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If you’re thinking of visiting Yosemite‘s granite spires this summer, you’ll need to plan ahead: Starting late next month, the park will require reservations for entry, and it expects them to go fast.
Beginning on April 21, prospective visitors will be able to buy a timed entry pass—required in addition to the $35 entry fee or a national parks pass—on recreation.gov. Passes will go on sale at 8 a.m. Pacific time. The park will only require one pass per vehicle, and each pass will be good for unlimited entries for 3 days, though day-use permit holders will only be allowed in the park from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
On its site, Yosemite National Park officials said that they expect the reservations to be snapped up “almost immediately.”
The reservations are a continuation of a policy the park put in place last year with the aim of limiting visitor numbers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; the National Park Service has said that it intends to continue the system through September 30, “or until local health conditions improve.”
Didn’t snag a pass? There are still a few ways you can get into Yosemite. The park plans to release a limited number of reservations on a seven-day rolling basis throughout the season. People with in-park camping or lodging reservations are exempt from the system, as are tour groups or anyone with a wilderness or Half Dome permit. Hetch Hetchy will also not be subject to the reservation system, although the park will begin limiting access once parking fills up.