Want to see Yosemite in peak season? Reservations open Wednesday

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(CNN) – Yosemite National Park in California receives millions of visitors every year – More than 3.3 million in 2021. And like other big-name U.S. national parks, it’s trying to come up with ways to manage crowds.

Starting at 8am (11am ET) on Wednesday, Yosemite’s reservation system will be alive for visitors to secure their entry into the peak season.

From May 20 to September 30, all visitors to the park will need a reservation to enter between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is the day of the week as well as the weekend.

This includes everyone who wants to visit, annual and lifetime pass holders. You can make a reservation at www.recreation.gov.

Be prepared to move quickly

Yosemite advises people to set up their Recreation.gov accounts in advance and “log in and be ready to receive a reservation immediately at 8 a.m. Pacific Daylight time.”

The non-refundable reservation fee is 2, and does not include the $ 35-a-car park entry fee.

Those who already have reservations for in-park camping, accommodation or wild permits do not need to make additional entry reservations.

Early planning is the key to a national park

Many other marquee national parks have the same story. If you want to visit a popular park this summer, it’s time to plan ahead.

Extra fees, special passes, lotteries and caps depending on the number of visitors All are in the game in 2022 What’s special about some crowded parks is to prevent a flood of humanity.
Parks that were free are now adding entry fees. Indiana Dunes National Park Will set up entry fees for the first time this year, starting March 31st.

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Strategy One: See the least visited park

A brown bear rests on a riverbank in Katmai National Park, Alaska.  This is a park where you are unlikely to compete with tourists for the place.

A brown bear rests on a riverbank in Katmai National Park, Alaska. This is a park where you are unlikely to compete with tourists for the place.

Paul Sauders / Adobe stock

If you stop marquee names like Yellowstone, Yosemite and Glacier, consider one of their less visited cousins. Some ideas:

A Congaree National Park (South Carolina): This is the largest continuous expansion of the “Old Development Bottomland Hardwood Forest”. [Southeast]You will not find another national park like it.
A Great Basin National Park (Nevada): It has 13,063-foot wheeler peaks, sage-covered foothills and the darkest night sky.

Top Image: Visitors admire Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park. (Photo by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

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