Yosemite day-use permits debuted

Yosemite National Park is requiring all visitors to have a day-use reservation beginning May 21 (Image credit: Getty)

If you want to go to Yosemite National Park this summer, you need a reservation and you’d better act fast.

On April 21, the national park released an initial round of day-use reservations for May and June and hikers, climbers and sightseers were gobbling them up fast as Yosemite’s phased reopening gets underway.

Reservations for Yosemite day-use permits must be made. As of April 22, there were still hundreds of passes remaining at the reservation site at recreation.gov, but a few dates had already sold out. For more information, check out the Yosemite National Park information pages.


Half dome: if you plan on hiking it this year, you'd better act fast! (Image credit: Getty)

Yosemite day-use permits: reservation deadlines and other info

The park is requiring all visitors to have a day-use reservation beginning May 21 — including annual pass holders and lifetime pass holders — in order to manage the number of people in the park and prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the busy summer season. Each reservation is valid for three days with unlimited re-entries.

The park typically doesn't require reservations for day-use visitors; this is a special system launched amid the pandemic. Each day-use reservation is valid for one vehicle and the occupants of that vehicle. 

Visitors booking overnight stays will automatically be granted day-use reservations. That includes reservations for the Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village, Wawona Hotel, Housekeeping Camp and National Park Service-managed campgrounds.

Day-use reservations are also included for all visitors with wilderness-access permits and Half Dome permits, as well as visitors entering the park via YARTS buses and on permitted commercial tours, the national park said.

The reservations being offered this week are for park entry between May 21 and June 30. Starting at 8 a.m., those wanting to visit Yosemite during this period may purchase day-use passes for $35 per vehicle at the park booking website recreation.gov. The passes are good for three days, starting from the date of the reservation.

On April 28, day-use passes will be offered for July. On May 5, passes will become available for August. On May 12, passes become available for September. No reservations are needed to enter Yosemite before May 21 or after Sept. 30.

Brian Metzler

Brian is an award-winning journalist, photographer and podcaster who has written for Runner’s World, The Times, Outside, Men’s Journal, Trail Runner, Triathlete and Red Bulletin. He's also the author of several books, including Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture and Cool of Running Shoes. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, and loves to run, bike, hike, camp, ski and climb mountains. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of running shoes, completed four Ironman triathlons, as well as numerous marathons and ultra-distance running races.