Itinerary Updates

Hi there,

Thank you again for choosing a Parks Collecting itinerary. It is designed to take the pain out of planning while still giving you choices to suit your own interests.

Each itinerary is designed so that you can use it this year, next year or whenever you get to the park. Plans change, but I don’t want you to have to buy this itinerary again if your plans do. This is why I created this itinerary to be ‘evergreen’.

However, I also want to make sure you have up-to-date information. The best way to do this is to list all of the major changes here. These don’t include temporary closures that can happen at a moment’s notice, depending on local conditions, but do include any significant changes that occur that might affect your trip.

Check here frequently as your trip gets closer.

Click on the national park you’re visiting:

Acadia National Park

Cadillac Mountain Reservations

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO DRIVE TO THE CADILLAC MOUNTAIN SUMMIT May 25 – October 22, 2022. Read all about this here.

Vehicle reservations are on sale now on a rolling basis.

30% of vehicle reservations are made available 90 days ahead of each date. The remaining 70% are released at 10:00AM ET two days in advance of each date.

I recommend trying to get one now and if you miss out, try again two days in advance of the date you want to go to Cadillac Mountain.

To make a reservation, you’ll need to create an account at Recreation.gov. Do this NOW so it is all set up well before you go to make the reservation.  This account can be used to permits, lotteries, campgrounds, guided hikes, etc. with the NPS at all the national parks. 

Check the reservation release schedule NOW and mark the exact date and time you need for your trip dates in your calendar. Try to get the time slot that’s on your itinerary.

MAKING YOUR RESERVATION:

  • login to your recreation.gov account at least 10 minutes before reservations can be made
  • search for ACADIA NATIONAL PARK VEHICLE RESERVATIONS
  • click on Cadillac Summit Road – Daytime (unless you plan on getting up early for the sunrise)
  • have a reliable digital clock.  When your clock strikes 10:00AM Eastern Time exactly, immediately click the date and time you need and press REQUEST TICKETS as fast as you possibly can!
  • when you have the date/time you need added to your cart, finish the checkout process. You have 15 minutes to do this before you lose your spot
  • check your email, print off the timed-entry ticket, and take the hard copy with you when you get to the park or take a screen shot and have it on your phone.

If you miss out, try again 2 days before, following the same process. 

Arches National Park

Timed Entry Reservations 

In 2022, Arches National Park is trialing timed entry. The timed entry system will run from 6:00AM to 5:00PM daily, April 3 through October 3, 2022.  

Reservations will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour window. For example, a 7:00AM ticket will allow entry between 7:00AM and 7:59AM. 

You need to select a time – try to choose times around your itinerary. You’ll want the 6:00AM – 7:00AM or 7:00AM – 8:00AM time slot. If you miss out, you can get into the park before 6:00AM without needing a permit.

If you are planning to go there for two days, you’ll need to secure a separate timed entry reservation for both days.  

There is no length-of-stay requirement and you may stay in the park for the remainder of the day once you have entered. The only restriction is on the time of entry. You must enter and have your ticket validated within your reserved one-hour window. 

The park will release tickets first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov three (3) months in advance in monthly blocks. Check the NPS website for the exact schedule. 

A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase one day prior to entry at 6 pm MDT through Recreation.gov

Timed Entry Tickets will NOT be required

  • If you enter before 6:00AM – so you could get a very early start if you miss out on getting a reservation and still enter. If you miss out on a timed entry reservation and aren’t camping at Devil’s Garden, this would be my recommendation. In fact, getting there that early is a good idea anyway to snag a parking spot!
  • Are camping at Devil’s Garden Campground 
  • Have a permit or reservation for Fiery Furnace (so you won’t need one for Day 3) 
  • Ride a bicycle or hike into the park (hiking is not advisable because of the distances, but bicycles are an option)  
  • Have a backcountry or special use permit 

MAKING YOUR RESERVATION:

  • login to your recreation.gov account at least 10 minutes before reservations can be made (set this account up well in advance)
  • search for ARCHES NATIONAL PARK TIMED ENTRY
  • click 1-day Personal Vehicle Timed Entry
  • have a reliable digital clock.  When your clock strikes 8:00AM Mountain Time exactly, immediately click the date and time you need and press REQUEST TICKETS as fast as you possibly can!
  • when you have the date/time you need added to your cart, finish the checkout process. You have 15 minutes to do this before you lose your spot
  • check your email, print off the timed-entry ticket, and take the hard copy with you when you get to the park or take a screen shot and have it on your phone.

Visitor Center  

The Visitor Center is not currently showing movies due to COVID 

Fiery Furnace 

Fiery Furnace guided hikes have resumed. They are extremely popular. You can book them online – read more on the NPS website.

The Heat

Summer temperatures in Arches National Park can often exceed 100°F. To take this into account,   

  • Get into the park as early as you can so you are starting in the coolest time of the day. Try to do as much of the itinerary as you can before it gets too hot.  
  • Avoid the longer, more strenuous hikes n the afternoon when it’s hottest. 
  • Consider taking a break in the afternoon then head back into the park in the late afternoon/ early evening to finish off your day. 
  • Carry more water than you think you’ll need and drink often.
Bryce Canyon National Park

Shuttle

The free scenic shuttle tour out to Rainbow Point is not being offered in 2022 due to COVID concerns, so unfortunately, this option is not available. You will need to drive your own vehicle there.

The regular shuttle will operate April 1 – October 23, 2022.

Grand Canyon National Park

Tusayan Museum

This is currently closed. You can go to Zuni Point instead (see option A for that day)

Desert View Watchtower

The steps to the top of the tower are closed, so you can’t climb to the top; however, the gift shop, etc. are open.

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is open, but the movie theater is closed for renovations.

Kolb Studio

Is closed until further notice.

Shuttles

The purple Tusayan shuttle is now running through to September 9, 2022.

The Kaibab Rim Route (Orange Route), Village Route (Blue Route), and Hermits Rest Route (Red Route) are all running.

Eateries

Several eateries are closed in 2022

  • Fred Harvey Food Truck – closed
  • Arizona Steakhouse – open for lunch Tuesday – Saturday only
  • Maswick Pizza Pub – closed
  • Yavapai Lodge Restaurant – open for breakfast only

There are nearby alternatives for all of these places. Refer to the Dining Guide for details.

Mather Campground

The NPS is repaving the roads and parking areas in Mather Campground from early June to October, 2022. The repaving will take place one loop at a time and campers booking reservations through www.recreation.gov will notice the following loop closures in effect beginning June 1, 2022 (closures subject to change): 

  • June: Juniper loop closed = 78 sites
  • July: Maple and Oak loops closed = 86 sites
  • August: Pine loop closed = 55 sites
  • September: Sage loop closed = 9 sites, including horse and group sites

To accommodate potential delays in the repaving schedule due to summer weather, the campground will be offering up to 90 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis each day from July to September. Arrive early, in person, to the Mather Kiosk Station at the entrance to Mather Campground near Market Plaza Road. The kiosk will be staffed 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, though these hours are subject to change due to staffing levels.

The Heat

Summer temperatures in Grand Canyon National Park can often exceed 100°F. To take this into account,   

  • Get into the park as early as you can so you are starting in the coolest time of the day. Try to do as much of the itinerary as you can before it gets too hot.  
  • Avoid the longer, more strenuous hikes n the afternoon when it’s hottest. 
  • Consider taking a break in the afternoon then head back into the park in the late afternoon/ early evening to finish off your day. 
  • Carry more water than you think you’ll need and drink often.
Grand Teton National Park

Moose-Wilson Road

In 2022, the Moose-Wilson Road will be closed for much of the season while the dirt road section is paved.  The section between the southern Granite Entrance Station and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve will be closed completely in the spring of 2022 until Memorial Day and in the late summer and fall after Labor Day.  

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, it will be open from 7:00PM Friday to 7:00AM Monday each weekend.  So, you can drive it on Saturday morning, Sunday morning and Monday morning before 7:00AM. 

If you are in Grand Teton between Memorial Day and Labor Day, try to do Day 1 of the 2- and 3-day itineraries on the weekend.  If you won’t be there then, choose Option B for Day 1 and drive the Kelly loop instead. 

NOTE: Construction of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park is delayed due to supply chain, staffing shortages and an overwhelmed construction industry locally. The southern portion of the road will open to vehicle traffic Thursday, June 16 at 7 a.m., and will remain open until Monday, July 11 at 7 a.m., when construction is anticipated to resume. 

Activities

Due to low water levels, kayak and canoe rentals will not be available at Colter Bay in 2022. Check their website for more details.

Campground Reservations

Starting in 2022, all campgrounds in Grant Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway will be made through the NPS website recreation.gov. Different campgrounds are run by the NPS and concessioners, so having them all in the same reservation system makes things much easier. You will not be able to make reservations through local campground call centers or websites.

All are reserved on a rolling basis 6 months out, so book exactly 6 months to the day the minute that reservations open to get a spot (they are all very popular, especially in summer).

A limited number of sites will be held back at the Colter Bay and Gros Ventre Campgrounds for reservation on a 14-day rolling basis.

Campground2022 Opening Date
Gros Ventre CampgroundApril 29
Jenny Lake CampgroundMay 6
Signal Mountain CampgroundMay 13
Colter Bay CampgroundMay 26
Colter Bay RV ParkMay 5
Colter Bay Tent VillageMay 27
Lizard Creek CampgroundJune 10
Headwaters CampgroundJune 1
Headwaters RV ParkMay 13
Yellowstone National Park

Flooding and Closures!

July 2 most of the northern loop is reopening after being closed for flood damage. The North and Northeast Entrances remain closed. Read full details here.

The main part of your itinerary that may be affected is Lamar Valley. Either spend more time looking for wildlife in Hayden Valley, visit West Thumb Geyser Basin or visit one of the places listed below:

Here are a few alternative activities for you depending on where you’re staying if you want to visit two days and have a day outside the park in between:

Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:

  • Visit Park Roads.
  • To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
  • Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.

Accommodation Reservations

Starting for stays in April 2023, the reservation system for Yellowstone lodging booked through Yellowstone National Park Lodges have changed to a 13-month prior rolling advance date.

For stays December 2022 – March 2023, reservations are open. Then the new reservation dates will start.

Reservations will open at 12:00AM (midnight) MST/ MDT online or 7:00AM MST/ MDT on the phone on the fifth of each month for the same month the following year.

So you can book on:
April 5, 2022 for stays any time April 1 – 30, 2023
May 5, 2022 for stays any time May 1 – 31, 2023
June 5, 2022 for stays any time June 1 – 30, 2023
July 5, 2022 for stays any time July 1 – 31, 2023
Etc.

This will be for every month of the year; there won’t be separate windows for summer and winter stays. (Though not everything is open in winter, of course).

Campgrounds

Starting at 8:00AM MST on February 14, 2022, three campgrounds that were previously first-come, first-served can now be reserved on recreation.gov up to 6 months in advance. I have updated the Accommodation Guide. They are:

  • Indian Creek
  • Lewis Lake
  • Pebble Creek (all sites)

Swim Areas

Both the Boiling River Swim Area and the Firehole River Swim Area are closed until further notice.   

Museum of the National Park Ranger

The Museum of the National Park Ranger will be open July 31 – September 5. For visits outside these dates, either spend longer at Norris Basin or in Mammoth Hot Springs. Or take the short hike to Beryl Spring (located before Artists Paintpots). 

Hiking Trail Closures

In the Canyon area, Uncle Tom’s Trail is closed (and has been for several years).  Do the Red Rock Trail instead. 

Observation Point is also closed due to safety concerns about the stone steps.  Skip this. 

Road Closures

There are several road construction projects happening in 2022.  The good news is that the Grand Loop Road between Canyon Village and Tower-Roosevelt has reopened. 

The bad news:

Lewis River Bridge (about 10 miles north of the South Entrance) will have delays up to 20 minutes from Spring 2022 to Fall 2023.  Plus, April-June and September-November, it will be closed completely from 7:00PM – 9:00AM.  This will affect you if you are travelling to or from Grand Teton, so plan your trip around these delays or closures.

The Grand Loop Road between West Thumb and Old Faithful will also have delays (30 minutes) from Spring 2022 – Fall 2023, plus overnight closures 8:00PM – 6:00AM from September 5, 20022 until the roads close for the season. This will also affect you if you’re traveling to/ from Grand Teton. Also, if you’re staying in West Yellowstone, don’t have dinner at Yellowstone Lake, as you don’t want to have to drive around the long way of the loop.

Yellowstone River Bridge on the Northeast Entrance Road near Tower Junction will have 30-minute delays from Fall 2022 to Fall 2025.  The Yellowstone Picnic Area will be closed.  The trails will be open, but with the parking there closed, they’ll be difficult to access.  This makes the Yellowstone River Overlook Trail difficult to do, as there is nowhere to park, so I recommend choosing another option if this is a choice on your itinerary.  Also allow extra time to/ from Lamar Valley, as you need to pass through this area to get there.

Full details are on the NP website here.  Plus, for the most up-to-date information about temporary road closures in the park, visit the park roads web page.

Campgrounds

Norris Campground and Tower Fall Campground are closed for 2022.

Dining

Many dining options inside the park have changed hours, openings and reservations.  Check here

Zion National Park

Museum of Human History

The museum is currently closed. The parking lot and the connecting trail from the Museum to the Pa’rus Trail are also closed.

If this was on your itinerary, skip this. Spend longer at another stop or visit one of the shuttle stops not on the itinerary such as the Court of the Patriarchs and enjoy the views there.

Toxic Cyanobacteria

This toxic bacteria is currently in the Virgin River and the streams of Zion National Park. This includes The Narrows. The hike is still open but do NOT submerge your head or filter drinking water from any streams.

The Heat

Summer temperatures in Zion National Park can often exceed 100°F. To take this into account,   

  • Get into the park as early as you can so you are starting in the coolest time of the day. Try to do as much of the itinerary as you can before it gets too hot.  
  • Avoid the longer, more strenuous hikes n the afternoon when it’s hottest. 
  • Consider taking a break in the afternoon then head back into the park in the late afternoon/ early evening to finish off your day. 
  • Carry more water than you think you’ll need and drink often.