These U.S. National Parks No Longer Require Reservations to Enter

Parks across the country have lifted their reservation rules as the fall season is underway.

The entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park, just outside of Estes Park, Colorado.

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Several national parks have dropped reservation requirements as the busy summer season comes to a close, making it easier to visit popular spots throughout the country.

The parks, which implemented reservation systems in an effort to control summer crowds, have now largely dropped them. And luckily, fall and winter remain some of the best times to visit America’s national parks to see stunning fall foliage and snowy winter wonderland scenes

Utah’s Arches National Park, for example, dropped its timed reservation system on Oct. 4, according to the National Park Service. The system was part of a pilot, which first went into effect in April. Park officials said visitors should now expect increased traffic and wait times to enter the park.

The park will now use the data from the pilot to determine if a timed entry system will be implemented again in the future. 

“The pilot met many of the goals we set out to achieve, including distributing visitation throughout the day and improving visitor experiences, and it provided data that will inform our next steps,” Arches Superintendent Patricia Trap said in a statement. 

Reservations were similarly lifted at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado on Oct. 10, and at Yosemite National Park in California after they were first implemented in May. For its part, Montana's Glacier National Park, which had required vehicle reservations for its Going-to-the-Sun Road after it fully reopened for the summer, ended its advance reservations pilot program on Sept. 11 and closed the west side of the famous road on Oct. 1 for the season. 

Other parks, however, have not yet dropped their reservations systems. That includes Maine's Acadia National Park, which will require vehicle reservations for the Cadillac Summit Road until Oct. 22, according to the NPS. The park does not require vehicle reservations for any other areas of the park, or for visitors who enter by foot, bike, or taxi.

Additionally, Hawaii’s Haleakalā National Park also requires reservations for visitors who want to enter the park for sunrise between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.

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