These National Parks Will Require Reservations This Summer—Here’s What You Need to Know
Before you head out to your favorite national park, make sure you know whether you need a reservation first.
Throughout the United States, national parks are some of the most popular vacation destinations, especially during the summer months. Perfect for a summer weekend getaway, camping excursion, road trip or family vacation, it’s no wonder peak national park season typically occurs from July through September. And with nearly 312 million visits to U.S. national parks in 2022, there’s no sign of park visitation slowing down this summer.
To deal with the large numbers of anticipated parkgoers, some national parks are turning to a familiar system—specifically, a reservation system. A handful of the most popular parks will reintroduce a system requiring travelers to book a reservation before entering certain parks and areas of parks.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Before solidifying any national park summer plans, take a look at the parks you’ll need a reservation for before visiting.
Which U.S. national parks will require reservations this summer?
Out of the 63 national parks in the United States, these are the ones that will require reservations this summer:
Acadia National Park
Acadia’s returning reservation system requires vehicle reservations for Cadillac Summit Road of the popular park from May 24 to Oct. 22. Cadillac Summit Road is a 3-mile “scenic drive to the top of the highest peak in Acadia National Park,” according to recreation.gov. Thirty percent of vehicle passes are obtainable 90 days ahead of arrival, and the remainder is released at 10 a.m. EST two days prior. Additionally, each pass costs $6. However, parkgoers entering any other part of the park or not in a vehicle do not require reservations.
Arches National Park
For those planning on visiting Utah’s Arches national park, making a timed-entry reservation to visit between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. is already a requirement. Reservations began April 1 and last through Oct. 31. Plus, tickets are accessible the first day of each month at 8 a.m. MT for visits three months in advance of arrival. Or, on recreation.gov, a limited amount of tickets are released a day prior to park arrival at 6 p.m.
Glacier National Park
Vehicle reservations for Going-to-the-Sun Road are also a requirement for this Montana park. From 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. between May 26 to Sept. 10, vehicles need three-day reservations to access the park’s West entrance. In addition, for the North Fork part of Glacier, park visitors solely need a one-day reservation. Furthermore, from July 1 to Sept. 10 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., the St. Mary entrance to Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier and Two Medicine will all require reservations, too.
Haleakalã National Park
This Hawaii park on the island of Maui is famous—and incredibly popular—for its magnificent sunrise views. Subsequently, Haleakalã’s reservation system has been in place for years. $1 vehicle reservations are needed to enter the park between 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Outside of sunrise hours, though, travelers can enjoy the park without any passes.
Rocky Mountain National Park
From May 26 to Oct. 22, one of two ticket options is needed for Rocky Mountain. The first accesses Bear Lake Road Corridor and the park between 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the second is solely to access the park. For the latter choice, entry hours range from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Moreover, reservations open starting May 1 at 8 a.m. MT. After that, reservations are available on the first of the month for entry for the following month. Plus, around 40% of tickets are available the day prior to a visit at 5 p.m.
Shenandoah National Park
Reservations for Virginia’s Shenandoah national park began March 1 and will last to Nov. 30. Every day, 800 tickets are available to enter the Old Rag Mountain area. Meanwhile, 30 days prior and five days prior to park entry, 400 tickets each are also released for park reservations.
Zion National Park
As the third most visited national park of 2022—with more than 4.5 million visits—Zion is once again utilizing their reservation system. Reservations are not required to enter the park but rather for those interested in hiking Angels Landing. Two permit options are available—a seasonal lottery which costs $6 per person to apply to or a $3 day-before permit.
How can I make a park reservation?
All park reservations can be made at recreation.gov or through each park’s website. Alternatively, recreation.gov has a mobile app that can easily be used to buy park passes, as well. Now that you know which parks require summer reservations, take a look at the new Google Maps features that will make your next national parks visit a breeze.
- Conde Nast Traveler: “These Are the National Parks Requiring Reservations in 2023”
- National Park Service: “Annual Visitation Highlights”
- Recreation.gov: “Cadillac Summit Road”
- Travel + Leisure: “These U.S. National Parks Are Requiring Reservations for Summer 2023—Here’s What to Know”
- Travel + Leisure: “Use This Complete List of All the U.S. National Parks to Plan Your Next Adventure”