Which National Parks Require Reservations in 2024?

Are you wondering which National Parks require reservations this year? Here you’ll find updates on Reservations plans for National Parks in 2024.

pile of tickets representing the reservations required to enter some National Parks

We know the pain of trying to get National Park entrance reservations and the joy of successfully booking your dates. So we are here to try to take some of that pain away from your National Park planning. Most National Parks will not require advance reservations to enter in 2024. However the ones that do have a reservation system can be a bit tricky. Not everyone gets the tickets they want. So we are here to help guide you through that process.

Quick disclaimer – all the information in this post is based on the information available at the time of writing. But parks are constantly updating their programs so we will also link to the individual park’s reservation page where you can double check. Make sure you read through the details on each park’s website completely to avoid disappointment.

National Parks Requiring Reservations List

Here’s a quick list of National Parks that require reservations in 2024. You’ll find details about exactly what areas require reservations, how to get your tickets, and what dates and times are restricted further down in this article.

  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Arches National Park, Utah
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
  • Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  • Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Zion National Park, Utah

How to get National Park Reservations in 2024 (by park)

I’ve covered the reservation or timed entry requirements for each National Park so you can easily determine if you need one. However, please go to the individual park’s web page as linked in the list for more details and to order your tickets. Just a quick note about a couple of things that might be confusing

  • Dates and time of day – if you arrive at the park outside the listed date or time window then you do not need a reservation. For example, if you arrive at Arches National Park at 6:30 am or at 5 pm, both times outside their reservation window, you can enter the park without a ticket.
  • Some parks require a pass for the whole park during their reservation period while others only require reservations for specific areas.
  • Every park has a different date when tickets become available. It’s important that you note when you can buy your passes. They usually go fast just like tickets to your favorite concert.

Acadia National Park Reservations To Drive Cadillac Summit Road – 2024 TBD

Acadia National Park has not yet announced 2024 Reservations for Cadillac Summit Road. Here’s what it looked like in 2023 and it seemed to work well, so I’d start planning for summer 2024 with this in mind. We’ll update this article as soon as we know.

Acadia 2023 System

Dates: From May 24 to October 22, 2023
Location: Only to drive Cadillac Summit Road
Time of Day: All Day

If you wish to drive to the Summit of Cadillac Mountain to see the amazing view, including sunrises Acadia National Park will once again require a reservation for just this drive. There is no reservation required for any other part of the park.

There are two different types of reservations for the Cadillac Mountain Summit.

  • The first is for a Sunrise Entry which is in pretty high demand. The time of Sunrise Entry varies as the time of actual sunrise changes. Your ticket will clearly state your entry window if you wish to see the sunrise.
  • And the other type of ticket is for entry during the day, after sunrise.

May 24 through June 30 – 100% of the Cadillac Summit Road Sunrise and Daytime vehicle reservations will be available for purchase at 10:00 am (ET) two days in advance of the reservation date.

July 1 through October 22 – 30% of the Cadillac Summit Road Sunrise and Daytime vehicle reservations will be available for purchase 90 days in advance of the reservation date. And then 70% of the Cadillac Summit Road Sunrise and Daytime vehicle reservations will be available for purchase at 10:00 am (ET) two days in advance of the reservation date.

What if you don’t have a Reservation to Cadillac Summit?

You can enter the rest of Acadia National Park without reservation. There are tons of other fun things to do so don’t stress over it… just enjoy this gorgeous park.

More about Acadia National Park

Arches National Park Timed Entry Tickets for 2024

Arches National Park will be duplicating the same system they used last year. It seemed to work smoothly.

Dates: From April 1 to October 31, 2024
Location: Whole Park
Time of Day: Between 7 am to 4 pm

From April 1 to October 31 a timed entry ticket is required between 7 am and 4 pm.  The Arches National Park Timed Entry Tickets go on sale in a full month block 3 months in advance. That might be a little confusing so here are the dates tickets become available as shared on the park service website.

  • January 2 at 8 am MST: all April reservations open (April 1–30)
  • February 1 at 8 am MST: all May reservations open (May 1–31)
  • March 1 at 8 am MST: all June reservations open (June 1–30)
  • April 1 at 8 am MDT: all July reservations (July 1–30)
  • May 1 at 8 am MDT: all August reservations open (August 1–31)
  • June 1 at 8 am MDT: all September reservations open (September 1–30)
  • July 1 at 8 am MDT: all October reservations open (October 1–31)

A limited number of tickets will be available one day prior to entry at 6 pm MDT for a last-minute purchase.

What if you don’t have a timed entry ticket?

When you place your order, you must select a one-hour window to enter the park between 7 am and 4 pm. You can enter without a ticket before 7 am or after 4 pm. I want to share a word of caution that on the busiest days of the year the park might still be full at 4 pm and the rangers won’t open the gates until a few people leave. So be patient.

The good news is that in the heat of the summer, you should start your hike well before 7 am as it is boiling by 9 am. And evenings are a great time to explore and stay for the gorgeous sunsets.

More About Arches National Park

Glacier National Park Entry Tickets for 2024

Glacier National Park has made several changes for their reservation system in 2024 so make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules. The good news is more of the park is accessible without a reservation this year if you get stuck. However the most popular areas need advance reservations.

Dates: Varies for each area, see chart below
Location: Varies, see chart below
Time of Day: 6:00 am to 3:00 pm

Glacier National Park Entry Tickets will be offered as 3 different tickets this year, each for a different area of the park. Each ticket is only good for one day in 2024. So it is possible that you might need to book multiple tickets if you are planning to visit every corner of Glacier.

AreaDates RequiredTime of Day# of Days Covered
Going to Sun Rd West EntranceMay 24 through September 86 am to 3 pm1
Polebridge – NorthForkMay 24 through September 86 am to 3 pm1
Many GlacierJuly 1 through September 86 am to 3 pm1
Going to the Sun Rd East EntranceNo Reservation Required
Two MedicineNo Reservation Required

Passes are being released in 2 batches.

  • The first batch is a block offered 120 days in advance. That can make it a little confusing to calculate exactly when tickets will be available since not all months have the same number of days. You will need to manually count back to get your date.
  • Then another batch will be offered 24 hours before entry. If you are visiting the park before or after these dates you do not need a reservation.
Map of Areas Requiring Reservation in Glacier – Source NPS

What if you don’t have a timed entry ticket?

If you can’t get a reservation in advance, be prepared to day before to grab one of those last-minute ones. You’ll have to be online and ready at 8am MT. Be flexible. Although we all have our favorite areas of Glacier National Park, there is so much to see and do in each section. So jump in and enjoy where you can.

If you don’t have a ticket there are plenty of ways to see Glacier National Park:

  1. Enter the park before 6am or after 3pm.
  2. Enter Going to the Sun Road from St. Mary Visitor Center where reservations are not required.
  3. Visit Two Medicine area, it’s gorgeous with some amazing hikes.
  4. Book a tour, that will give you access to that section of the park.

If you have campground or lodging reservations, that will act as your entry reservation for that particular section of Glacier, but not the whole park. For example, if you have a lodging reservation at McDonald Lake Lodge, that will let you in on Going to the Sun Road. But it would not serve as your reservation ticket to Many Glacier Area.

More About Glacier National Park

Haleakala National Park Sunrise Viewing Reservations for 2024

Nothing is changing with the reservation system if you want to view the sunrise in Haleakala. No reservations are required for the rest of the day or other areas of the park.

Dates: All Year
Location: All Vehicles Entering the Park for Sunrise
Time of Day: 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m

If you are planning to see an amazing sunrise, Haleakala National Park requires sunrise entry reservations. Entry into the park after 7 am does not require a reservation.

Tickets for Haleakala are released on a 60-day rolling at 7 am HST. This means that you can book your ticket 60 days in advance of your arrival date at 7 am HST. Another group of tickets is released 2 days in advance. These go within minutes and it is recommended that you are logged in and ready to buy as soon as tickets are released.

ALL NEW: Mount Rainier’s Summer Reservations for 2024

Mount Rainier surprised us with a last minute addition to the parks requiring reservations. I totally get it! When we visited a few year ago the line to get it was 2 hours long. The new system hopes to reduce that long wait for you. There are two areas requiring reservations, each with different dates and times. And if you want to visit both, you’ll need two separate reservations.

Reservation Area 1
Dates: May 24 through September 2
Location: Paradise Corridor (south side of the park)
Time of Day: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

Reservation Area 2
Dates: July 3 through September 2
Location: Sunrise Corridor (northeast side of the park)
Time of Day: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

Reservations Mount Rainier are being released in blocks according to this chart at 8am PT.

Release Date at 8 am PTFor these dates admission
February 21, 2024May 24 – June 30, 2024
April 1, 2024July 1 – July 31, 2024
May 1, 2024July 1 – July 31, 2024

For last minute vacationers, a portion of reservations will be available the evening before starting at 7pm PT.

If you have lodging or campground reservations, you do not need a separate timed entry pass if you arrive after 1pm. If you plan to arrive before 1pm, you’ll need to get an earlier timed-entry.

More About Mount Rainier National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park Timed Entry for 2024

Rocky Mountain National Park is using the same Reservations plan for 2024 as last year. Here’s the scoop.

Dates: May 26 through October 22
Location #1: Bear Lake Road Corridor plus the Rest of Park
Time of Day: 5:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location #2: All the park except Bear Lake Corridor
Time of Day: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Rocky Mountain National Park has extended their time entry system through the fall season. It is now May 24 through October 25, 2024.

There are 2 types of passes for Rocky Mountain National Park. The first is a pass that lets you enter everywhere except the Bear Lake Corridor. And even if you can’t get one of these passes, the restricted hours are only 9 am to 2 pm so it’s pretty easy to enter before or after that window.

The second pass is the Bear Lake Corridor Pass between 5 am and 6pm. Bear Lake is the most popular area in the park and even though it can handle a lot of cars and people, it’s always overcrowded on peak days. So these tickets are harder to get. My advice is to be flexible and you can likely get a ticket for this area. And if not? There are many more areas worth exploring in the park.

Passes are released in advance on a rolling schedule (below) at 8 am MT.

Last year there was a second release of tickets at 5 pm MT the day prior, but at this point it’s not clear if RMNP will continue that practice. We’ll keep an eye on this and update when we learn more.

Release Date at 8 am MTFor these dates admission
May 1, 2024May 24 through June 30
June 1, 2024July 1 through July 31
July 1, 2024August 1 through August 31
August 1, 2024September 1 through September 30
September 1, 2024October 1 through October 20

More About Rocky Mountain National Park

Shenandoah National Park: Old Rag Day Use Tickets (2024 TBD)

The park service has not updated their plans for the Old Rag Day Use area yet for 2024. Currently it looks like it will be the same as last year as this plan has been working well for several years.

Dates: March 1 to November 30
Location: Old Rag Area Only
Time of Day: All Day

The only reservations for Shenandoah National Park are for Day Use Tickets for the Old Rag Area between March 1st and November 30th. If you are planning to hike Old Rag, one-half of the day-use tickets become available 30 days prior and the other half is released 5 days prior at 10:00 am ET.

Yosemite National Park Reservations for 2024

After a year of no reservations, Yosemite is bringing back a reservation system for 2024. We completely understand why. Even during our visit on a weekday in mid September we faced massive traffic in the Valley. There are two different pass systems, one for February’s Horesetail Falls event and the other for the peak season. Here’s how it’s going to work:

For the February Horsetail Falls event only:

A day use reservation is required for the whole day for the following dates. You will not be able to enter any part of Yosemite without this pass, even if you arrive early or late in the day.

  • February 10-11
  • February 17-19
  • February 24-25

The day use pass is good for 7 days. If you arrive on a weekday, you will receive a 7 day pass that is still good over the weekend without needing a reservations. So for example if you arrive on Thursday, you’ll be able to use that pass to get into Yosemite over the weekend without a reservation. A reservation is only required if your first day arriving in the park is on one of the above dates.

How to Get Your Reservation Pass

1/2 of the reservations went on sale last December. The other half go on sale at 8am PT two days prior to the date of the reservation. You can get your passes at Recreation.gov

For Spring, Summer and Fall Peak Hour Reservations

To enter Yosemite between 5am and 4pm on busy days, you will need a reservation. Here’s the schedule of days and times where reservations are required.

DatesDays of WeekTimes
April 13 – June 30 2024Saturday, Sunday and Holidays5am-4pm
July 1 – August 16, 2024Every Day of Week5am-4pm
August 17 – October 27, 2024Saturday, Sunday and Holidays5am-4pm

Reservations will be released on Recreation.gov on January 5, 2024. A second batch will be released 7 calendar days prior to the date you plan to arrive.

The reservation is good for entering and leaving the park for 3 consecutive days, however note you must enter for the first time on the reservation date.

Last thing to know… this is different than the Horsetail Falls Pass. Entering the park on a Friday in the spring or fall will not give you access without a reservation over the rest of the weekend.

What if you don’t have a reservation?

You have a couple options:

  • Visit Yosemite after 4pm. In the summer it is light until 8ish so there’s plenty of time to tour the park.
  • Take YARTS, a Yosemite Area public transportation system. It’s great for visiting the valley anytime. You can park in a nearby community, take the bus in and then rent a bike or hike and walk throughout the valley. No hassle with congestion!

Also if you have reservations for lodging or camping in the park you do not need to get an additional reservation for day use. Just show your reservation confirmation when you enter.

Zion National Park: Angels Landing Permit for 2024

Dates: All Year
Location: Angels Landing
Time of Day: All Day – Specific Time Slots will be Allotted

Hiking Angels Landing is the only activity in Zion National Park that will require a reservation. Reservations for Angels Landing are awarded through a lottery system. There are 2 types of lotteries.

The first is the day-before lottery which you can enter between midnight (12:01 AM) and 3:00 PM MT. You will be notified of the results by email by 4:00 PM. Applicants may apply for a permit for up to six people (including the applicant).

The other lottery is the Seasonal Lottery, where you can enter months in advance. The advantage of the seasonal lottery is you can request up to 7 dates or times giving you a greater chance of getting a reservation. Each season has a unique window to enter the lottery which is clearly defined on the Zion Reservations Page on Recreation.gov.

Our advice? Enter the seasonal lottery as soon as you know you want to go to Zion!

Related Note – The Zion Shuttle system is currently not planning to require reservations in 2024. (It has the past few years) We don’t expect that to change based on what the park service is sharing.

More About Zion National Park

Why Do National Parks Require Reservations?

Many National Parks have been struggling with overwhelmed resources for over a decade. Overcrowding puts wear and tear on the land National Parks are designed to protect. A few parks put limits in place, but park entry reservations weren’t very widespread until 2020.

It wasn’t until the pandemic that parks were forced to find creative ways to reduce the number of visitors in the park at one time in order to continue to stay open. Since then, the busiest National Parks have been testing a variety of reservation systems. Over the past few years, those parks have continued to tweak their systems trying to find a balance that works for everyone.

National Park Reservation Systems are definitely a work in progress. For us, as visitors, it creates several challenges. First, with the rules changing each year it’s hard to know exactly which parks require reservations. And second, we have the challenge of getting that reservation, especially if we aren’t super organized travel planners!

Other Fees in National Parks for 2024

Great Smoky Mountain National Park is implementing a parking fee of $5 per day, $15 per week or $40 annually this year.  It’s not a reservation for a specific time, it’s just a simple fee to park in the park to hike or picnic. You can order your Great Smoky Mountain National Park Parking Tags in advance or purchase them at the visitor’s center upon arrival in the park.

Because a major highway runs right through the park, there has never been an entrance fee to GSMNP. If you are just passing through and not stopping in any one spot for more than 15 minutes you won’t need a parking tag. Fees from the new parking tag will support park maintenance and trail improvements. 

What about Camping and Lodging Reservations?

A big change over the last few years has been the conversion of campgrounds within National Parks from First Come First Serve (no reservation required) to Reservation Campgrounds. At this point assume you need reservations. Go to the park’s website or Recreation.gov to confirm. There are a lot of inaccurate articles out on the web about reservations for camping in the parks because this has changed so fast. We update our campground information every spring to ensure you have the most accurate info.

Hotels within the parks have long required reservations far in advance. The demand far outweighs the number of hotel rooms available.

FAQs for National Park Reservations

When should I purchase my reservation tickets?

Be ready to buy your passes or tickets on the day and time they become available. Many are in such high demand that they sell out immediately. Create your Recreation.gov account in advance and log in. For our road trips, I mark my calendar for each park with notes about reservations both for entry passes and for campgrounds to ensure I don’t miss out.

Can I get last-minute passes?

Each park is different so check their recreation.gov page. However, most set aside a portion of their passes to offer 1-5 days in advance. Very few have a same-day option.

Does my ticket include the entrance fee to the park?

No, if the park has an entry fee that needs to be paid separately.

What do I need to prove that I have a reservation?

You will need a copy of your confirmation email with the reservation number and a photo ID that matches the reservation. Reservations are not transferrable. The best practice is to print out your reservation since internet access is very limited or non-existent in most National Parks.

More to come as I get updates! I hope you have an amazing National Park adventure. Use these charts to make sure you know which National Parks require reservations.

Wondering which National Parks are going to require reservations this summer? Here's the detailed list of those parks with a guide to how to get your reservations.
Guide to National Park Reservations


  • Ladona Stork

    The Authors: Hey, we are Ladona and Brad, avid campers and hikers. We are crazy about getting outdoors at every possible moment and have decades of experience exploring nature. Our current goal is to visit all 63 US National Parks and just completed #42. WooHoo! Our mission is to help you plan your own adventures and create memories beyond your imagination!