Demand for outdoor recreation experiences continues to grow, and some locations have implemented a timed entry reservation system to manage the number of vehicles or people accessing an area per day or time period. These popular locations, like Rocky Mountain National Park and Arches National Park, offer an opportunity to visit during peak hours and high seasons with a reservation.
Planning ahead for your trip is more important now than ever
Glacier National Park (National Park Service)
Recreation.gov is a unique collection of parks, forests, refuges, and other conservation areas that are all managed differently to meet specific resource and visitation demands. This explains why one park may use the term "timed entry" or "timed ticket" whereas another location will use "vehicle reservation." Some of these variations include, but are not limited to:
Rocky Mountain National Park (Rachel Williams, National Park Service)
Always check the individual location page on Recreation.gov for current season dates, fee updates, rules and regulations. As of June 2023, these locations are requiring reservations to visit during peak season:
For a list of additional locations that require a reservation, click here.
Acadia National Park (National Park Service)
The booking window is the number of days in advance of your desired arrival date in which you can reserve a site or activity. The primary booking window will vary by location, from as early as four months to as late as 30 days in advance. Some locations will offer a secondary booking window with a small number of additional tickets one or two days in advance. Be sure to check the Seasons & Booking tab of the location you wish to visit and note the specific release dates and times for that location.
Arches National Park (Stephen Sutherlin, Share the Experience)
If you already have an account, we encourage you to log in and update your password. If you are new to Recreation.gov, this is a good time to create an account.
Once you login to your account, try these tips prior to reservations becoming available:
Haleakala National Park (Betty Greene, Share the Experience)
Check the location's Seasons and Booking tab for the specific time and date reservations go on sale. On the day reservations become available, log in well before the sale time. Bring up the location’s page, add your dates, be ready to select an available timeslot and ticket quantity, and Request Tickets the moment they are released. Have your credit card ready and your alternate dates in mind.
Refresh your page at exactly the time sites are released for sale by selecting the Refresh button in the toolbar of your browser. Once you click Request Tickets, the tickets are locked in your cart for 15 minutes to give you time to complete your reservation. If you do not complete the transaction after 15 minutes, the ticket is released for others to reserve.
Pro Tip: Do NOT log in to multiple browsers, multiple tabs or windows using the same account on the day reservations become available. You may be prompted to complete the reCAPTCHA challenge, adding extra time to the reservation process.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (Johan Joubert, Share the Experience)
Maybe you didn't get the reservation that you wanted. The beautiful thing about your public lands is there are endless opportunities, destinations, and experiences waiting for you just around the corner.
Here are a few more tips to stick in your backpack as you consider planning alternate trips:
Remember that these reservations are often in place during the peak season. If you have flexibility in your schedule, you may find that shoulder seasons or weekday trips are ideal for avoiding the crowds.
For more information, check out this Ticketed and Timed Entry FAQ.