This Summer, due to the ever growing popularity of Yosemite National Park, and due to construction closing down both Bridalveil Falls and Glacier Point, Yosemite will be requiring Reservations to enter the park from May 20th through September 30 during peak hours (6AM to 4PM). Reservations are good for 3 days and will be checked at the gate when you enter. Here are your best options for getting into Yosemite National Park with or without a Reservation.
- Plan ahead
70% of available reservations for all dates May 20 through September 30 will be available to claim starting March 23rd on www.recreation.gov. If you have the ability to plan your vacation in advance, this might be your best chance at getting a reservation for the season. Already having your reservation lined up can take a lot of stress out of the planning process, so we definitely recommend this route if possible.
- Try to get a reservation 1 week in advance
If you were unable to get a permit in March, or you aren’t able to predict your schedule that far in advance, you can try to get a reservation one week in advance. While 70% of reservations will be listed in March, the other 30% will be listed daily, for dates the following week. Every day at 8AM sharp, reservations will be available at www.recreation.gov. These reservations are hard to come by, and are claimed nearly instantaneously, so to have a chance you must be online, already logged in and hovering over the ‘reserve’ button at 7:59AM.
- Reserve Lodging in Yosemite
If you have a Reservation for a campground, hotel, or vacation rental in Yosemite, you do not need to get an additional Reservation. Important to note that this only includes lodging IN THE PARK and not lodging nearby, such as in the towns of Mariposa, Groveland, Lee Vining, Oakhurst, etc…
If you have a reservation at one of the following you are covered:
- A Campground in Yosemite National Park
- Reservations at The Ahwahnee, Housekeeping Camp, Curry Village, Yosemite Valley Lodge, Wawona Hotel, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, White Wolf Lodge
- A booking at private lodging or vacation rental in Wawona, Foresta, or Yosemite West
- Go Into The Wild
Another way to get into the Park during reservation season is to go off the beaten path (which is highly recommended anyway). Anyone with a Wilderness Permit will be able to enter the park a day before their permit start day to camp at Backpacker’s Camp, and can be in Yosemite for the entire duration of their Wilderness Permit, or 3 days (whichever is longer). Additionally, if you have a Half Dome Permit, that will allow you to enter the park as well (though it doesn’t allow for camping in Yosemite).
5. Take a tour with an approved outfitter
There are a wide range of excellent guiding services offering adventures in Yosemite, from backpacking to fly fishing, to Photography classes and more. Booking a trip with anyone of the approved guide services found here will get you entrance into Yosemite and a great adventure.
- Take the bus
Taking the YARTS bus (Yosemite Area Regional Transit System) is a great option for getting into Yosemite. YARTS operates daily through all 4 entries into Yosemite during the Summer, and a YARTS ticket includes day use access to Yosemite.
- Be the Early Bird (Or late worm…)
The good news is, even if you weren’t able to secure a reservation on March 23, or 1 week out, or a spot at a Yosemite Campground, or a luxurious stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel, or a Vacation Rental in Yosemite, or a Wilderness Permit, or take the bus, you can still make it into Yosemite! All you need to do is enter the park before 6AM or after 4PM. As long as you enter before 6 or after 4, you don’t need a permit to spend the day exploring.
Even if you aren’t able to secure a Reservation into Yosemite this Summer, there are plenty of ways to get into the park, and plenty of fun adventures outside of the park as well. For more information and for help planning your Yosemite visit, check out the National Parks Service website. Here’s a great Summer in 2022!