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Dec 28, 2023
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Which National Parks Require Timed Vehicle Entry Permit in 2024?

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December 2023 Update

RV Camping on lake in beautiful spot

What is a National Parks’ timed entry pass?

If you’re planning to visit a National Park in 2024 you should take note of the timed entry pass that is required at some of the popular parks. Visitor numbers have exploded at some of the most popular National Parks In the USA. In an effort to reduce vehicle congestion at the gate many parks now require a reservation pass to enter. Here’s some hints, tips and tricks for getting into the park.

Starting in 2020 some National Parks implemented a pilot reservation system using a timed ticket pass entry to manage park numbers and enhance the visitor’s experience. The timed pass is a ticket to enter the park within a one hour window. You can depart whenever you like. This pilot program is still in effect for 2024 for five National Parks. Each park has different days and timeframes to manage when it is the busiest times to enter the park. The timed pass costs $2 and needs to be booked on recreation.gov. You will need to bring this pass, and pay the usual park entry fee, or you have one, bring a National Park pass (along with ID for the card holder).

If you do not see the park you plan to visit on this list, more than likely there is no timed entry requirement. This can change throughout the year, so it’s always good to plan ahead and check Recreation.gov for the park details before you plan to visit. At this time, the timed entry pass cannot be purchased at the park only booked online at their website listed above.The permits issued on this reservation system, will allow park visitors to enter the park within one or two hour window of availability, with no set time for departure.

Also note that a timed entry ticket is not required for visitors who have camping permits, tour tickets, backcountry permits, Fiery Furnace permits, or concessions contracts. Just a tip; if you were not able to get your reservation pass, a limited number of additional tickets are usually released at 6 or 7 p.m. Mountain time each day for park visits the following day. Keep in mind most people travel when school is out and this is the busiest time to secure a booking.

What are the Parks that require the timed pass entry?

  • Arches National Park, Utah (entire park) See more information below.
  • Glacier National Park, Montana Many Glacier from July 1st to September 8 from 6am to 3pm) and beginning May 24th to September 8 for North Fork and Going-to-the-Sun Road (not required at St. Mary entrance). See more information below.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (There are two different timed entry passes for Rocky Mountain National Park: Bear Lake Road Corridor for the entire corridor and the entire park from 5am to 6pm and the rest of the park (not including Bear Lake Road Corridor) from 9am to 2pm.)
  • Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii (Summit District and sunrise viewing at the summit) A reservation is required for each vehicle entering the park from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.You may book a reservation up to 60 days in advance and 2 days in advance of the start date. Visitors planning to view the sunrise at Haleakalā National Park must make sunrise viewing reservations for $1.00 in advance at https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/253731. See more information below.
  • Zion National Park, Utah has a lottery system for Angles Camp (but a timed entry permit is not required). Everyone who hikes Angles Camp needs to have a permit! It is a fair program that will ensure there is no overcrowding in the park to enhance visitor experience. See below for more information about the lottery permits.
  • Yosemite National Park, California. Reservations are required to enter Yosemite on Saturday and Sundays including the holiday Monday beginning February 10th through February 25th, 2024. You must obtain a reservation if you plan to enter on: February 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 2024. See more information below. Reservations go on sale December 1st at 8pm Pacific Time. See below for more details.

We’ve listed complete details for each of the National Parks that require the timed entry pass here:

Arches National Park, Utah

Photo Credit: National Parks Conservation
Association

This red-rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets. You and your family will love exploring Arches National Park. To visit Arches National Park from April 1 to October 31, 2024, between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., you will have to go through a reservation system. You will then need to go to this website, choose the date and time of your visit, and pay a $2 reservation fee per car (non-refundable). This will help relieve the congestion and spread the visitors entry throughout the day. Timed entry tickets will allow visitors to enter during a one hour specified window of availability between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. The reservation does not include the entrance fee that you will have to pay at the time of reservation (or use America the Beautiful Park Pass).

Due to the popularity of the park, make your reservation as soon as possible. In case you are not able to find an available spot, there is still another way. Every day from 6:00 p.m. onwards you can book reservations for the next day if there are still any available. So here’s a helpful reminder of when tickets will go on sale for 2024.

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

Additional Details:

This ticket provides access for one private vehicle to access the main Scenic Drive within Arches. If you have camping permits at some campgrounds within the park, you will not need to also purchase this pass. The timed entry ticket is only valid for the one-hour period that it is reserved for. Visitors entering the park on foot or on bicycle do not require a timed entry reservation.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Photo by Earth Trekkers

Sometimes called the “Crown of the Continent” with amazing views it’s no wonder Glacier National Park has implemented a pilot vehicle reservation system in 2024, beginning May 24 for the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road and North Fork and on July 1 for Many Glacier. Just across the border of Canada is Waterton Lakes National Park. Together, these two parks form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the world’s first international peace park and very worthy of being on your bucket list.

West Entrance
Reservations will be required for Going-to-the-Sun Road beyond the Apgar Village area from May 24 through Sept. 8, 2024, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can enter before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. without a vehicle reservation. New in 2024, vehicle reservations will be valid for one day only, down from three days in 2023.

In 2024, visitors will be able to access Apgar Village amenities, including the Apgar Visitor Center, without a vehicle reservation. Lodging, camping, and transportation reservations originating in Apgar will no longer provide access beyond the Apgar filter check point.

North Fork
North Fork entrance station will require reservations from May 24 through Sept. 8, 2024, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are only for one day. Visitors can enter before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. without a vehicle reservation.

Many Glacier Valley
At the Many Glacier Valley entrance station reservations will be required from July 1 through Sept. 8, 2024, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are good for one day. Visitors can enter the valley before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. without a vehicle reservation.

Also new in 2024, visitors will be able to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the east side beyond Rising Sun without a vehicle reservation. Visitors will also have access to the St. Mary Visitor Center and shuttle stop on the east side of Glacier National Park, as in 2023.


Vehicle reservations and entrance passes
Vehicle reservations will be available on https://www.recreation.gov/, the Recreation.gov mobile app, or the Recreation.gov Call Center (Reservation Line: 877-444-6777). Each of the specified areas of the park will require a separate reservation and each reservation has a $2 Recreation.gov fee.Vehicle reservations are not required for tribal members throughout the park.

You can book your vehicle reservation through two booking windows:   

  • A portion of reservations will be available 120 days in advance, starting on Jan. 25, 2024, at 8 a.m. MST on a rolling basis on Recreation.gov.    
  • Remaining vehicle reservations can be booked at 7 p.m. MDT for next-day entry starting on May 23, 2024.    

In addition to a vehicle reservation, each vehicle entering the park is required to have an entrance pass for any entry point into the park. These passes could include any of the following: a $35 vehicle pass, good for seven days; a valid Interagency Annual/Lifetime Pass; or a Glacier National Park Annual Pass. A vehicle reservation does not include an entrance pass, and the park entrance pass does not serve as a vehicle reservation.

Visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity reservations within the reservation areas can use proof of their reservation for entry instead of a Recreation.gov reservation to gain access to the portion of the park for which they have a reservation. If you have a service reservations (e.g., boat tours, lodging, horseback ride, guided hikes) in these areas you will be permitted to enter during temporary restrictions without an entry reservation.

Also please note: entry will be temporarily restricted in areas of the park that become too congested for visitor safety and resource protection. Parking at Logan Pass, Apgar Village, and other areas may be unavailable. It is highly recommended to take advantage of free shuttles for hiker access to Logan Pass although waits for shuttles may be long depending on the time and location. It is advisable to plan your visit outside of peak hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Visitors are encouraged to check the park website frequently for updates and additional information.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park

With snow covered mountain peaks, beautiful hiking trails for all ages that lead to alpine lakes and waterfalls, wildlife, and a scenic drive along one of the highest roads in the USA, it’s no wonder visitor numbers have increased. The reservation system to access Rocky Mountain National Park will continue to be in place in 2024 between May 24 and October 20, 2024. Visit Rocky’s Timed Entry Permit Reservation page for more details.

There are two different timed entry passes for Rocky Mountain National Park: Bear Lake Road Corridor for the entire corridor and the entire park from 5am to 6pm and the rest of the park (not including Bear Lake Road Corridor) from 9am to 2pm.) The permits issued on this reservation system, will allow park visitors to enter the park within two hour windows of availability, with no set time for departure. The booking availability for Rocky Mountain National Park is as follows:

  • May and June reservations (May 24-June 30) open May 1 at 8 a.m. MT.
  • July reservations (July 1-31) open June 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for June).
  • August reservations (August 1-31) open July 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for July).
  • September reservations (September 1-30) open August 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for August).
  • October reservations (October 1-20) open September 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for September).
  • The booking availability for Rocky Mountain National Park is as follows:
  • May and June reservations (May 24-June 30) open May 1 at 8 a.m. MT.
  • July reservations (July 1-31) open June 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for June).
  • August reservations (August 1-31) open July 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for July).
  • September reservations (September 1-30) open August 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for August).
  • October reservations (October 1-20) open September 1 (also includes any remaining days that have not been booked for September).

Rocky Mountain National Park Entrance Fees

Beginning on June 1, 2023, Rocky Mountain National Park will be moving to cashless payments at entrances and campgrounds for all fees and payments. 

1-Day Vehicle Entrance Pass – $30.00. Valid for date of purchase. Covers single, non-commercial vehicle with capacity of less than 16 passengers. 

7-Day Vehicle Entrance Pass – $35.00 – Rocky Entrance Fee – vehicle entrance pass valid for 7 consecutive days

Rocky Mountain National Park Annual Pass – $70.00 – Unlimited entry for one year from date of purchase.

Interested in Purchasing Your Park Entrance Pass Online?

Whether you’re planning a single visit or coming back multiple times a year, enjoy the convenience of purchasing a Rocky Mountain National Park site-specific digital pass online before you arrive.

You have immediate access to your digital pass and can easily download it on your phone or tablet. Your pass will also be emailed as a PDF and can be printed out for display when you arrive. Purchase passes on the website: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/fees.htm

Camping

There are five campgrounds to choose from. The Aspen Glen, Glacier Basin, Longs Peak and Moraine Park campgrounds are all on the park’s east side. To the west, you’ll find Timber Creek Campground. To camp in the backcountry, you need a permit and you can only get one at Recreation.gov, starting March 1 at 8 a.m. MT. You do not need a timed entry pass if you book a campsite or tours.

Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii

Photo Compliments of The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono

Bring your “aloha” spirit and support Maui after the fires. Maui is open to visitors except for the town of Lahaina. While you are there visit Haleakala National Park which is Maui’s only National Park and actually two parks in one. There is the beautiful the coastal area of the Kipahulu District with cascading waterfalls, swimming holes, lush rainforests and rocky shorelines along the Pacific Ocean. And also the majestic Summit District at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level in the clouds with silverswords and sandy volcanic craters. It is also a favorite star-gazing spot at night.

A reservation is required for each vehicle entering the park from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. You may book a reservation up to 60 days in advance and 2 days in advance of the start date. Reservation is only $1. But most visitors will also require a Summit District and Sunrise reservation. You will be able to book these on the recreation.gov website.

In addition to the Vehicle entrance fee you will need to pay the entrance fees

All park visitors are required to purchase a recreational use pass upon entering Haleakalā National Park. Passes are non-transferable and are valid for 3 days including the date of purchase. Passes can be purchased online here and in-person using credit cards for payment at the Summit and Kīpahulu entrance stations. A variety of park passes cover park entrance fees.  A cashless system is in place at this park. There is also an after-hours machine if the gate is unmanned where you can purchase your recreation pass.

$30.00 per private vehicle – Valid for 3 days.

Admits private, non-commercial vehicle (14 max capacity or less) and all occupants to Haleakalā National Park including both the Summit and Kīpahulu Areas.

$25 per motorcycle – Valid for 3 days.

Admits a private, non-commercial motorcycle to Haleakalā National Park including both the Summit and Kīpahulu Areas.

$15.00 per pedestrian or bicycle – Valid for 3 days.
Admits one individual with no car to Haleakalā National Park including both the Summit and Kīpahulu Areas. Youth 15 and under are admitted free.

Zion National Park, Utah

Photo from Zion National Park Archives

Zion National Park is one of the most unique and incredible places in the world so it is no wonder why so many people wish to explore the trails seeing nature at its finest. Both short and long hikes will give you the opportunity to experience the amazing rock formations, cool off in a beautiful river or stream, relax on a rock with spectacular views, and finish the day viewing an awe inspiring night sky… with all of this you are sure to have one of your most memorable adventures of your life.

It pays to do a bit of research before you go to check out what permits and reservations are required to visit your chosen area of the park you wish to visit. You do not need a permit or reservation to ride the shuttle or enter the park; you do however, need to pay the park fee upon entering. You do not need a permit to hike the Narrows from Temple of Sinawava going upstream to Virgin River. Hikers going to Scout Lookout do not require a permit.

You DO need to enter the lottery for a permit if you wish to visit Angels Landing before making your plans to visit the park. Angels Landing is the most popular part of the park and to enhance the visitor experience the number of people entering the area is limited. Therefore, everyone who wishes to hike this area needs a permit. To enter the lottery you will need to visit www.recreation.gov.

Most hikers take around 4 hours to complete the hike, but some take longer. Check the seasonal shuttle schedule before you leave to make sure you do not miss the last shuttle. Print or download your permit and carry a flashlight with new batteries, some food and lots of water just in case you end up out later than you planned. The trail is well marked, but bring a park map in case you get disoriented.

Yosemite National Park, California

Photo compliments of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a little more detailed when it comes to when you require a timed entry permit to visit the park. To stagger the visitor entries, only the most popular days require the entry permit in 2024.

Here’s a list of the days a vehicle reservation will be required for entry in 2024: 

Reservation permits are required to enter Yosemite National Park 24 hours a day during the Horsetail Falls event. Vehicles arriving without reservations will not be permitted to enter. Horsetail Falls can glow orange at sunset and this event should occur on the weekends of February 10–11, February 17–19, and February 25–26, 2024. Permits are required even for those not visiting Horsetail Falls. 

April 13 – June 30: Weekends only, including holidays. 

July 1 – August 16: Daily 

August 17 – October 27: Weekend only, including Monday holidays. 

The $35/car entrance fee is valid for entry for seven days, regardless of day of arrival.  

For detailed information please visit www.nps.gov/yose

The information was very conflicting on the website for Yosemite and seems to change randomly.

National Parks Guide Books we Love

Before you go, you can get the family excited with the Trekking The National Parks Game especially if you are planning to visit a few of the parks. We would not leave home without the updated version of the Rand McNally Maps and The National Parks Bucket List Journal is a great way to keep all your memories fresh.

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