absolutely beautiful,” said Kent Valin. “Every aspect that you see as the altitude changes just a little bit helps you see all kinds of changes.”
Just like many other tourists, for these two couples, they plan to leave with memories of the parks' great hikes.
Park Ranger Karen Henker says it's what draws in the crowds.
“We are really a family friendly park,” said Henker. “You can't not look at these rocks and be inspired by the shapes. Your mind just starts playing games. ‘That one looks like this, that one looks like that. ’It’s just a playground for your imagination.”
It's that creative touch which will have the Baker and Valin clans returning to Moab again.
“I would like to come back here with our grandchildren,” said Tom Baker. “We have 8 of them and we just want to share. Since we are retired now, it’s just awesome.”
“All of this, just out here in the west, you get to see gods handy work and how he shaped the world layer by layer and its just inspiring,” said Kent Valin.
Starting on Monday and lasting through Friday, these parks will be free to the public.
Something to keep in mind however, these waved entrance fees don't affect other fees like camping, permits or tours.
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