These U.S. National Parks Are Requiring Reservations in 2024

You’ll want to mark your calendars: Here are key dates when reservations will become available for the national parks requiring them in 2024—and how to secure a spot.

Half Dome glows pink in sunlight above gray granite cliffs at Yosemite NP

After taking a break from reservation requirements in 2023, Yosemite is bringing them back in 2024.

Courtesy of Madhu Sheshar/Unsplash

The country’s beloved national parks have always been a popular travel destination for nature-loving adventurers. But their popularity soared so much during the pandemic and in the aftermath that some national parks have begun requiring advance tickets and reservations in order to limit visitor capacity. In 2024, many of the reservation systems created during the pandemic remain in place and some new ones are joining the fray as individual national parks look for ways to control high-season crowds, even in nonpandemic times.

These 8 U.S. national parks will require advance reservations in 2024:

  1. Acadia National Park in Maine (for Cadillac Summit Road)
  2. Arches National Park in Utah (entire park)
  3. Haleakalā National Park in Hawai‘i (for sunrise viewing at the summit)
  4. Glacier National Park in Montana (for Going-to-the-Sun Road, North Fork, and Many Glacier scenic drives)
  5. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (entire park)
  6. Shenandoah National Park (for Old Rag Mountain)
  7. Yosemite National Park in California (entire park)
  8. Zion National Park in Utah (for Angels Landing Trail)

While the above list includes some of the most popular parks in the National Park System, plenty of must-see parks like the Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains don’t require advance reservations. In fact, none of the 10 most visited sites in the U.S. national park system is requiring reservations in 2024. But as a growing number of visitors descend on these outdoor expanses, it’s possible more parks will start to adopt advance reservation systems.

Here’s a cheat sheet on how to ensure reservations at these eight national parks as they become available. Tip: You’ll want to mark your calendars for certain key dates.

1. Acadia National Park, Maine

View from Acadia’s Cadillac Summit Road, with small islands in ocean in background

If you want to drive Acadia’s Cadillac Summit Road this summer, you’ll need to reserve ahead of time.

Photo by Shutterstock

Situated along the Atlantic coast, Maine’s Acadia National Park features 27 miles of scenic roads and 158 miles of hiking trails. The park is home to forests, rocky headlands, mountains, lakes, and wetlands.

How to get a reservation for Acadia National Park in 2024

Advance reservations are not required to enter Acadia National Park, but they are required to drive up Cadillac Summit Road from the end of May through the end of October (exact dates for 2024 have not yet been released). Cadillac Summit Road is a three-mile scenic drive to the top of the park’s highest peak, Cadillac Mountain at 1,530 feet.

In 2023, all reservations for the drive between May and the end of June 30 were made available for purchase at 10 a.m. Eastern Time two days in advance of the reservation date. From July 1 through October, one-third of Cadillac Summit Road reservations were being made available 90 days before each entry date; the remaining 70 percent were released at 10 a.m. Eastern Time two days ahead of entry.

You can go to to book a sunrise drive, which starts between 4 and 5:30 a.m. and ends between 5:30 and 7 a.m., depending on the month you are visiting. Or you can opt for a daytime drive—the daytime drives are available for 30-minute entry windows that start between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. and go until between 6:30 and 8 p.m. (depending on the month). Visitors will need to have a printed or saved digital copy of the vehicle reservation with the confirmation QR code. (Cell service in the park is not reliable.)

As for the rest of the park, visitors will need to have a park entrance pass, which must be displayed in their vehicles and clearly visible through the windshield. While it’s not required to reserve one ahead of time, the park encourages visitors to buy and print a pass online before visiting the park.

2. Arches National Park, Utah

Distant view of arch through large red-rock arch at Arches National Park, with scattered green bushes

It’s no surprise Arches National Park has become such a popular outdoor destination.

Photo by anthony heflin/Shutterstock

True to its name, Arches National Park is defined by hundreds of natural arches shaped by the elements over thousands of years. From the famous Delicate Arch, the largest freestanding arch in the park, to the formations known as the North and South Windows, avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts come from far and wide to see these unique forms and to tackle the scenic and at-times challenging treks to reach them.

In 2022, Arches started testing a pilot program that will require an advance reservation to enter the park. Those timed entry tickets will again be required from April 1 through October 31, 2024.

How to get a reservation for Arches National Park in 2024

Arches is releasing timed entry tickets on a first-come, first-served basis at Here’s the schedule for when reservations will be made available:

  • Reservations for April 1–30 will open January 2 at 8 a.m. Mountain Time (MT)
  • Reservations for May 1–31 will open on February 1 at 8 a.m. MT
  • Reservations for June 1–30 will open on March 1 at 8 a.m. MT
  • Reservations for July 1–31 will open on April 1 at 8 a.m. MT
  • Reservations for August 1–31 will open on May 1 at 8 a.m. MT
  • Reservations for September 1–30 will open on June 1 at 8 a.m. MT
  • Reservations for October 1–31 will open on July 1 at 8 a.m. MT

Tickets are available in one-hour entry slots from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.—for instance, 6–7 a.m., 7–8 a.m., and so forth.

“After entering, visitors may stay in the park for the remainder of the day. Ticket holders may exit and re-enter the park on the same day with a correctly validated ticket,” a release about the 2024 Arches National Park reservation system stated.

A limited number of additional tickets will be released daily at 7 p.m. Mountain Time for park visits the following day. “Tickets must be booked online or by calling before entering the park and will not be available at the park entrance,” the release stated. “Tickets book up quickly, especially for morning arrival times, so visitors are encouraged to plan ahead.”

Timed entry tickets are not required for anyone with a camping permit, backcountry permit, Fiery Furnace permit, or a tour ticket.

In addition to a timed entry reservation, which costs $2, visitors will need to present a photo ID and will need a park pass as well. Park entry passes are $15 for individual entrants, $25 for motorcycles, and $30 per private vehicle.

3. Glacier National Park, Montana

River passes through narrow gray stone banks in Glacier National Park, with patches of snow on ground in distance

Advance reservations are required to access Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Photo by Shutterstock

Glacier National Park features more than 700 miles of trails, numerous pristine glacial lakes, scenic mountain views, and ample wilderness. The park’s popular Going-to-the-Sun Road, connecting Lake McDonald, Logan Pass, and the St. Mary Valley, is a 50-mile scenic drive through the natural wonders of the park.

Beginning May 24 and through September 8, 2024, tickets will be required to drive the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road (starting at the west side entrances) as well as the North Fork between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Reservations are not required for entry prior to 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m.) And from July 1 to September 8, 2024, reservations will also be necessary to use the Many Glacier entrance for accessing the Many Glacier Valley between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Reservations are not required for entry before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m.)

How to get a reservation for Glacier National Park in 2024

Starting on January 25, 2024, a portion of tickets for each day will open at 120 days (approximately four months) in advance at 8 a.m. Mountain Time. The remaining vehicle reservations will be released at 7 p.m. Mountain Time the day before the effective date beginning on May 23, 2024.

Each registration is $2 and is valid for one day. In addition to the vehicle registration, visitors will need a park pass, which costs $20 for an individual, $30 for a motorcycle, and $35 for a private vehicle.

Those visiting on foot or by bike don’t need a reservation. Those with proof of a reservation inside the park for lodging, camping, boat rides, bus tours, guided hikes, or horseback rides are also exempt from the reservation requirement.

4. Haleakalā National Park, Hawai‘i

Sunrise over barren mountains at Haleakalā National Park

Visitors who flock to Haleakalā National Park for sunrise viewings need advance reservations.

Photo by Shutterstock

Among the many things that make Haleakalā National Park popular is the fact that it is home to the highest peak on the island of Maui, Puʻu ʻUlaʻula, which rises 10,023 feet above sea level. That height coupled with the unique desert-like landscape of this dormant volcano crater and the moody surrounding skies make this a very popular place to go to for a sunrise viewing.

Reservations for a sunrise viewing at Haleakalā have long been required. The National Park Service implemented a reservation system for sunrise entries in 2017 in an attempt to control the crowds. The reservation system remains in place for 2024.

How to get a reservation for Haleakalā National Park in 2024

A reservation is required for each vehicle that enters the park from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Reservations can be made online up to 60 days in advance and are released at 7 a.m. Hawai‘i Time. Some reservations will also be released two days prior to a desired date of entry if you want to try for a last-minute booking. Reservations will not be refunded or exchanged due to weather.

5. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Distant peaks and evergreen forests mirrored in Bear Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park

If you want to access Rocky Mountain National Park’s Bear Lake, you’ll need to request a reservation that includes the Bear Lake Road corridor.

Photo by Shutterstock

Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s dream. The 415 square miles of mountain landscapes include more than 300 miles of hiking trails where visitors might spot moose, elk, wildflowers, and glacial basins.

The park welcomed 4.3 million visitors last year, a near return to prepandemic visitor levels—4.7 million people entered the popular Colorado park in 2019.

Rocky Mountain National Park was closed from March to May 2020. When it reopened, it implemented a timed entry permit system that lasted through October 12, 2020. That system was brought back in 2021, 2022, 2023, and now again for 2024.

Rocky Mountain reservation schedule

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale on at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on the following dates:

  • May 1 to enter the park from May 24 through June 30
  • June 1 to enter the park during the month of July (and any remaining days in June)
  • July 1 to enter the park during the month of August (and any remaining days in July)
  • August 1 to enter the park during the month of September (and any remaining days in August)
  • September 1 to enter the park during the month of October (and any remaining days in September)

The park will set aside a percentage of permits that will be available for purchase the day before at 7 p.m. Mountain Time through

How to get a reservation for Rocky Mountain National Park in 2024

In 2024, Rocky Mountain National Park is reintroducing entry permit reservation requirements for entry into the park between May 24 and October 20. (Outside of those dates, an advance reservation isn’t necessary.)

There are two types of reservations you can make. One is for the Bear Lake Road corridor, which will include access to Bear Lake as well as the rest of the park for entry between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. The other permit is for all areas of the park except for the Bear Lake Road corridor for entry into the park between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (Reservations are not required before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m.)

The permits are available in two-hour entry windows—so, for instance, there are 5–7 a.m. slots, 7–9 a.m. slots, 9–11 a.m. slots, and so on. You must enter within that two-hour window but can leave at any time (obviously, the earlier slots are the most coveted). There is a $2 fee for the reservation in addition to the entry fee, which ranges from $15 per person to $35 per car.

6. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Rolling hills in distance from summit of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park

Views from the summit of Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park are especially scenic in autumn

Photo by jessconlow/Shutterstock

Shenandoah National Park is a popular day trip from Washington, D.C., and with good reason. The 200,000-acre park is best seen via its 105-mile Skyline Drive, a trip that winds past dozens of scenic panoramas from which you can view the mountain ridges. There are also ample hiking trails and numerous waterfalls that make longer stays in the park well worth it.

In 2022 and 2023, visitors to Shenandoah’s Old Rag Mountain, a 3,284-foot peak that is the park’s most popular hiking attraction, needed to reserve a day-use ticket in advance between March and November. That included for those hiking the Saddle, Ridge, and Ridge Access trails.

The move came after Shenandoah National Park conducted a study that showed that Old Rag Mountain is experiencing major crowding and congestion during certain peak times. “Most visitors agree that limiting users would improve their experience and safety, and better protect the rare ecological communities found on Old Rag,” park authorities reported.

Shenandoah National Park has not yet confirmed whether the program will be reinstated for 2024, but in the event that it is, here was how it worked in 2023.

How to get a reservation for Shenandoah National Park

Day-use tickets to hike Old Rag Mountain can be purchased up to 30 days in advance and will only be valid for the day of arrival. Hikers must purchase their tickets, which cost $1, in advance via—they will not be available at the Old Rag fee station, and Shenandoah National Park authorities caution that cell service is not reliable in the area.

A total of 800 tickets will be available for each day, with 400 released 30 days in advance and the remaining 400 released 5 days in advance. “A day-use ticket does not guarantee a parking spot and entrance fees still apply in addition to the day-use ticket,” Shenandoah National Park authorities stated in a press release about the new reservation system.

7. Yosemite National Park, California

 A grove with giant sequoias at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove is a popular stop for visitors who want to view giant sequoia trees.

Photo by Allie Caulfield/Flickr

With its gushing waterfalls, granite cliffs, and giant sequoia groves, Yosemite National Park has long been one of the most visited sites in the National Park system—2022 alone saw nearly 3.7 million visitors. However, after a summer of severe overcrowding, including overflowing parking lots and waits of up to four hours to enter the park, Yosemite officials have announced they’ll be bringing back a policy requiring reservations for entry during peak periods in 2024.

Yosemite had introduced a reservation system in 2020 to address higher visitor numbers and public health concerns during the pandemic. The park removed the requirement in November 2022.

Yosemite’s 2024 reservation schedule

For 2024, travelers will have to make an advance reservation if they plan to enter the park (or even just drive through) anytime between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. on these dates:

  • April 13 to June 30 (weekends and holidays only)
  • July 1 to August 16 (daily)
  • August 17 to October 27 (weekends and holidays only)

Similarly, advance reservations will also be mandatory during the famous “Firefall” event, a natural phenomenon that occurs each February, when the setting sun hits Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall at just the right angle, making the cascade appear to be ablaze. For the Firefall event, reservations will be required on February 10–11, 17–19, and 24–25.

How to get a reservation for Yosemite National Park in 2024

Reservations for Yosemite National Park will open for the year on January 5, 2024, at Additional reservations will be made available exactly one week prior to each entry date—meaning more reservations to enter the park on July 8 will be available online on July 1, for example.

Travelers have the option of choosing a full-day admission pass or an afternoon pass that will start at noon. Each will cost $2 and will be valid for three days. In addition to these advance reservations to the national park, visitors will still need to pay the regular entrance fee ($35 for a private vehicle, $30 for a motorcycle, or $20 for a single person entering on foot or bicycle). Those entrance fees are waived on the six fee-free days in 2024, but reservations will still be required on those dates even during fee-free days.

There are some scenarios where travelers wouldn’t need an advance reservation, including if they’re on an organized tour, have lodging or campground reservations within the park, or are entering on public transit.

8. Zion National Park, Utah

Distant view of Angels Landing in Zion National Park, with sky of gray clouds

Want to hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park? You’ll need to nab a coveted permit first.

Courtesy of Alex Holt/Unsplash

One of the most popular trails in Zion National Park is the 1,488-foot climb to the Angels Landing rock formation. The challenging trek follows a winding path that was cut into the rock.

In 2022, Zion National Park began requiring permits to hike the Angels Landing trail and that program continued into 2023 and will again be instituted in 2024, as it’s been “successful at reducing crowding and congestion,” according to park rangers.

The 2024 schedule for obtaining permits for Angels Landing in Zion

  • March 1 to May 31: Lottery opens on January 1 at 8 a.m. Mountain Time (MT) and closes on January 20; permits issued on January 25
  • June 1 to August 31: Lottery opens on April 1 at 8 a.m. MT and closes on April 20; permits issued on April 25
  • September 1 to November 30: Lottery opens on July 1 at 8 a.m. MT and closes on July 20; permits issued on July 25
  • December 1, 2024 to February 28, 2025: Lottery opens on October 1 at 8 a.m. MT and closes on October 20; permits issued on October 25

Additional permits will be made available on a limited basis one day prior to the hike date.

How to get a reservation for Zion National Park’s Angels Landing in 2024

To obtain a permit to hike Angels Landing, go to recreation. gov.

Submitting an application for a permit is not a guarantee—submitting a permit means you are entering a lottery. Zion National Parks holds a virtual drawing for each batch of applicants to determine who will get a permit to hike to Angels Landing. “Everyone who submits an application has the same chance of getting a permit,” according to the application landing page.

In 2022, about 200,000 permits were issued with the allocation ranging from between a few hundred to close to 1,000 daily permits. Peak periods such as holidays and weekends typically see more applicants, which can lower the odds of receiving a permit.

One last tip . . .

For those who had their heart set on a very particular date for one of the parks listed above and found it was booked up, all is not lost.
There is always the option to bank the idea for another year and uncover the National Park Service’s underrated gems instead, explore these crowd-free national park alternatives, or head to some of the dozens of U.S. state parks worth discovering, too.

This story was first published in 2021 and was updated on December 27, 2023, to include current information.

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at Afar where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined Afar in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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