National parks have seen a resurgence of interest over the past two years, with outdoor activities becoming one of the few safe options for many people during the pandemic. To ensure that the parks are not too crowded and that visitors and wildlife are protected, popular parks have started to put in place various entry requirements, including advance booking.
In March 2021, Yosemite National Park lifted its reservation requirements, only to reinstate the requirement before the summer. Now, since October 1, the reservation obligation has been lifted again, allowing travelers to come and go from the park more freely. Without the reservation requirement, the park won’t exactly be a breeze to enter.
There are still a lot of people wanting to visit and the National Park Service advises that you can expect wait times of one to two hours due to traffic at the gates. The Yosemite National Park website warns “to arrive before mid-morning, especially on weekends.”
And visitors shouldn’t expect everything to go back to normal now that the reservation requirement has been lifted. Some campgrounds are closed due to understaffing, and bus tours and shuttle services are also suspended for the same reason. Be sure to read the park’s website for updates before your visit. And if you’re looking for tips on what to see, check out our guide to what you can’t miss.