All 41 State Parks Will Be Free On Friday For Those Coloradans Who Prefer Camping Over Consumerism

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A hiker above treeline on Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s highest mountain, walks to the side of the heavily damaged trail up the East Ridge in July 2017.

What if the day after Thanksgiving was all about getting up early to hit the trails instead of the sales?

Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Great Outdoors Colorado are hoping to entice people outside on Friday by offering free admission to all 41 Colorado state parks.

They’ve created a sharp video for the campaign they’ve dubbed “Fresh Air Friday.” (Apologies to Terry Gross.)

In addition to the free admission, several parks across the state are also offering free guided hikes.

The idea isn’t just to get people up the highest peaks or into the most remote forests. CPW stresses choosing the activity that’s right for you, whether it’s skiing in the backcountry or playing tag in the backyard.

Even though “Black Friday” is still an immensely popular consumer day, there has been a growing movement to not participate in what’s often billed as the busiest shopping day of the year (though historically, however, that hasn't been the case).

Buy Nothing Day, an international day of protest against consumerism, began more than 25 years ago. Small Business Saturday has gained in popularity since starting in 2010.

And in 2015, REI announced it would no longer be open on Black Friday, and would instead give its employees a paid day off and encourage customers to spend the day outdoors in a campaign called #OptOutside.