Top Picks For You

These National Parks Require Reservations in 2024

There have been a few changes when it comes to which national parks require reservations for activities and entry this year.

Over the past few years, several national parks have implemented reservations systems for either entry or for activities such as certain hikes or visiting landmarks. The reason? National parks continue to face overcrowding.

In 2023, visitation to park units was up 4% from the previous year, with over 325 million people heading to America’s most famous outdoor spaces. Crowd management and preserving these parks’ resources remains top priority to the National Park Service, and one new park has joined the ranks of requiring reservations for entry–Mount Rainier.

Knowing your dates beforehand can be the best strategy when it comes to getting those reservations on While it does take a little more planning, it also makes your entire national park visit much more pleasant than scrambling at the last minute for those coveted tickets.

Here are the parks that require reservations for certain activities and entry in 2024. Keep in mind that these do not include additional reservations for camping or backcountry permits.

Continue Reading Article After Our Video

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Martina Birnbaum/iStock

Acadia National Park

In order to drive Acadia’s famed Cadillac Summit Road from the dates of May 22 through October 27, you will need to obtain the $6 ticket on

As of February 22, 30% of the tickets are released on a rolling basis. You can get these 90 days in advance. If you happen to miss out on this window, the other 70% can be purchased at 10:00 am ET 2 days before your planned drive.

Katarina Marsalekova/Shutterstock

Arches National Park

Arches has confirmed that their reservation system for entry will be nearly the same as it was in 2023. If you plan on entering between the hours of 7:00 am MT and 4:00 pm MT from April 1 until October 31, you will need to buy a ticket.

These entry tickets are timed, meaning you will get a designated hour when you can enter. Reservations are released three months in advance, meaning that if you plan on visiting on June 1, you’ll look for the first-come, first-served tickets on March 1.

Don’t fret if you aren’t able to grab reservations for the days you need them. You can still snag a limited number at 7:00 pm MT the day before you plan on entering.

SED Photography/iStock

Glacier National Park

The Crown of the Continent has changed its reservation system again. You will need three separate reservations for three different areas of the park if you plan on exploring them all: the west entry of Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier, and the North Fork.

The dates in which you need tickets for Going-to-the-Sun Road and the North Fork are May 24 through September 8, while the Many Glacier area has a shorter window of July 1 to September 8. Reservations are required from the hours of 6:00 am MT until 3:00 pm MT.

Changes made include the ticket for Going-to-the-Sun Road only lasting one day instead of three like it did in 2023. You also do not need a reservation to enter the park on the east side for Going-to-the-Sun Road. The Two Medicine area of the park is free to enter without a reservation.

Tickets are released on a rolling basis 120 days before planned entry, while a limited number are also available the day before planned entry at 7:00 pm MT beginning on May 23.


Haleakala National Park

Lasting all year, Haleakala requires an advanced reservation for those looking to catch the sunrise from 3:00 am HT to 7:00 am HT. These are available up to 60 days in advance on If this is a last-minute activity, you can also find a limited number of tickets available two days before your day of planned entry at 7:00 am HT.


Mount Rainier National Park

If any park in the system has been overwhelmed by visitors, it might be Mount Rainier, which is implementing a reservation system for the first time this year after a 40% increase in visitation in the last 10 years. You will need to plan to get reservations for two areas of the park.

In order to access the Paradise Corridor from the south entrances from May 24 until September 2, or the Sunrise Corridor from July 3 until September 2, you will need to book your reservation three months in advance. These are required from the hours of 7:00 am PT and 3:00 pm PT.

There will also be a number of day-before tickets available on at 7:00 pm PT.

Kyle Kempf/iStock

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park’s reservations system remains much the same as previous years with two types of reservations available: a ticket for the Bear Lake Road Corridor, which includes the rest of the park, and one that includes the rest of the park but excluding the Bear Lake Road Corridor.

Reservations are required from the dates of May 24 until October 20 for the Bear Lake Road Corridor ticket for the hours between 5:00 am MT until 6:00 pm MT. The ticket for the rest of the park is required from May 24 until October 15 for the hours between 9:00 am MT to 2:00 pm MT.

You are given a two-hour window where you can enter the park until you forfeit your spot. These reservations can be booked a month before your planned visit on the first of the month. For example, if you plan on entering June 4, you will want to be on May 1.

As with other parks, there are a number of next-day tickets available the night before. This year, you can purchase them at 7:00 pm MT.

Jon Bilous/Dreamstime

Shenandoah National Park

If you plan on heading to Old Rag on your trip to Shenandoah or wish to take on any of the hikes there, a day pass will be required. You can purchase them 30 days in advance from February 17 at 10 am ET.

Don’t expect this reservation system to go away any time soon–the park announced that this will be permanent for every season except winter going forward.


Yosemite National Park

After a break last year, Yosemite has implemented a complicated system that requires planning during certain dates of the spring, summer, and fall months from the time period of 5:00 am PT to 4:00 pm PT.

The system starts with just weekends on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from April 13 until June 30. Holidays included are Memorial Day and Juneteenth. From July 1 until August 6, reservations for entry are required every day. After that, the park switches back to weekends on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. These holidays include Labor Day and Columbus Day.

There are two options for tickets: one that allows you access for the entire day, while another that requires you enter after 12:00 pm PT. These are all first-come, first-served on the website and they last for three days.

If you are not able to land tickets for your days, a number will still be available on a rolling basis seven days before your planned entry.

Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

Zion National Park

While Zion does not require a ticket for entry, reservations are needed for a number of activities within the park. This year, the park has entirely switched over to as the vehicle for obtaining reservations.

Hikes that are on the list of those that require reservations for day hikes include Angels Landing the Subway.

For Angels Landing, you will enter a lottery up to two months in advance for $6 per entry. If you happen to land a permit to hike, you will need to pay an additional $3 fee. There are also a small number of permits available for hiking the next day.

The Subway has a very similar lottery system, with 80 hikers allowed per day. These are also available two months before, with a limited number of slots available two days before your planned hike, as well.

Make Sure to Plan Your Visit in Advance

In order to make sure that you get the tickets you need, it’s important to have a general idea of which dates you will be enjoying your chosen park or parks. While that might not be the easiest when you are taking a road trip and you’re trying to enjoy the open road with freedom.

However, planning in advance can make all the difference for your national park trip, whether you want to visit a park that requires reservations or not. Taking some time to plan a bit in advance can ensure that you have a much better time and you are able to see all the attractions on your list.

Avatar for traceshipments
traceshipments April 25, 2024

Informative Article.

jimobeldobel8269 April 17, 2024

Sorry, Ken Burns, America's Best Idea has died.

mateuszkruzel6568 April 15, 2024

I guess will not purchase pass this year. Not worth if I can't get into interesting parks.