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Old 04-06-2021, 05:59 AM   #1
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National Park Daily Visitor Sightseeing Reservations

I was told by a friend that a daily visitor reservation is require to drive into a National Park. We have the senior parks pass, but my friend said a daily reservation is also required to limit the number of visitors in the park at any one time. We will not be camping in the parks, just want to sightsee.

I've searched around and haven't found anywhere where we can make such a reservation for our May trip out west. Okay boomer.

Can anyone shed any enlightenment on this rumor for me?

David
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:04 AM   #2
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I think that’s old news.
Here is an article from last year stating “ You May” have to make reservations
https://thepointsguy.com/news/nation...-reservations/
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:40 AM   #3
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You can check individual parks websites for their specific policies.

We have never needed a reservation to get into a park just to drive around but it doesn’t mean that the other 400 properties don’t have such policy in national monuments or national park system in general. I imagine small places like a Lincoln’s birth place may require reservations in certain conditions.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:58 AM   #4
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The Glacier NP site says Going to Sun Road may require Ticket Entry beginning May 28, 2021. Also, says reservation tickets can be purchased beginning April 29th. Recreation.gov site says NPS has not made determination if reserved entry will be required.
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:51 AM   #5
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Reservations will be required to enter Rocky Mountain NP from May 28 through October 11. Same program last year. Seems like rules like these might vary from park to park.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:11 AM   #6
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Also saw Acadia will require reservation and limiting parking in certain areas.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:23 AM   #7
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SOP -- plan ahead

In these times . . . always good to plan ahead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
You can check individual parks websites for their specific policies.
. . .
. . . small places like a Lincoln’s birth place may require reservations in certain conditions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by martyw View Post
The Glacier NP site says Going to Sun Road may require Ticket Entry beginning May 28, 2021. Also, says reservation tickets can be purchased beginning April 29th. Recreation.gov site says NPS has not made determination if reserved entry will be required.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Campers17 View Post
Reservations will be required to enter Rocky Mountain NP from May 28 through October 11. Same program last year. Seems like rules like these might vary from park to park.
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Also saw Acadia will require reservation and limiting parking in certain areas.
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Originally Posted by WP53 View Post
. . .
. . . It would be wise to check the individual park's website ahead of a visit.
Checking each site on your itinerary should be Standard Operating Procedure from now on . . . perhaps for years to come.

This thing is not going to end soon IMO.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:25 AM   #8
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It varies from park to park. Several required passes last year, some are carrying that over to this year, others are considering them. Zion required reservations for the shuttle last summer, not sure about this year. It would be wise to check the individual park's website ahead of a visit.
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:33 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, National parks and many state parks, NFS CG and COE CG's have gone to a reservation only system. Many are beginning to add daily admission fees on top of your camping fees which also includes a reservation fee. This was all brought about by Covid. I am afraid that once this is in place, they will continue with all these fees and reservations long after Covid is gone. God forbid you just show up at a park and expect to camp 50 feet away from everyone else.
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:17 AM   #10
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Same with all of our nearby small county parks, which used to be great for last-minute one or two night trips on the spur of the moment.

No mas . . . by reservation only . . .

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Old 04-06-2021, 01:02 PM   #11
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Also Shuttles are likely not running (or may be by then). So at Pinnacles for example you may be able to park but might be at the visitors center then may have to hike a bit to get into parts of the park.

Muir Woods doesn't need reservations to enter but you do a reservation to park as another example and their shuttles are not running for remote parking.

So probably need check park by park.
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:30 PM   #12
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I’ve been in two national parks in the last week for sightseeing, not camping. Neither of them required a reservation, but both of them limited RV traffic between 10 AM and 2 PM due to heavy tourist traffic during spring break. I called ahead to confirm the individual rules at each park, as they do vary from park to park. My main concern was the ability to bring our dog on the trails, which was allowed in both cases.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:19 PM   #13
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Thank you very much fellow Airstreamers. I guess I will visit websites of the two parks we will visit and follow the rules. I did know Rocky Mountain National Park does require reservations for vehicle entrance.

David
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:55 PM   #14
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You’ll get better information calling the park and speaking directly with a ranger. The national park websites are similar to most government websites; confusing and lacking relevant information.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:47 PM   #15
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You are correct. I visited the Yosemite webpage and it said no daily vehicle reservations required. Then I checked in with Sequoia webpage and it said no daily vehicle reservations required, but it did say they are required at Yosemite.

I guess the parks like lots of phone calls instead of posting clear, accurate and up to date information.

So I must call them.

David
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Old 04-11-2021, 09:14 AM   #16
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I drove into both the Arches and Mesa Verde last on Friday with no reservations.
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Old 04-11-2021, 09:36 AM   #17
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Glacier NP reserve road ticket

Yes, we live outside Glacier NP and watched the Superintendent video update (their website also has good updates on it) - they’re doing massive road construction this year on almost every road in the park, and combined with the big numbers the last few years that caused crowding and overrun facilities, they are expecting long waits. So you have to reserve a ticket online for entry on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, effective at the entrances, and your annual pass or senior pass doesn’t count for the road access entry ticket, it’s additive- you need an entry fee or Pass AND a road reservation ticket. The road entry tickets will be available in late April for a nominal fee (they were still deciding, but thought it would be like $4 and be good for a week’s entry). You can purchase a ticket up to 6 months in advance, and then they’ll also release more tickets 2 days before the date you’re requesting. It’s basically a reservation to use the road so people don’t wait in line at the front gate for an hour and then get turned away because it’s too crowded inside. Last Labor Day was a huge cluster with a mile-long line leading outside the park and clogging traffic on Highway 2, which will also have construction this summer. If you don’t have a road reservation for that day, don’t even approach the gate, you will wait for nothing and be turned away and make everyone behind you with a ticket wait longer while you’re arguing about it! However, if you have a reservation at a campground, hotel, boat tour, or Red Bus tour in the park, then you’ll be allowed through the gate without the road ticket for that day. But if you’re camping or staying outside you’ll still need to reserve the road entry ticket. There may be a few side roads to corners of the park (the North Fork near Polebridge) that don’t require the ticket, but check on that online before you try it. This is Glacier’s first year doing this, hopefully it’ll make things flow smoother.
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Old 04-11-2021, 09:41 AM   #18
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Park reservations

Zion NP allows you to drive through the park to get from one side to another but not into the main part of the park where many of the viewpoints and hiking trails are. They’ve had shuttles for many years due to traffic but now require reservations for the shuttle due to Covid. I expect this policy will not go away post covid restrictions.
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Old 04-11-2021, 10:43 AM   #19
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It’s a “good/bad”. We’re loving our National Parks to death. So much is needed to renovate, repair, maintain. Sadly many visitors are irresponsible plus some feel “it’s their right” to carve on stones. Sickens us.
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Old 04-11-2021, 06:54 PM   #20
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I found a website called "recreation.gov" or something like that. It is a sub of the national park website. Here I learned that Yosemite will require a vehicle reservation starting May 21. I guess that is when the busy summer season starts. Sequoia says no vehicle pass required at this time.

I do feel uneasy about park management changing the rules just as we get there May 12th. We will be greatly disappointed if we can't get into the park "due to covid".

National Parks are beautiful, national parks are crowded. We're going because it is a bucket list item.

Like all good Airstreamers, we would never violate any park. We usually try to make it a bit better when we leave, like picking up some litter or a branch across a trail.

David
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