Get Out There

Reservations Coming Back to Parks

We’ve enjoyed having all the reservations lifted from the national parks. The reservation system started during the pandemic when people were desperate to get outside and into nature. Then it got rolled back, and we rejoiced about being able to take spur-of-the-moment trips to the parks.

However, the parks have never gotten quiet again. It’s like the pandemic reminded people how great the parks are, and now, even though other places are open, folks still want to hit the parks on their vacations.

Because of that, three national parks are bringing back reservations with timed entry tickets. Arches National Park, Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park will all require reservations in the spring. Spring kicks off their peak season. Everyone will need a reservation, not just one per family or car.

Our balanced approach for the 2024 pilot reflects feedback from Tribes, the public, partners and stakeholders, particularly regarding access to the Apgar Village area and Two Medicine,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Dave Roemer. “We also heard that knowing what park operations and access will look like sooner, rather than later, is important.”

The timed entries should make the parks less crowded and improve the parks for visitors. “We received many positive comments from people who enjoyed the guaranteed arrival time and reduced congestion they experienced during the 2023 vehicle reservation pilot,” said Arches National Park Acting Superintendent Brendan Bray. “A repeat pilot program in 2024 will help us learn more about how such systems can provide visitors with the opportunity for enjoyable experiences while protecting the extraordinary landscapes they come to see.”  

Reservations for different parks can be made through While reservations are free, there is a $2 processing fee.

Before heading out, looking at the park’s individual website is essential. They can be found through a Google search. You can learn not only about possible reservation rules but also about closures, weather concerns and rules that might be different in each park.

Planning for vacations always takes some work. Heading into the great outdoors takes even more work as you have to pack a lot of potentially life-saving gear. Going to a hotel requires packing a bathing suit; camping requires packing a bedroom! But, by planning ahead, you can have a wonderful experience. Look into the park you want to visit now so that you can set up your reservation well in advance and have a great time this spring!

Banner image: Intricate Explorer via Unsplash

Related Posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By clicking the "Subscribe" button you agree to our newsletter policy