US National Parks With Timed Entry Pass Requirements 2022

Our regular readers will know we love nothing better than incorporating national parks into our family road trips, but certainly the humble national park trip can come with its challenges.

National parks have always been popular with US residents and international visitors alike but recent years have seen numbers swell at many locations to unsustainable levels.

Rather than deny entry to any of the country’s 63 national parks, a timed entry system was introduced by the National Parks Service in 2020 to stem the flow of traffic throughout the day at those receiving the highest visitor numbers.

Not only can the crowds have a devastating impact on the parks that are supposed to be protected, but they can also cause overcrowding in the surrounding towns that comply don’t have the infrastructure to support the number of visitors

Whilst many parks have already operated permits for camping and other activities within the park for many years, this timed entry system applies to simply enter the park or key roads, trails, or parking lots within the parks at peak times.

This timed system trial by NPS is continuing in 2022 with a small fee for the service, booked through recreation.gov. Here’s what you need to know and which national parks will be impacted in summer 2022.

Tip – You can register your account with recreation.gov in advance of reservations opening to save you time when you go to make your reservation.

4 National Parks With Park-Wide Timed Entry Summer 2022

Map of USA on a phone showing the national parks with timed entry systems and a collage of national park photos

Yosemite National Park, California

Best Months: April to June & September
Hours: Open 24 hours, 365 days a year
Regular Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle valid for 7 days

Reservation Cost: $2 per vehicle
Effective Dates: May 20, 2022 – September 30, 2022
Hours Required: 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tickets Released: Starting March 23rd, tickets will be sold for the whole season. Additional tickets will be sold on a rolling 7-day basis (including any cancellations that will be re-released).

Good to Know

Your day-use reservations is valid for 3 consecutive days from the first day of your reservation.

If you already have an overnight permit (wilderness permits, campground, or lodging reservation) or a Half Dome permit, you will not be required to also book a peak hour reservation, this applies only to day-use visitors.

Visitors arriving by bicycle or foot do not require a timed entry reservation. Park entries after 4:00 PM and outside the peak summer dates do not require a timed permit.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Yosemite National Park Here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Yosemite NP California

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Best Months: April & May, September & October
Hours: Open 24 hours, 365 days a year (some extreme weather closures may occur)
Regular Entrance Fee: $25 single-day vehicle pass

Reservation Cost: $2 per vehicle
Effective Dates: May 27, 2022 – October 31, 2022
Hours Required: 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM for the Bear Lake Corridor and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM for the rest of the park
Tickets Released: Rolling 2 months in advance. Eg March 27 for May 27 entry.

Good to Know

Three are two different reservation tickets for this park; Option 1: Park Access + Bear Lake Road Corridor will include the entire Bear Lake Road Corridor (from the junction of Trail Ridge Road to the Bear Lake Trailhead) plus access to the rest of the park

NB Option 1 does not guarantee you trailhead car parking. You may still need to park your vehicle at Rocky’s Park & Ride Parking Area and use the park’s free shuttle system to access desired trailheads. 

Option 2 is park access excluding Bear Lake Corridor.

If you have booked camping, guided trips, or commercial tours you do not need to purchase the day-use reservation in addition.

Timed entry does not apply after 6:00 PM/3:00 PM and outside of peak summer season.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Rocky Mountain National Park Here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Rocky Mountains NP Colorado

Glacier National Park, Montana

Best Months: July to September
Hours: Open 24 hours, but outside of summer there can be seasonal closures for snow
Entrance Fee: $35 (summer), $25 (winter) valid for 7 days

Timed Area: Going-to-the-Sun Road & North Fork
Reservation Cost: $2 per vehicle
Effective Dates: May 27, 2022 – September 11, 2022
Hours Required: 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM Going-to-the-sun; 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM North Fork
Tickets Released: Some permits are available 120 days in advance. A limited number of tickets also go on sale at 8:00 MST the day before the effective date.

Good to Know

While the timed ticket is needed only for one specific part of the park, it is essentially needed for any visitor entering as it is the main road through the park.

Your permit for the Going-to-the-Sun road is valid for 3 consecutive days, while the North Fork permit is only valid for one day. They do not guarantee the availability of trailhead parking.

Visitors staying within the park with lodging or camping reservations, or those with commercial tour reservations do not need to purchase a timed entry permit.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Glacier National Park Here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Glacier NP Montana

Arches National Park, Utah

Peak Visitor Months: May, June & September
Hours: 
Open year-round, 24 hours a day
Regular Entrance Fee:
 $30 per vehicle valid for 7 days

Reservation Cost: $2 per vehicle
Effective Dates: April 1, 2022 – October 31, 2022
Hours Required: 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily
Tickets Released: Tickets are released 8:00 PM EST, every day. However, you can also purchase tickets up to three months in advance ahead of time if you’re organized. For example, on April 1st, 2022, tickets will release for all of July.

Good to Know 

This ticketing system is being piloted for the first time in 2022. Your timed access ticket provides access for one private vehicle to the main Scenic Drive within Arches. Your timed ticket is only valid for entry for one hour – early or late you may be denied entry.

Once inside the park, you can stay as long as you like for one day, meaning the morning tickets are still more valuable to make the most of your time and available parking at trailheads.

If you hold a camping permit you do not additionally require a timed entry ticket. Similarly, visitors arriving on a bicycle or by foot do not require a timed entry reservation.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Arches National Park here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Arches NP Utah

4 National Parks With Area-Specific Reservations Required

Whilst there’s no park-wide entry reservation system needed for these national parks, you do need a reservation to enter some of the most popular areas of the park to prevent congestion at peak times.

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

Best Months: April to July
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, all year
Regular Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle, valid for 3 days

Timed Area: Haleakala Summit during sunrise only
Reservation Cost: $1 per vehicle
Effective Dates: 365 days a year
Hours Required: 3:00 AM to 7:00 AM
Tickets Released: 60 days in advance

Good to Know 

Haleakala National Park is home to Maui’s highest peak and watching the sunrise from the summit is the park’s most popular experience.

To ensure all visitors can get a park at the four highest elevation parking lots (Summit, Haleakala Visitor Center, Kalahaku, and Leleiwi) during sunrise hours, all private vehicles must have a valid reservation.

Visitors should arrive at least 90 to 120 minutes before sunrise to expedite entry into the park. Those arriving closer to sunrise may find they are delayed even with a timed entry permit.

Your reservation does not guarantee you parking at any particular lot, staff will guide you to available parking.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Haleakala National Park Summit Sunrise Here

USA National Parks Timed Entry -Haleakala NP Hawaii

Acadia National Park, Maine

Best Months: May, June, July & September
Hours: Year-round, 24 hours a day
Regular Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle, valid for 7 days

Timed Area: Cadillac Summit Road
Reservation Cost: $6 per vehicle
Effective Dates: May 25, 2022 – October 22, 2022
Hours Required: All-day
Tickets Released: 30% will be available 90 days in advance, 70% will be available from 10:00 (ET) 2 days in advance

Good to Know 

Cadillac Summit Road is a 3-mile scenic drive to the highest peak within Acadia National Park. It is the most popular part of the park to visit and therefore draws the most congestion.

Tickets can be purchased for either the sunrise or the daytime. You can enter for up to 90 minutes after your reserved time. You can only purchase one sunrise ticket every seven days, whereas the daytime ticket can be pre-booked as many times as you wish.

Timed reservations only apply to private vehicles; hikers and bicyclists do not require a permit.

NB RVs and any vehicles over 21 feet are not permitted on Cadillac Summit Road.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Cadillac Summit Road Here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Acadia NP Maine

Zion National Park, Utah

Best Months: May & April, September & October
Hours: Open 365 days a year, however, shuttle service is only running during daylight hours.
Regular Entrance Fee: $35 valid for 7 days

Timed Area: Angel’s Landing Trail
Reservation Cost: $6 per application (non-refundable) + additional $3 per person if you win a permit
Effective Dates: Starting April 1, 2022 for 365 days a year
Hours Required: 24 hours a day
Tickets Released: Varies depending on the lottery you enter. There are two options:

  • Seasonal Lottery: Determines group permits for each season, opening 1 to 3 months in advance. Entry to this lottery happens right before the beginning of each new season. Each applicant can apply for up to 6 people and choose up to 7 desired time slots in order of preference.
  • Day Before Lottery: Each day before the desired hike date the lottery is open to enter between 12:01 AM and 3:00 PM. Results are advised by email at 4:00 PM.

Good to Know

This one really is a lottery; just because you apply doesn’t mean you’ll get what you want – this really is the hardest park to get into during peak times and you should manage expectations accordingly with a backup plan.

Once issued, you are given a timeframe to enter; before 9:00 AM, between 9:00 AM and noon, and after 12:00 PM.

You can apply for both lotteries, paying both sets of non-refundable entry fees. Note that if successful, you then pay for the permit PER PERSON.

  • Spring Lottery (visits April 1 to May 31, 2022) opens January 3 to 20, 2022. Results announced January 25, 2022
  • Summer Lottery (visits June 1 to August 31, 2022) opens April 1 to 20, 2022. Results announced April 25, 2022
  • Fall Lottery (visits September 1 to November 20, 2022) opens July 1 to 20, 2022. Results announced July 25, 2022
  • Winter Lottery (visits 1 December to 28 February, 2022) opens October 1 to 20, 2022. Results announced October 25, 2022

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Angel’s Landing Here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Zion NP Utah

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Best Months: June to October
Hours: Shenandoah National Park is open 24 hours, however, portions of Skyline Drive (the only public road through the Park), can be closed during inclement weather.
Regular Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle valid for 7 days

Timed Area: Old Rag Mountain
Reservation Cost: $1 per person
Effective Dates: March 1, 2022 – November 30, 2022
Hours Required: 24 hours a day
Tickets Released: 1 month ahead

Good to Know 

Old Rag Mountain, the most popular destination within the park, offers adventurous rock scrambles and 360-degree views.

Visitors to Old Rag Mountain, including hikers on the Saddle, Ridge, and Ridge Access trails, will need to obtain an Old Rag day-use ticket in advance. Entry does not guarantee parking space at your chosen trailhead.

Book Timed Entry Tickets for Old Rag Mountain here

USA National Parks Timed Entry - Shenandoah NP Virginia

Will More National Parks Be Added In The Future?

It’s interesting to note that only one of the top 10 most visited US National Park sites in 2021 is on this year’s list of National Parks requiring reservations in 2022.

Some of the country’s most popular parks including Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains are accessible without reservation. This does not mean they will not require reservations in the future, nor that you may see significantly congestion, lack of parking spaces, and tailbacks within the parks; if parking lots are full rangers will close particular areas within the parks.

Information correct at the time of publication. Parks may put emergency measures in place or subsequently change their entry policy at any time so always check information directly with NPS and recreation.gov before planning your national park visit to avoid disappointment.

© Family Road Trip

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More