Several popular national parks are bringing back timed reservation systems for next year, requiring visitors to plan ahead.
Often implemented to limit crowds at some of the most popular national parks around the country, the measure is going into effect from Arches National Park to Yosemite National Park. The reservations are typically free, but come with an online processing fee for recreation.gov.
“We received many positive comments from people who enjoyed the guaranteed arrival time and reduced congestion they experienced during the 2023 vehicle reservation pilot,” Arches National Park Acting Superintendent Brendan Bray said in a recent statement. “A repeat pilot program in 2024 will help us learn more about how such systems can provide visitors with the opportunity for enjoyable experiences while protecting the extraordinary landscapes they come to see.”
These are the national parks requiring reservations for 2024.
Arches National Park
Starting on April 1, 2024, Arches National Park will re-introduce a pilot program similar to a model it implemented this year. Reservations will be released in monthly blocks three months in advance, according to the National Park Service, and will allow travelers to enter the park during a one-hour window. Visitors can then stay however long they wish.
The reservation is free, save a $2 recreation.gov processing fee.
Glacier National Park
The Montana park will bring back a reservation system starting May 24 next year for the west side of the always-popular Going-to-the-Sun Road and North Fork, and starting July 1 for the Many Glacier valley, according to the NPS.
New for 2024, vehicle reservations will only be valid for one day, rather than the three days this year, so more reservations can be issued. But park goers will be able to access the Apgar Village amenities without a vehicle reservation.
Like the other parks, reservations are free except for the $2 processing fee.
Rocky Mountain National Park
On May 24, Rocky Mountain National Park will also bring back a reservation system, requiring park visitors to obtain two different timed permits to access both the Bear Lake Road Corridor and the “rest of the park,” according to the NPS. Travelers will be able to enter within two hour periods, but there will be no set time for departure. Reservations will be free, except for a $2 recreation.gov processing fee.
Yosemite National Park
The California park will enhance its reservation system next year with the “Peak Hours Plus” 2024 program, according to the NPS. Reservations will be required for vehicles between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends from April 13 to June 30, every day from July 1 to Aug. 16, and on weekends from Aug. 17 to Oct. 27.
Visitors will be able to choose from two different types of reservations: Those valid for a full day, or those valid for entry any time after noon.
Reservations will also be required on weekends from Feb. 10 through Feb. 25 as well as on Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 19.
Day-use reservations cost $2.
Zion National Park
The Utah park will once again require reservations to visit and hike the popular Angels Landing in 2024, according to the NPS. The park holds a lottery system to make reservations, which are released on a rolling basis starting on Jan. 1.
Each permit costs $3 per person.