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What do you need to know about Yosemite reservations in 2024? Let’s dive in:

In December 2023 the National Park Service announced that Yosemite National Park will implement two different reservation systems in 2024. Building on lessons learned during the summer reservation systems in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the Yosemite reservation systems are designed to spread visitation out and reduce chronic congestion in the park.

This page covers:

  • At a glance: Overview of the Yosemite reservation systems
  • Exceptions: People who do not need a reservation
  • How-to: Tips on getting a peak-hours reservation
  • Join us: Access the park with Yosemite Conservancy

At a glance, here’s what to know about Yosemite Reservations:

In 2024 there will be two distinct Yosemite reservation systems: Horsetail Fall reservations in February and peak hours reservations April through October.

Chart explaining which Yosemite Reservations you might need in 2024. The Day-Use Reservation in February or the Peak-Hours Reservation from April through October

Horsetail Fall Reservations

  • January 1 through February 9: No reservation required to drive into Yosemite.
  • February 10 through 25: Horsetail Fall reservations. A reservation is required 24 hours per day on Saturdays, Sundays, and on Washington’s Birthday (Monday, February 19).
  • For more information on the Horsetail Fall reservation system, the history of the phenomenon, and other February trip planning tips see the Horsetail Fall/’Firefall;: What you need to know blog post.

Peak Hours Reservations

  • February 26 through April 12: No reservation required to drive into Yosemite.
  • *April 13 through June 30: A reservation is required from 5 am to 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and on holidays (May 27 and June 19).
  • *July 1 through August 16: A reservation is required from 5 am to 4 pm every day.
  • *August 17 through October 27: A reservation is required from 5 am to 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and on holidays (September 2 and October 14).

*Peak hour reservations are needed if you are driving a vehicle into or through Yosemite National Park between 5 am and 4 pm (peak hours):

  • On Saturdays, Sundays, and on holidays from April 13 to June 30 and again August 17 through October 27.
  • Every day from July 1 to August 16.

peak hours reservation is valid for three consecutive days for unlimited re-entries. The vehicle entrance fee, which is valid for three days, still applies.

If you were planning to drive through Yosemite National Park between April 13 and October 27 and you do not have a peak hours reservation:

  1. First, see if you need one for the dates of your trip. If yes, then…Graphic explaining when you need Yosemite reservations between April and October
  2. See if any are available for your trip on recreation.gov. Reservations become available on January 5, 2024.
  3. If not, you’ll either need to consider an alternate route or plan to enter the park before 5 am or after 4 pm. A Tioga Pass alternative is CA Highway 108 or Sonora Pass, which is directly north of Yosemite. You will not be permitted to drive into the park between 5 am and 4 pm without a peak hours reservation, even if you’re just passing through.

Exceptions: People who do not need a peak hours reservation

You will not need a peak hours reservation for the duration of your program or lodging reservation or while your permit is valid.

How to get a Yosemite reservation

Please note: Those with an annual/lifetime pass DO need a peak hours reservation. The pass covers the park entrance fee but does not provide reservations.

Peak hours reservations go on sale for the full covered season (April 13-October 27) at 8 a.m. (PST) on January 5, 2024 on recreation.gov or by calling 877/444-6777.

  • After the initial lottery, a limited number of peak hours reservations will be available one week out from the visit date. (For example, you could get a peak hours reservation for June 27, if available, on June 20.)
  • Please note that peak hour reservations are valid for three consecutive days.
  • Holiday weekends have sold out quickly in years past.
  • Be prepared by having setting up a recreation.gov account beforehand.

Access the park with Yosemite Conservancy

Yosemite Conservancy is the philanthropic partner of Yosemite National Park. The Conservancy offers a variety of programming in the park that includes park entry for the duration of the program (meaning you do not need any additional Yosemite reservations).

Happy hikers headed out onto an outdoor adventure program in nature. By signing up for these programs, participants did not need a Yosemite reservation to enter the park.

Participants of an outdoor adventure program did not need to have an additional reservation to enter the park.

  • Outdoor adventures: Discover the awe-inspiring wonders of Yosemite’s natural and cultural history with our expert instructors. Our goal for each trip is to make your visit an educational and unforgettable adventure.
  • Custom adventures: Design a guided Yosemite experience to fit your itinerary and interests.
  • Art programs: Art classes, retreats, and paint and sip programs offer unique opportunities to connect with the park in a whole new way.
  • Custom art classes: Have a specific art experience in mind? Reach out to our team to design your own custom art class experience.
  • You’ll have park access for the duration of your program.
  • Please note that reservations for our naturalist programs will not include park entry.

Why is this reservation policy in place?

On December 13, 2023 the National Park Service issued a press release that included this statement from Superintendent Cicely Muldoon about Yosemite reservations:

“This summer’s pilot system is built from extensive public feedback, data from three years of pilot reservation systems here in Yosemite, and lessons learned from other national parks,” said Muldoon. “This pilot system will inform how we ensure an equitable and outstanding visitor experience while protecting Yosemite’s world class resources.

In addition to this year’s Yosemite reservations, Yosemite National Park is currently in the process of developing a Visitor Access Management Plan. Learn more about that plan’s process and how to get involved on the park’s website.

Where can I find more information?

The National Park Service is your go-to for questions about the 2024 Yosemite reservations systems. Find their FAQ page here.

 

Yosemite reservations graphics courtesy of Yosemite National Park.