Yosemite National Park No Longer Requires Reservations

Plan your trip with a bit more flexibility now.

F11photo/ Shutterstock

National parks have seen a surge of interest in the last two years, as outdoor activities became one of the few safe options for many people during the pandemic. To make sure that the parks didn’t get too crowded and that both the guests and the wildlife were protected, popular parks started implementing various requirements for entry, including making reservations in advance.

In March of 2021, Yosemite National Park lifted its reservation requirements, only to reinstate the requirement ahead of the summer. Now, as of October 1, the reservation requirement has been lifted once again, allowing travelers to come and go from the park more freely. Without the reservation requirement, the park isn’t exactly going to be a breeze to enter.

There are still a lot of people who want to visit and the National Park Service warns that you can expect one- to two-hour wait times due to traffic at the gates. Yosemite National Park’s website cautions to “arrive before mid-morning, especially on weekends.”

And visitors shouldn’t expect everything to be back to normal now that the reservation requirement was lifted. Some campgrounds are closed due to staff shortages, and bus tours and shuttle services are also suspended for the same reason. Make sure to read the park’s website for updates ahead of your visit. And if you’re looking for tips on what to see, check out our guide on what you can’t miss.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.