After spending more than a year in quarantine and under stringent community health measures due to a pandemic, many people will be able to finally took a vacation this summer.
The national parks of the United States are among the most sought-after vacation spots this year, and they are getting ready to welcome visitors who are hungry for adventure and the great outdoors.
It used to be simple to visit a national park like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon; all you needed was a visit plan and a reservation for lodging or camping. However, since the spread of the coronavirus, things have changed.
It’s possible that the parks will need extra preparation, such as reservations, to protect visitors and employees from any potential outbreaks and to prevent overcrowding.
Alex is a true explorer, in the traditional sense of the word, and a writer at heart. The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Fodor’s, Pink Pangea, USA Today, and countless others have all published her work over the course of her years as a freelance writer. Alex on the Map is where you’ll find her.
In recent years, she has had the honor of collaborating with a wide variety of illustrious companies, including National Geographic, Contiki, CamelBak, The North Face, and many more. Because of this, she has made it a goal to spread the word about how to visit America’s national parks responsibly. If you are planning on visiting one of the parks, Alex has a wealth of content to help you plan your trip and preserve these special natural places for generations to come.
See below for a list of some of the most popular parks that require reservations and details on how to make them.
Glacier National Park
The park requires advanced ticket purchases from visitors for the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road in the spring or early summer, though if a spot is released you might be able grab one later in the season.
Tickets purchased in advance at Recreation.gov can be used to enter the Going-to-the-Sun portion of the park. Those who are unable to acquire reservations can enter early in the morning before 6:00 am MT, or after 4:00 pm MT.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park has two different types of reservations systems for 2022. These include one for the Bear Lake Corridor, which provides access to the trailheads of the major hikes in the park. The other option provides access to the rest of the park.
Tickets can be purchased on Recreation.gov in advance, though they are based on a timed system, so you will want to keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Yosemite National Park
As one of America’s most popular national parks, Yosemite has created a reservation system that you should apply for seven days before you plan on visiting. Tickets are released on a rolling basis and it gives you three days that you can enter the park. Like Glacier, if you enter the park before 6:00 am PT, you do not need to have a reservation booked in advance.
If you wish to hike the park’s famed Half Dome, you will also need to put in for a permit several months in advance.
Zion National Park
Zion’s main corridor is closed to private vehicles most the year, and if you plan on taking on Angel’s Landing, you will need to get a permit in advance. If you know your dates and when you are planning on visiting, you can apply for a permit then.
Angel’s Landing permits are released as a lottery, so even if you can’t get them in advance, you have another opportunity the day before. You have the chance to enter from 12:01 am MT until 3:00 pm MT, and you will find out your results by email or in the Recreation.gov app for whether you will be able to hike the trail the next day.