a stream and trees in rocky mountain national park

Rocky Mountain National Park Reinstates Timed Entry System for Summer

This just in — you’ll need a reservation to get into this popular national park.

After a successful year of testing the system in 2020, Rocky Mountain National Park will reinstate its timed entry system on May 28, 2021, just in time for summer. Park officials hope the timed entry will not only help mitigate crowds in the park, but will help identify how else to disperse visitors across certain parking areas and trailheads.

Entry reservations will be required to enter the park all summer. Reservations for May 28 through June 30 are available to reserve now. The next big release will be on June 1 to reserve an entry permit to the park for the month of July.

On July 1, reservations will be available for the month of August, and so on and so forth, through October 2021.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Timed Entry Reservations

There are two options for entry permits: Rocky Mountain National Park and the Bear Lake Corridor. The Bear Lake Road Corridor permit (required between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m.) will include access to the entire corridor and the rest of the park.

The second permit grants access to Rocky Mountain National Park, excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor (required between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.). Outside of these time brackets, an entry reservation will not be needed.

looking west over sprague lake on a sunny day at Rocky Mountain national park
Sprague Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo credit: Mary Murphy.
  • Entry permits are required to enter all areas of Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Reservations will be based on 75-85% of the park’s total parking capacity, as opposed to 60% in 2020.
  • The reservation fee is $2 per day.
  • Bicyclists will not need an entry reservation (park pass fees still apply).
  • Those with campground reservations in the park will also be automatically allotted entry for their arrival day.

Make a Reservation

Rocky Mountain National Park: More Reservations

a hike-to campsite with tent and camp chairs at rocky mountain national park
Camping at Moraine Park Campground; photo credit: Mary Murphy.

Due to COVID, RMNP campgrounds are still only operating at 40% capacity. This means several loops and areas of Glacier Basin and Moraine Park Campgrounds are closed. Other campgrounds within the park have not yet opened.

“In 2020, Rocky Mountain National Park was the fourth most visited national park in the country,” the NPS wrote. So, if you’re planning a visit to the Rocky Mountains this summer, make sure to snag a reservation first!

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.