Secret Ways To Skip Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park 2023

Looking to visit Yosemite National Park but don’t have a park reservation? No worries! This guide has all the tips and tricks you need to visit without having reservations for entrance to Yosemite National Park.

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Waterfall And Rainbow Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park

The breathtaking waterfalls, rivers, and granite dome formations make Yosemite National Park a favorite destination for outdoor lovers.

Read on to find ways to skip the reservations and still enjoy this beautiful national park. 

When Do You Need Reservations For Yosemite National Park Entrance?

Horsetail Fall Or Yosemite Firefall Event

Yosemite National Park reservation requirements begin weekends in February during the annual Yosemite Firefalls event. A reservation is needed to drive into the park 24 hours a day during this event.

2023 Yosemite Reservations

The three weekends in February 2023 when Yosemite reservations are required for the Horsetail Falls Festival are: 2/10-2/12, 2/17-2/19, and 2/24-2/26.

How To Get Yosemite Reservations For Park Entrance?

Yosemite National Park reservations for the Firefall Event are available at Half of the event reservations go on sale January 13, 2023 at 8 am PT.

The other half of the event reservations go on sale 2 days in advance of your visit date at 8 am PT. So if you are arriving on 2/24, you would reserve the morning of 2/22.

Only one reservation is needed per vehicle and you will need to show the ID of the person who made the reservation.

If you don’t get a reservation, check often for cancellations.

Mirror Lake With Granite Rocks Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park

Tips To Snag A Reservation For Yosemite National Park Ticketed Entry

Use these tips to grab the 50 percent of park reservations still available 2 days prior to your visit.

  • Create an account on the website
  • Find the date that is 2 days before your first visit date and set a reminder
  • Log into your account and navigate to the page with all the details entered
  • As soon as the clock rolls onto 8 am Pacific/11 am Eastern, hit the button
  • Consider having a friend also try at the same time to increase your chances

Additional Tips: The cost of making the park entrance reservation is $2 on top of the $35 park entrance fee. The reservation and fee are good for 7 days.

If you didn’t get the park reservation, read on to learn how to enter Yosemite without a reservation. 

Girl At Hetch Hetchy Dam Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park

How To Visit Without Yosemite National Park Reservations

Planning a last-minute Yosemite trip? Or missed your chance at getting park reservations? Here is how you can still enjoy your trip.

1) Camping or Lodging

You don’t need a park entrance reservation if you have either a camping reservation or lodging reservation within the park.

Camping Reservation Tip: It is extremely tough to get a Yosemite campsite. Check out my FREE GUIDE where I reveal tips and tricks for  How To Score Sold-Out National Park Campsites.

Advance camping reservations are required for all camping during the festival.

Get your National Park Reservation Secrets


Waterfall And Granite Domes Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park

Another secret trick we use to score sold-out national park campsites is Arvie.

Arvie not only finds campsite cancellations but also books them for us. It’s been a game changer for getting the toughest campsites.

Get your Arvie FREE TRIAL HERE + 10% off to check it out for yourself!

2) Wilderness Permit or Half Dome Permit 

You don’t need an entrance reservation if you have a permit for hiking. See the park permit website for more information.

YARTS Bus: If you ride the YARTS Bus into the park you don’t need a park entrance reservation. The bus fee also includes the park entrance fee.

Bus Tips: The bus is a great workaround to the park entrance reservation. It picks up at most of the nearby campgrounds and hotels which makes it super convenient.

However, this year the bus will become a really popular option. Make sure to reserve your bus tickets in advance if you plan to take the bus.

3) Arrive With A Tour Group

Authorized tour groups do not need an entrance reservation. So consider booking a tour if you need an additional option to visit.

4) Change Your Arrival Date

Reservations are only required Friday-Sunday. Consider arriving Monday-Thursday instead when an entrance reservation is not needed.

Graphic showing 5 ways to skip national park reservations.

Frequently Asked Questions For Park Entrance Reservation Yosemite Tickets

Do you need a reservation to get into Yosemite National Park?

Yes, a reservation is needed to enter Yosemite during the annual Horsetail Fall Festival or Firefall on weekends in February 2023. Yosemite entrance reservations are required 24 hours a day on 2/10-2/12, 2/17-2/19, and 2/24-2/26.

Is it hard to get a reservation for Yosemite?

Half of the Yosemite entrance reservations for the Firefall event goes on sale on January 13, 2023. However, you can still snag park reservations 2 days in advance of your arrival date at 8 am PT. 

Can you drive 120 through Yosemite without a reservation? Can I drive through Yosemite right now?

Yes, you can enter and drive through Yosemite except during Horsetail Fall or Firefall Festival weekends in February 2023. During festival weekends, an entrance reservation is required 24 hours a day.

How far in advance can you make Yosemite reservations?

Yosemite park entrance reservations for Firefall Event weekends can be made on January 13, 2023 or 2 days in advance of your arrival date at 8 am Pacific. Yosemite reservations are good for 7 days. 

How much does it cost to get into Yosemite?

The Yosemite National Park entrance fee is $35. During times when a park entrance reservation is required, the reservation costs $2. Both are good for 7 days.

Is Yosemite Still Taking Reservations?

Yosemite will not be taking reservations for the summer of 2023. However, Yosemite park entrance reservations are needed for weekends in February during the Firefall Festival.  

Girl Standing By Mirror Lake Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park

I hope these tips are helpful to enjoy your trip to Yosemite National Park. If you enjoyed this, please be sure to PIN this and share it on social media. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss out on our latest tips.

Want to know my secrets for booking hard to get national park campsites? Check out: How To Score Sold-Out National Park Campsites.

Looking for more national park inspiration? Check these out:   

3 Most Unusual National Park Hikes

6 Worst National Parks And Where To Go Instead

Enjoy your adventure detour!

River And Granite Domes Reservations For Entrance To Yosemite National Park
Scott and Van Russell
Scott and Van Russell

Scott and Van of The Adventure Detour are travel writers focusing on RV travel, family outdoor travel, national parks travel, and hiking. They have been full-time RV living and traveling across the US since 2015. In 8 years of full-time RVing, they have visited 38 national parks so far with the ultimate goal to see them all. They work as digital nomads while roadschooling their daughter nicknamed Sissy. On the way to all 50 states, they have visited and hiked through 42 states so far. The travel bucket list is forever growing!

Full-Time RV Family In Front Of Mountains


We are so glad you found us. We are Scott, Van & Sissy. We turned our love of travel into a 7 year full-time RV living adventure.

Our goal is to guide you to unique US travel destinations, share RV travel tips, and help you navigate full-time RV living.

Something that makes us different is our unfiltered approach. We choose to share both the benefits and the challenges of traveling and the full-time RVing lifestyle.

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