Yosemite Eliminates Reservation System for Next Year

“Reservations will not be required to visit Yosemite National Park during the summer of 2023,” the National Park Service announced.

Entrance sign to Yosemite National Park in the early morning

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California's Yosemite National Park will not require reservations to visit in the summer of 2023, a change from the last several years when visitors had to book in advance. 

“Reservations will not be required to visit Yosemite National Park during the summer of 2023,” the National Park Service wrote on its website. “Reservations were required in the summers of 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and in summer 2022 when numerous key visitor attractions were closed for critical infrastructure repairs.”

Yosemite first implemented a reservation system when it reopened during the pandemic in June 2020. The park then suspended the system in November of that year. Yosemite then brought the reservations back in May 2021 before eliminating them in October 2021, and then did the same for the summer of 2022 before once again ending them for the fall

Last year, Yosemite also temporarily tested out a lottery system for summer reservations at one of its most popular campgrounds.

When advance reservations were required, visitors had to reserve the right to enter the park during peak hours seven days a week. The rule was implemented in an effort to reduce congestion in the popular park.

While reservations will no longer be required, the NPS said it will craft ways to limit crowds going forward.

“Yosemite has been grappling with congestion — even gridlock — for decades. We want to build from the lessons learned from the last three [summers] of managed access,” the NPS wrote on its website. ” Look for an announcement in December, when we'll start seeking your help to design an approach that provides a great visitor experience while protecting Yosemite's natural and cultural resources.”

The NPS does “strongly recommend” travelers who plan to stay overnight in the park book in advance. In fact, finding an NPS campground can sometimes require booking a spot three or four months before a trip.

Additionally, visitors to Yosemite National Park must pay a $35 entrance fee per car, which is valid for seven consecutive days.

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