Traffic May Soon Result In Reservations To Enter Yellowstone Park
I recently returned to Twin Falls from a visit to one of the most popular national parks in the United States and learned that major changes are coming to reduce congestion. In the coming days, tourists not keeping up to speed on park rules will be turned around at the entrance and denied access.
I just spent two days in Yosemite National Park. If you've never been there, it's not a bad drive at all from southern Idaho. From Twin Falls to the east entrance of Yosemite is approximately 670 miles. A long time ago, I worked for a radio station just outside the park's south entrance and would spend weekends exploring Yosemite.
A lot has changed in the past 20 years. Yosemite has always been busy, but tourist congestion these days will soon mean a reservation will be required just to drive into the park. Beginning May 20, it will take a reservation during specific times of the day (6a to 4p) to enjoy sights such as El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome, according to the park's official website. This rule will remain in place through the end of September.
As I sat in my car for more than 90 minutes trying to get out of the park on Sunday, I thought about how Yellowstone National Park could be next. We are frequent visitors to Yellowstone in the summer months. During my last trip to the park, I remember how congested it was walking on the wooden platforms around Grand Prismatic Spring.
On average, Yellowstone National park has about one million more visitors annually than Yosemite National Park. So, does this mean that it might soon require a reservation to simply pass through the gates of Yellowstone?