You’ll Need a Reservation Just to Get into Yosemite National Park This Summer

The National Park Service Hopes to Limit Traffic Jams with New Reservation System

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

If you’re planning to visit Yosemite National Park this summer, there are some important new regulations to keep in mind. Most notably, a new reservation system that impacts day trippers but is less of an issue for campers and backpackers.

From May 20 through September 30, 2022, the National Park Service will require a reservation for vehicles entering Yosemite between 6:00 AM and 4:00 PM each day. A reservation can be obtained at recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777 prior to arrival. Any visitor without a reservation will be denied entry.

The NPS strongly encourages all travelers—including annual pass holders—to book well in advance to avoid getting shut out of the park altogether. Each reservation comes with a $2 processing fee and is valid for three consecutive days starting on the projected arrival date. A $35 standard entry fee still applies.

Yosemite reservation system

Image Courtesy of Kraig Becker

Reservations are not required for visitors who have booked an in-park campsite, vacation rental, or a stay at one of Yosemite’s famous lodges. The reservations requirement is also waived for backpackers who hold a wilderness permit or climbers with a permit for Half Dome.

In order to accommodate as many visitors as possible, the Park Service has made 70% of all of the daily reservations available now. The remaining 30% will go up for grabs on a first-come, first-serve basis seven days before the expected entry date. This should allow some travelers to still book a last-minute visit even without making a reservation months in advance.

As one of the most popular national parks in the US, Yosemite welcomes millions of visitors through its gates each year. Because of this, traffic in and out of its iconic valley can become congested at times. The Park Service hopes to create a better experience for everyone by implementing the reservation system, particularly as it plans some construction projects and improvements to the park this year.

For more information, visit the NPS Yosemite Reservations website.

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