You may be wondering “Are reservations required for Yosemite this summer?”
Yosemite National Park is one of the most-visited national parks in the United States. Due to its close proximity to major urban centers (and the difficulty of getting accommodation reservations at peak times), it is visited by many people as a day trip. Which means that the park gets very crowded in the summer, especially.
In order to manage the crowds in Yosemite, the National Park Service has introduced a ticketed system for day visitors in 2024, limiting the number of people who can enter the park for the day.
The reservation system can be a little complicated. I am a national parks expert and I have written this detailed guide to the Yosemite peak hours reservations system to make your planning easy and help ensure you can get to the park when you want to.
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Type of entry tickets/ reservations
Tickets will be required for access to the national park as a day visitor arriving at peak hours between 5:00am and 4:00pm during the reservation period. You will not to be able to enter Yosemite for the day between these times unless you have a reservation.
If you enter after 4:00pm, you will be able to stay in the park without a reservation.
There are two types of reservations:
- Full day reservations. You can enter the park any time between 5:00am and 4:00pm
- Afternoon reservations. You can enter the park after 12:00pm (noon) only.
You need reservations even if you are just driving through. Both types of reservations are valid for three consecutive days (including the arrival date).
Period reservations are needed for
The Yosemite ticketed entry system will be in place between April 13, 2024 and October 27, 2024 as follows:
- April 13 – June 30, 2024: Weekends and holidays only (no reservations are needed for non-holiday weekdays during this period)
- July 1 – August 16, 2024: Every day
- August 17 – October 27, 2024: Weekends and holidays only (no reservations are needed for non-holiday weekdays during this period)
There is an additional reservation period for the famous Firefall/ Horsetail Fall Event that takes place February 10 – 25, 2024. You will need a reservation to enter on February 10-11, 17-19, 24- 25, 2024.
These go on sale December 1, 2023 with additional tickets released 2 days in advance starting on February 8, 2024. Book these tickets online.
How to get entry tickets/ make reservations
Yosemite peak period tickets will be released in two different allotments:
1) Full day tickets to Yosemite National Park will be available for purchase at 8:00 AM Pacific Time on January 5, 2024 for the entire season (April 13 – October 27, 2024).They are strictly first come first served.
2) After noon tickets and some additional full day tickets will be released seven days before arrival on a rolling basis. e.g., make a reservation on September 23 for an arrival date of September 30.
Yosemite National Park permits are only available online at the NPS reservation system. They will not be available at park entrance stations, visitor centers or park offices.
You can only make one reservation for the three-day period once you’ve got one. For example, if you get a reservation for Friday – Sunday, you can’t get another reservation starting that Saturday or Sunday.
Cost of tickets/ reservations
Tickets cost $2 per vehicle (and all its occupants) and are valid for three consecutive days starting on the day of your ticket.
You can validate the ticket on any day of your three-day reservation; it does not need to be the first day. However, if you enter on the second day of your three days, for example, then you will only have the remaining two days left. Likewise, if you enter on the third day of your three days, then that is the only day you’ll be able to enter for.
Note that this $2 is in addition to the park entrance fee (which is $35/ car), and is non-refundable.
When is it not necessary to make a reservation for Yosemite National Park this summer?
Can you enter Yosemite without a reservation? Yes. The reservation (and fee) is not required in the following circumstances:
1) If you enter after 4:00 PM.
2) If you have a reservation for:
- overnight accommodations (lodging or campgrounds) in the park
- one of the following services:
- a regional YARTS bus or authorized commercial tour ticket
- a wilderness or Half Dome permit
You will need to show proof of a reservation in lieu of your entry ticket.
If you have overnight reservations, wilderness permits, etc., your permit is valid for the duration of your reservation or three days, whichever is longer.
3) You hike, ride a bicycle or ride a horse into the park. The entry ticket is only required for automobiles; not bicycles, horses or on-foot entry.
Read More: Closest airports to Yosemite National Park
Tips For Making Peak Period Reservations for Yosemite National Park
Read my post about which national parks require reservations for some insider tips on making reservations (and the low down on the other national parks that also require some form of reservations this summer).
Good luck and enjoy Yosemite National Park!
Here is a simple summary of the steps to take to maximize your chances of getting a reservation for the national parks. You’re welcome to share this image on your site using this code and attribution:
Do you have any other tips for getting tickets for Yosemite National Park? I’d love to hear them. Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know.
If you found this post helpful, please share the love and Pin it to your Yosemite National Park board!
If you are thinking about traveling to some other national parks, don’t miss my guides to:
Which national parks require reservations
Angel’s Landing permits lottery system
Glacier National Park’s Going to The Sun Road in reservation system
Rocky Mountain National Park timed entry system
Acadia Cadillac Mountain reservation system
Arches National Park timed entry system
James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.
He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks.
Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.
As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.