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Should reservations be required to enter a popular National Park?

National Parks are the most crowded they’ve ever been. It can be hard to get the views you want, hike the trails you’ve planned on hiking, and don’t even get us started on the crowded campground situation…

Do you think it would make things easier if reservations were required to enter any or all of the popular National Parks? If so, would you like to see reservations required seven days a week or just on the busiest weekend days?

After you vote in the poll, please leave a comment with your thoughts. Thanks!

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Ernest Stillman
4 months ago

My fiance and I traveled all the way from Florida to Glacier. Spent money on hotels and airfare to get backhanded at the gate, this includes the futility of trying to get a reservation online, which appears to be not only impossible but bots are are buying the tickets up. The way I see it is simple: If it is not open to the public that funds it then it should unfunded and closed.

wanderer
3 months ago

Yes. The very limited capacity at these parks is sucked up by bots, and by regular repeat visitors who consider this their annual summer cabin, and know how to ‘work the system’. The average American making an occasional trip to see these wonders is locked out because of poor management and unfair policies.

These parks are huge, and the Park Service needs to admit things are not working and build new campgrounds, and new overlooks, and new roads where necessary. They can spare the land, they just have had their funding strangled and it seems ‘anti-wilderness’ to build capacity. Well, what are the parks for, if citizens cannot visit them? If they insist on keeping small, old-timey capacities, fine. Then limit visitors to one lifetime visit.

Nancy Colpetzer
4 months ago

It’s a good problem to have in that Covid has introduced more Americans and their children to the great outdoors again. Parks should hold off on doing reservations and see what happens first in the next couple of years as the pandemic resolves.

AJW
4 months ago

Reservations are the heritage of elitists intent upon reserving pleasurable experiences for themselves. It’s a legacy of colonialism and class prejudice that signals privilege.

Brad
4 months ago

That’s the Natives Americans land don’t you think we have taken enough, come on man really

Richard
4 months ago

Sadly, parks like Yosemite are overrun by traffic. What is the point in going if you can’t find a place to park?

Chris Moe
4 months ago
  • Rv’ers have totally destroyed our parks. I used to enjoy camping at several lakes here in colorado. Now all the lakes in the entire state are giant slabs of concrete for the precious gas guzzling loud generators and music, etc, etc. Loser RV ers who are too primp and proper to actually camp have ruined it for all campers. Now all camping sites that used to be free or minimal charge are now 22$ a night for the giant slab of concrete and an electrical outlet. If you don’t own an rv then camping or fishing at any of the Colorado lakes is overpriced, overcrowded, loud, and no more scenic than a Walmart parking lot…
Boondock
4 months ago

It’s only this way now bc of covid. When everything else gets going again, visitation will drop off significantly. Be patient. Don’t create permanent extra hassel when it’s only a temporary need.

Pam Ahles
4 months ago

National Parks are no longer enjoyable. Too many people. Limit number of vehicles in the park at any
one time. Limit camping to 7 days. We are done going to NPs. They are a nightmare. Very Sad 😭

Michael Berryhill
4 months ago

No, what there needs to be is for people to be more respectful of others and to understand that a Park should be a place where one can enjoy and connect with nature without people partying, yelling, and generally acting a fool.

Michael Galvin
4 months ago

Of course the problem is caused by the population explosion.
Most readers here remember when we just drove up to a park–especially state parks–and picked a site.

Suellen
4 months ago

i chose yes because I would hate to educate my grandkids about the park and then arrive and have it be so crowded that we couldn’t enjoy the environment. I also think it must be very difficult for the Rangers to have a crush of visitors. Our National Parks are jewels and we should strive to keep them that way.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago

I have no issue with a reservation system, especially when RV’s are selling like crazy. It would be nice to know we wouldn’t be crowded out of enjoying our experience at the park we were visiting.

Jesse W Crouse
4 months ago

Would allow more visitors to experience each park.

Wayne Braxton
4 months ago

In todays world so many are looking to escape and get outdoors. It is inevitable that parks are crowded. If reservations is the decision I would hope it would only be on week ends

Skip
4 months ago

Yes and no. But there needs to be a better registration system and more info gathered during registration like RV VIN and once entered reservation made your done for your 7 day yearly visit at that park giving others an opportunity it’s called respecting others and sharing the advantage. I think tourist excluding natural born citizens cannot register for in park reservations they can RV park outside of parks having passes for day travel through the park only. I know it sounds mean but it is what it is and maybe change as the newbees start over time to vanish. I have talk to 10 family that they have put there RVs up for sale as they found out it’s not their bag of fun. You know the dump your own poo, cooking, bed making, baby sitting service (play ground or amusement park, the list goes on). We have gotten to this point of to much over crowding. Run tour buses through the park would lesson vehicles in the park. Do not expand campsite within the park bad idea on the environment.

inGene Bjerke
4 months ago

Nobody likes having to deal with reservations (especially if it means having to delay getting in. But overcrowding is just as bad or worse. You picks your misery.

DL Jenson
4 months ago

I hate to say yes but last time we went to Yellowstone the traffic was horrible. Just not the way I want to view a beautiful area. My Dad took us every year while growing up and it was so peaceful.

Sharon B
4 months ago
Reply to  DL Jenson

I replied YES because of all the slobs that are out there now that should stay home. These newbies are totally irresponsible and need to be fined heavily for the trash they leave behind and the destruction they have done to the trees and plants where they camp. I’m so sick of seeing this trash and destruction from these dirtbag newbies.

Tommy Molnar
4 months ago
Reply to  DL Jenson

I’ve mentioned this before, but back in 1979 I did a solo bicycle trip from Chicago to San Francisco. I took in Yellowstone and Teton NP. In Yellowstone, every morning the roads were clogged (all day) with bumper to bumper campers and RV’ers going from campground to campground. I just whipped between all the cars and went from “Bike & Hike” to “Bike & Hike” with no issue, and vowed to NEVER return to that madness. It must be worse now, and I’m even more adamant about not going back. Give me a nice boondock site that no one else knows about . . .

Joe
4 months ago

I answered NO. However if you had to pay full amount at time of booking then it’s a maybe. Just think of how many no shows there would be if no $$$ is involved. We have all been at a campground that advertised as full and there always seems to be open spots for several days and even a week, even when deposits were non refundable. I also agree with Jen, tourist companies will scarf up all the bookings and then everyone will be paying through the roof to visit a park, exactly the opposite of the idea of the park system. Look at booking a Florida State Park during the cold season, Park Rangers have told me that they know people are manipulating the system but cannot stop it

DL Jenson
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I agree about none refundable reservations & no travel or tourist outfit buying up spots…

John I
4 months ago

Any National Park entry reservation system should be available well in advance, similar to the campground reservation window. It seems logical, as some have suggested, that a portion be at 30 days, and the remaining portion be available same day. We have just made our reservations for Glacier NP, we did this 2 weeks in advance. The recreation.gov reservation system is not friendly to portable devices, generally speaking. There are those in the camping community that simply will not be able to go through the necessary hoops for a reservation online. The park service should not implement this without fast pass lanes and/or scanners for a QR code. Most NP entrance stations will probably have to be re aligned and reconfigured for this new program, I would think.

Kaeleen Buckingham
4 months ago

All National Parks should have a limit to the number of visitors daily. By using a reservation system, you know before you arrive if you can get in. So many of the Parks are getting over used and they need to be protected.

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