Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) will implement a pilot reservation system using timed entry in 2024, beginning May 24.
The pilot is similar to that used in 2023 with two types of reservations available. One permit will be for the Bear Lake Road Corridor, which includes the entire corridor, as well as access to the rest of the park. This reservation period will be from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. The second permit will be for the “rest of the park,” excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor. This “rest of park” reservation period will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability, with no set time for departure. The reservation system will apply to all areas of the park. The only cost associated with booking a reservation is a $2 recreation.gov processing fee. The Bear Lake Road Corridor timed entry reservation system will continue through Sunday, Oct. 20. However, the rest of the park reservation system will end on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Reservations to enter the park will be available through www.recreation.gov following the below schedule.
Beginning at 8a.m. MT on Monday, May 1. This round of reservations will be available to enter the park from May 24 through June 30.
The next release will occur on June 1, for the month of July and any remaining days that have not been booked for June.
On July 1, reservations will be available for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July.
On Aug. 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days in August that have not been booked.
On Sept. 1, reservations will be available for October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked.
Modifications from the 2023 pilot system to the 2024 pilot system include making the night before reservations available at 7 p.m. MT through recreation.gov, rather than 5 p.m. These are expected to run out quickly and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead when possible.
RMNP is currently accepting public feedback on its Environmental Assessment for the park’s long-range day use visitor access plan. More details are available on the park website and comments can be submitted through Dec. 14, 2023. This plan is needed to provide day use visitor access in a way that protects resources while creating opportunities for high-quality visitor experiences in the long term.
RMNP is one of the most visited national parks. The park experienced a 44 percent increase in visitation from 2012 to 2019. In 2021, the park received 4.4 million visits. Even with a vehicle reservation timed entry system in place, the park received some of the highest visitation in its history. Between 2016 and 2023, the park piloted several day-use visitor management strategies to address crowding, congestion, and impacts on park resources. These pilots have demonstrated this strategy is effective at easing congestion impacts and improved the visitor experience in the park. The park also asked the public for their participation in envisioning the future of day use visitor access at Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer of 2021 and the winter of 2022-2023.