Percentage-wise, there are very few national parks in the U.S. that require timed-entry permit systems to address negative impacts caused by visitor crowding and congestion. Arches, Glacier, Haleakala, and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) require timed-entry permits to enter any part of the park during peak hours. A handful of others also have some reservation system to enter. RMNP, as one of the busiest parks, with over 4.6 million visitors in 2019, will implement another pilot temporary timed-entry permit reservation system this season, beginning on May 26, 2023. The 2023 pilot program in RMNP is part of the park’s long-range visitor use management plan and will be similar to last year’s with a few modifications: One is that 40 percent of all reservations will be made available the day prior at 5 p.m. on recreation.gov. Luckily, getting up super early, before the sun, is still one of the best hacks for beating any reservation system.
Photo Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park