Home » Features » You Can’t Get There from Here–Without a Reservation

You Can’t Get There from Here–Without a Reservation


OAKHURST – You’ve planned a trip to Yosemite. It’s on your bucket list.  All your gear’s together, maps, reservations at a local hotel outside the park. You’ve done a bit of research on where to go and what to do. You’re all set, or so you think.

Yosemite’s Valley View – Photo by Judi Hussain

You reach the park, and the ranger says, “may I have your reservation, please?”

What? Reservation? To get into a National Park? Yep.

From now through September 30, unless the National Park Service alters the rules due to changing conditions (and there’s no guarantee they will), you must obtain a day pass prior to your arrival at the gate. The official rules for entering Yosemite National Park through September 30 can be found here. Reservations are available online at recreation.gov and presented to the ranger who greets you at the entrance. They cannot be obtained last-minute at the gate. If you don’t have computer access, call 1-877-444-6777 to make reservations by telephone.

Contact www.recreation.gov to secure day-use permits prior to your arrival.

You are required to display the pass on your dashboard or present your digital pass upon request to Yosemite law enforcement. This is true even if you have a senior pass or a golden eagle or access pass. Holders of those passes do not have to pay the $35 entry fee, but they will pay the $2 reservation fee.

Visit Yosemite Madera County, the Oakhurst bureau which serves many of the travelers heading to Yosemite, reports that large numbers of the folks they’ve been assisting lately arrive without the required reservation. Rhonda Salisbury, VYMC’s CEO, reports, “we are seeing lots and lots of visitors in our visitor center and about 90 per cent don’t have reservations. We are doing everything we can to get them into the Park during their stay. Please don’t hesitate to refer visitors to us.” However, Rhonda, cautions, often solutions can’t be found last-minute, especially on weekends when visitation is heaviest..

Rhonda reports that occasionally they see reservations available on the www.recreation.gov website, so please check there. Rhonda further states, “The Park released more passes when Mariposa went into the Orange tier.  Unfortunately, we have not heard from the Park whether they will adjust accordingly when California opens up (as expected) June 15th.”

VYMC’s knowledgeable volunteers can offer alternatives for your visit if you are unable to obtain a day-use permit.

For complete information about visiting Yosemite as well as events happening in our area, stop by Visit Yosemite Madera County at 40343 Highway 41, Oakhurst. Call them at 559/683-4636 or go to their website. VYMC currently opens seven days a week to assist visitors with their travel needs. While you’re here, ride the Oakhurst Trolley!


Leave a Reply

Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online