2022 Guide to National Park Reservations

The chains section of Angels Landing in Zion National Park and the words

Summer is just around the corner and it's already shaping up to be another busy travel year - especially when it comes to road-tripping and visiting national parks.

In response to the increased tourism, many destinations have implemented national park reservations systems for 2022

While it's important to protect fragile ecosystems and wildlife (not to mention give visitors the best possible experience!), gone are the days of deciding to hike your favorite national park on a whim. 

This year, you'll need a permit or reservation at many popular national parks  in addition to an America the Beautiful annual pass — whether it's for a specific hiking trail or even to enter the park.

National Park Reservations Guide

Regardless of which park(s) you want to visit, they each have very different reservations systems. Here's a guide to everything you need to know for 2022!

Acadia

An ocean view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, one of the most coveted national park reservations

If you want to catch the country's first sunrise from the top of Acadia National Park's iconic Cadillac Mountain, you'll need a reservation starting this summer. 

From May 25 to October 22, park visitors will be required to have national park reservations to access the 3-mile Cadillac Summit Road. No other parts of Acadia require reservations.

For those people who aren't exactly early risers, there's a second option: Acadia will offer national park reservations for two time slots, Sunrise and Daytime.

Exact entry times vary slightly based on the month, but as an example, a sunrise reservation in August requires visitors to enter the park between 4:30 - 6:00 AM. A daytime reservation for the same month allows you to enter in 30-minute slots (which you will choose when you make your reservation) between 6:30 AM - 8:00 PM.

Only 30% of Acadia reservations will be released 90 days in advance on a rolling basis, while the remaining 70% will be available at 10:00 AM EST two days in advance.

Bottom line: Reservations required May 25 - October 22; available up to 90 days in advance. 

More information: Acadia National Park reservations

Arches

The Double Arch rock formation in Arches, which is requiring national park reservations this year

One of the uber-popular Utah Mighty 5 national parks will require reservations for the busy summer season. 

Everyone visiting Arches National Park between April 3 and October 3 is required to have a timed-entry permit, for visits between 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM. National park reservations will not be required to enter Arches before 6:00 AM or after 5:00 PM.

Timed-entry tickets will be released three full months in advance, on the first day of the month. For example, July permits will become available on April 1st. 

Arches National Park also states that "a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase" one day in advance at 6:00 PM MDT. 

Bottom line: Reservations required April 3 - October 3; available three months in advance on the 1st of the calendar month.

More information: Arches National Park reservations

Glacier

Mountains surrounding a lake in Glacier, one of the national parks that requires reservations for entry

For the second year in a row, Montana's spectacular Glacier National Park will require reservations to access Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTTSR).

New this year, Glacier will also require visitors to have a national park reservation for the North Fork Area, where Polebridge is located. 

Permits will be required for Going-to-the-Sun Road from the Camas, St. Mary's, and West entrances, and from the Polebridge ranger station for the North Fork Area. 

Glacier's national park reservations work similarly to Arches' in that visitors need them for specific times only. For GTTSR, those times are 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM and for the North Fork Area, it's 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

Reservations for Glacier National Park are released on a rolling 120-day basis starting on March 3. For an August 23 visit, reservations will be released on April 23. 

According to park officials, "A portion of the available vehicle reservations will be released 120 days in advance," while "the remaining" vehicle reservations will be released the day before at 8:00 AM MDT. 

Bottom line: Reservations required May 27 - September 11; available 120 days in advance on a rolling basis.

More information: Glacier National Park reservations

Haleakala

Sunrise at the summit of Haleakala, a longtime participant in the national park reservations system

Considered one of the pioneers of the national park reservations system, Haleakala on Maui has been requiring reservations since 2017. 

Specifically, permits are required to access the mountain during sunrise, because watching the sun come up above the cloudline from the 10,023-foot summit is a wildly popular bucket list experience. 

Psst...did you know Hawaii has mountains this big? Haleakala isn't even close to the biggest! Hawaii's other national park, Hawaii Volcanoes, is home to Mauna Loa, which looms nearly 14,000 feet above sea level!

In order to access Haleakala National Park between 3:00-7:00 AM every single day of the year, visitors must have a reservation. Special note: If you're unable to secure a sunrise permit, visit for sunset!

Sunrise reservations are released on a rolling 60-day basis at 7:00 AM HST, with a small number being released two days prior.

Bottom line: Reservations required 365 days a year to enter the park between 3:00-7:00 AM; released on a 60-day rolling basis.

More information: Haleakala National Park reservations for sunrise   

Rocky Mountain

Mountains and a lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of several requiring national park reservations

Like Glacier, Rocky Mountain National Park had successful results in 2021 with its first year requiring reservations. 

This year, while all visitors are required to have national park reservations during peak times between May 27 and October 10, RMNP will have a unique system. There are two reservation options: one that gives visitors access to the entire park and one that excludes the popular Bear Lake Corridor. 

Timed-entry permits for all-park access are required from 5:00 AM - 6:00 PM and non-Bear Lake Corridor permits are required from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. 

RMNP will release an initial batch of entry permits, for visits between May 27 - June 30, on May 2 at 10:00 AM MDT. Beyond that, reservations will be released on the 1st of the month for the following calendar month. For example, August reservations will be released on July 1st. 

The park also plans to release 25-30% of reservations one day in advance at 5:00 PM MDT.

Bottom line: Reservations required from May 27 - October 10; two options: all-park access and everything except Bear Lake Corridor. Reservations released on the 1st of the month the previous calendar month.

More information: Rocky Mountain National Park reservations

Shenandoah

The summit of Old Rag in Shenandoah, one of the national park reservations requirements

One of the most popular destinations on the east coast (and one of the best places to leaf-peep in the fall!) will require national park reservations for the first time in 2022. 

More specifically, from March 1 through November 30, Shenandoah will require ambitious hikers to have a day-use permit to access Old Rag, one of the park's most iconic features. National park reservations are not required in any other parts of Shenandoah.

There are 800 total Old Rag permits issued each day at 10:00 AM EST. 400 are released on a rolling 30-day period and 400 are released five days in advance.

Bottom line: Day-use tickets required for hiking Old Rag from March 1 to November 30; issued 30 days or 1 day in advance.

More information: Old Rag day-use tickets

Yosemite

The iconic "Tunnel View" of Yosemite Valley

While hikers and climbers have long needed permits to hike the renowned Half Dome Cables Route, Yosemite now also requires national park reservations to simply enter the park at peak times.

Visitors will be required to have a reservation between 6:00 AM and 4:00 PM, from May 20 to September 30.

This reservation system sounds similar to other parks; however, Yosemite's is unlike any other. 

70% of ALL the season's reservations were released on March 23. Note: at the time of publication, at least a couple hundred reservations were still available for all days.

The remaining 30% of Yosemite's reservations will be released seven days in advance throughout the season.

Bottom line: Reservations required to enter the park between 6:00 AM and 4:00 PM between May 20 and September 30. Reservations available March 23 and then again on a seven-day rolling basis.

More information: Yosemite National Park reservations

Zion

The spine of Angels Landing in Zion, one of the new-for-2022 national park reservations requirements

As of April 1, all hikers wishing to summit fearsome Angels Landing in Zion National Park will be required to obtain a permit forever. 

Angels Landing permits are issued on a lottery basis, with two separate options: a seasonal lottery and a day-before lottery.

The seasonal lottery is open for one 20-day timeframe each quarter. For example, it will be open April 1 - 20 for people to apply for permits from June 1 through August 31. 

The seasonal lottery also allows people to choose timeslots: pre-9:00 AM, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, and after 12:00 PM). 

Zion's day-before lottery is open from 12:01 AM to 3:00 PM and permit winners are notified at 4:00 PM for the following day.

Bottom line: Reservations required for Angels Landing only, beginning April 1. Permits can be obtained for 20 days each quarter, or again the afternoon prior.

More information: Angels Landing hiking permits

So which national park reservations are you making this year? We're so excited to hear about your plans! 

While you're making those plans, don't overlook souvenirs. The Wander Club's Travel Tokens and national park keychains are the perfect way to commemorate a trip (and they work great to kickstart trip-planning and inspire wanderlust, too!)!

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