Do I Need a Reservation to Visit Yosemite?

In 2021, all visitors to the park must have a day-use pass to enter the park from late-May through September.

During summertime, Yosemite National Park has a reservation system for visitors wanting to enter the park.

The park used a reservation system in 2020 to manage crowds and keep visitors safe during the pandemic. And 2021’s reservation system aims to do the same.

From May 21 through Sept.  30, 2021, every visitor will need an advanced day-use reservation that can be made on recreation.gov. Each day-use permit is good for three consecutive days and unlimited entries between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. There is only one reservation needed per vehicle, so if you are a family of five, you only need one day-use reservation.

However, an occupant in the car must be the reservation holder and have photo ID with them. The reservation costs $2 and is in addition to your park entrance fee. Your reservation permit must be visible on your dashboard at all times while inside the park.

Each user can make one reservation per day. Permits are on sale at 8 am Pacific time April 21 for travel dates May 21-June 30. Permits for the month of July are on sale April 28. Permits for August are on sale May 5. Lastly, for those wishing to visit the park in September, permits are available on May 12. Don’t delay because these permits will go quickly.

For everyone who has reservations at a Yosemite campground, Yosemite hotel or private lodging or vacation rental reservation in Wawona, Yosemite West, or Foresta, you do not need a day pass. If you have a Half Dome permit or wilderness permit, you do not need a day-use pass. However all of the above mentioned places do require a park entrance fee.

For those of you disappointed that you were unable to get a coveted day-use pass, don’t give up. Limited reservations available seven days before your targeted arrival date.  Plus, there is another way into the park without one. Make a reservation to ride the bus into the park via the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) or sign up with an authorized tour group.

The Hetch Hetchy area is open with day-use reservations not required. However, access is limited when parking fills. Hetch Hetchy Road is only open from 8 am to 5 pm. Day visitors must exit the area prior to 5 pm.

More Information:
Yosemite National Park