US National Parks List of Reservations Required for 2024

When looking for US National Park vacation ideas, be sure to note the parks that require reservations for entry or specific activities for the dates you’ll be visiting. We have put together this guide to help: US National Parks List of Reservations Required for 2024.

But you know the saying: “change is the only constant in life”. We highly recommend you check the National Park Website for the specific park you want to visit to get the most updated information.

list of US National Park Reservations for 2024

US National Parks have become popular travel destinations. Due to the high visitation numbers, there are eight National Parks and one National Monument that require one of these reservation types: timed entry, road permit, and hiking permit.

If you plan to do any US National Park camping, many parks require advanced reservations. This article will not detail campground reservations so be sure to check the individual park website for current information.

We have been visiting US National Parks for over 20 years. Our number one tip is to be prepared for the temperatures and weather for the time you’ll be visiting a specific park.

We’ve put together a US National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting the parks any time of year! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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National Parks Advanced Reservations, Timed Entry Permits & Hiking Permits

Here are the three main reservation types you’ll find at the US National Parks. We’ll detail the specific reservations or permits needed for each park specifically below:

Timed Entry Permit: Reserve a ticket to enter the park on a specific date and time, valid for entry only during the one-hour period reserved.

Vehicle Reservation: Reserve a ticket to access a particular road within specific National Parks.

Hiking Permit: Reserve a ticket to hike a specific trail within a National Park.

This guide does not cover advanced reservations for lodging or campsites run by the National Park Service. Check the NPS camping website to get the most updated information about reservations for each specific park.

Double Arch at Arches National Park
Double Arch at Arches National Park

US National Parks List of Reservations Required for 2024

Over the years, an upswing in the number of visitors has been observed in many U.S. National Parks, resulting in overcrowded conditions. The surge in popularity brings about issues, such as lengthy lines at the entrance, jam-packed hiking trails, and overflowing parking lots filled with cars and RVs.

To manage this issue, various National Parks have started to require advance reservations. The trend is catching on, with one or two parks adding this requirement each year.

As stated before, this list of US National Parks requiring reservations is current for 2024. But changes can happen any time due to weather, natural events, or a myriad of things, so we always recommend you check the individual park website for the most updated information!

As of January 2024, there are eight National Parks and one National Monument that require some type of advanced reservation:

  • Acadia National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Muir Woods

Reservation fees are in addition to the entrance fee, or using your National Park Pass. Be sure you know the 2024 America the Beautiful Annual Pass update that all passes will now have only one signature line for a single passholder.

Cadillac Summit
View from Cadillac Summit

Acadia National Park Reservations

Acadia National Park: reservations are required to drive Cadillac Summit Road during the peak visitation season from May to October. This road takes you to the highest point in Acadia National Park and it is an extremely popular sunrise location.

You can visit the remainder of Acadia National Park without an advance reservation. The only place you need a vehicle reservation is for Cadillac Summit Road.

Reservation Type: Vehicle reservation for Cadillac Summit Road

  • 2024 Dates: May 22 through October 27
  • Cost: $6 reservation fee (in addition to entry fee)
  • Purchase Your Ticket: Online only at recreation.gov

You must select one of these two types of reservations:

Sunrise reservations – This ticket allows you to arrive and park before sunrise. These are the hardest reservations to get so make your reservation as soon as you know your dates of travel.

Daytime reservations – This timed entry ticket is available throughout the day. You select the time you want to visit Cadillac Mountain like 10am or 3pm. You must enter Cadillac Summit Road within 30 minutes of your daytime reservation.

Vehicle reservations provide a timed entry, but do not require a departure time until 10 pm, when the road closes to vehicles. Reservations do not permit re-entry.

Parking is available at two locations at the Cadillac Summit. Vehicle reservations do not assign a specific parking space.

Acadia National Park Lodging & Tours

  • Acadia National Park Hotels
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Delicate Arch at Arches National Park
Delicate Arch at Arches National Park

Arches National Park Reservations

Arches National Park: you must have a timed entry reservation to enter the park from April 1 to October 31. You can enter Arches National Park before 7am and after 4pm without an advance reservation.

Timed entry tickets will not be required for those with camping, backcountry, Fiery Furnace, or special use permits.

Reservations will not be available at park entrance stations or park offices. Print, download, or screenshot your ticket. Your timed entry ticket will be required for entry.

Reservation Type: Timed entry reservation at Arches National Park

  • Dates: April 1 through October 31, 2024 from 7 am to 4 pm
  • Cost: $2 (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online at recreation.gov or by phone 877-444-6777

The majority of timed entry tickets are released 3 months in advance. There will be a limited number of tickets available one day prior to entry at 7 pm MDT on recreation.gov.

Arches National Park Lodging & Tours

Going-to-the-sun Road
Going-to-the-Sun Road

Glacier National Park Reservations

Glacier National Park: there are three areas of the park where you will need a vehicle reservation. These areas include Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier, and North Fork.

You will be able to enter Going-to-the-Sun Road from the East Entrance and Two Medicine without a reservation. The park is open 24/7 so you can also enter vehicle reservation areas before 6 am or after 3 pm without a vehicle reservation.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the best US National Parks scenic drives. With that being said, it also draws a huge number of visitors. Timed entry reservations are now necessary to drive this road and to access a few other popular areas of the park.

Reservation Type: Vehicle reservations for Glacier National Park

  • Going-to-the-Sun Road (West Entrance): May 24 to September 8, 6 am to 3 pm
  • North Fork: May 24 to September 8, 6 am to 3 pm
  • Many Glacier: July 1 to September 8, 6 am to 3 pm
  • Cost: $2 (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online only at Recreation.gov

There are checkpoints on each of these roads that will require you to show your reservation permit. You cannot purchase them at the entrance station. Permits must be reserved in advance.

You do not need a vehicle reservation if you are staying in lodging or campsites inside of the park or if you will be taking a commercial tour.

Glacier National Park Lodging & Tours

sunrise from the summit at Haleakala National Park
Sunrise from Haleakala summit

Haleakala National Park Reservations

Haleakala National Park: Watching the sun rise is the number one thing to do here. To help avoid overcrowding, you need to book an advanced reservation to drive to the summit before sunrise.

This vehicle reservation allows you to enter the park between 3 am and 7 am. Keep in mind it takes 30 minutes to drive to the summit from the park entrance. If you do not have an advance reservation, you cannot enter the park until 7 am.

Reservation Type: Vehicle reservation for Haleakala sunrise at the summit

  • Dates: All year, no set dates
  • Cost: $1 (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online at recreation.gov 

Reservations can be made online up to 60 days in advance. The tickets are released at 7:00 am HST and usually sell out in 15 minutes. A second batch of tickets are released 48 hours in advance.

If you are unable to get a reservation, trying to book a Haleakala sunrise tour or plan to see the view any other time of day. Sunset is also a fantastic time and no reservation is necessary.

Haleakala National Park Lodging & Tours

  • Haleakala National Park Hotels
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Bear Lake Road in the fall
Bear Lake Road in the fall

Rocky Mountain National Park Reservations

Rocky Mountain National Park: Being the 4th most visited park every year, you’ll need an entry permit from mid-May to mid-October. Reservations are required to enter the two busiest sections of the park during the peak visitation season.

Timed entry tickets become available about one month in advance.

Reservation Type: Timed entry tickets for Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Dates: May 24 to October 20 for Bear Lake Road; May 24 to October 15 for the “rest of the park”
  • Cost: $2 (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online at recreation.gov 

There are two timed entry permits available:

Park Access +: Permit to access to everything in Rocky Mountain National Park from 5am to 6pm. It includes Bear Lake Road and these hikes: Bear Lake, Emerald and Dream Lakes, Alberta Falls, Sky Pond, Hallett Peak, and Sprague Lake.

Park Access: Permit to access to everything in Rocky Mountain National Park except for Bear Lake Road from 9am to 2pm. You can drive Trail Ridge Road, visit the Alpine Visitor Center, and hike to Longs Peak, Chasm Lake, and Gem Lake.

Rocky Mountain National Park Lodging & Tours

National Parks by State List: Free Printable

view from Old Rag Hike
View from Old Rag Hike

Shenandoah National Park Reservations

Shenandoah National Park: The popular Old Rag hiking trail requires a permit from March 1 to November 30 to help ease crowd control.

800 tickets are available each day. 400 are released 30 days in advance of the reservation date and the second half are released 5 days in advance. Tickets are released at 10 am EST.

The rest of Shenandoah National Park is accessible without a reservation.

Reservation Type: Old Rag Hiking Trail Day-Use Ticket at Shenandoah

  • Dates: March 1 to November 30
  • Cost: $1 (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online at recreation.gov 

Tickets are not available at the park entry booth or the Old Rag trailhead. Every person is required to have a ticket, regardless of age.

Where to Stay Near Shenandoah National Park

Firefall at Yosemite
Firefall effect at Horsetail Falls in February

Yosemite National Park Reservations

Yosemite National Park: Advance reservations are required to enter in February to see Horsetail Fall (also known as Firefall) and April through October during peak season. You are allowed to enter the park before 5 am and after 4 pm with a permit.

Reservation Type: Timed Entry Ticket at Yosemite

  • Cost: $2 (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online at recreation.gov 

A reservation will be required to drive into Yosemite during these time periods:

February: February is when Horsetail Fall (Firefall) is illuminated at sunset giving it an orange glow. You must have a reservation to enter the park on the weekends of February 10 and 11, February 17 to 19, and February 24 and 25. Even if you have no intention of seeing Horsetail Fall, you must still make a reservation.

April 13 to June 30: A reservation is required on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (May 27 and June 19) to enter the park between 5 am and 4 pm.

July 1 to August 16: A reservation is required every day between 5 am and 4 pm.

August 17 to October 27: A reservation is required on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (September 2 and October 14) to enter the park between 5 am and 4 pm.

If you have a lodging reservation within the park, a wilderness or Half Dome permit, or a vacation rental in Wawona, Yosemite West, or Foresta, you do not need a reservation to enter the park.

Half Dome at Yosemite
Half Dome at Yosemite

Reservation Type: Half Dome Hiking Permit at Yosemite

  • Dates: May 24 to October 15 (based on conditions) – 7 days a week when the cables are up
  • Make your reservation: Preseason Lottery
  • Application Fee: $10 (non-refundable)
  • Permit Fee: $10 per person, charged when you receive a permit

During the preseason lottery, 225 permits are available for each day. The application period for this lottery is from March 1 through March 31 ET. Applicants will receive an email with lottery results in mid-April or can get results online or by calling Recreation.gov

Additional permits are available each day by lottery during the hiking season. These permits are available based on the estimated rate of under-use and cancellation of permits. The daily lotteries have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night.

Yosemite National Park Lodging and Tours

chains section of Angel's Landing hike
Chains section of Angel’s Landing hike

Zion National Park Reservations

Zion National Park: The only reservation you will need is to hike one of three trails in the park: Angels Landing, the Subway, and from the Narrows top-down.

There is no reservation to enter the park, but you will need a to ride the Zion National Park shuttle to access Zion Canyon during the peak seasons from March through November, weekends in February and March, and the last week in December.

You don’t need to ride a shuttle to access the other three Zion National Park scenic drives.

Reservation Type: Angels Landing Hiking Permit at Zion

  • Dates: All year, no set dates
  • Make your reservation: Seasonal Lottery – You can pick seven ranked days and times or windows of days and times you want to hike.
  • Application Fee: $6 (non-refundable)
  • Permit Fee: $3 per person, charged when you receive a permit

Hikers going to Scout Lookout ONLY do not need a permit.

On the days permits are issued, recreation.gov will send you an email that says:

  • You did not get a permit and can consider applying again the day before your hike or for a future Seasonal Lottery.

OR….

  • You got a permit and have been charged $3 for each person you registered. This confirmation email serves as your permit. Print or download a copy of the confirmation email and bring it with you on your hike. Mobile phone service is unreliable at the permit checkpoint so be sure to print or download before you arrive. 
Subway hike
Subway hike

Reservation Type: Left Fork Subway Hike Permit at Zion

There are two different ways to explore the Left Fork of North Creek (Subway) by canyoneering and/or hiking. A Wilderness permit is always required for this area.

The Wilderness permit application process is the same for all canyoneers and/or hikers going into Left Fork. The only difference will be the starting and ending trailheads listed on your reservation and permit.

The Narrows hike
The Narrows hike

Reservation Type: 16-Mile Narrows Hike Permits at Zion

Narrows Single Day Hiking: If you plan to complete all 16 miles of the Virgin River Narrows in a single day, then you will only need to obtain one Wilderness permit for your group, for the date of your trip.

Narrows Overnight Backpacking: If you plan to complete all 16 miles of the Virgin River Narrows as an overnight backpacking trip, then you will only need to obtain one Wilderness permit for your campsite in the Narrows for the night of your trip.

Zion National Park Lodging & Tours

Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument Reservations

Muir Woods National Monument: Parking reservations are required all year and you will reserve a 30-minute arrival window. You are guaranteed a parking spot during that period. If you are in a standard sized vehicle, you are then welcome to stay until the park closes.

Reservation Type: Parking reservation at Muir Woods

  • Dates: All year, no set dates
  • Parking Reservation Cost: $9.50 standard vehicle, $30.00 medium vehicle, $45.00 large vehicle (in addition to entry fee)
  • Make your reservation: Online at gomuirwoods.com

You can also make shuttle reservations for $3.75 per adult round trip ticket for ages 16+. Ages 15 and younger ride for free.

Parking reservations can sell out, especially on weekends and holidays, so make your reservation in advance. Reservations can be made up to 3 months in advance.

There is NO cell phone service or WiFi at or around Muir Woods National Monument so download your parking reservation in advance. 

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