Timed Entry Permits are required from May 24-mid October 2024

Timed entry permits are required to enter the Park from May 24 through mid October 2024, entrance passes continue to be required. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country and summer is its busiest season. A timed entry permit system has been implemented to provide a better visitor experience and to protect the park's resources. It truly makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone. 

2024 timed entry

There are two different types of reservations 

First, figure out what you want to do when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. There are two types of reservations: Park Access without Bear Lake Road access (9am-2pm) and Park Access+ which includes Bear Lake Road, as well as the rest of the park (5am-6pm). 

You can access the following trailheads from the Bear Lake Corridor: Bear Lake, Glacier Gorge, Bierstadt Lake, Sprague Lake and Hollowell Park.

You can access Trail Ridge Road, Old Fall River Road and lots of trailheads without Bear Lake Road access.

2024 timed entry 2

Set your calendars

Release Date Reservation Dates
May 1 at 8 a.m. MDT May 24 - June 30
June 1 at 8 a.m. MDT July 1 - July 31
July 1 at 8 a.m. MDT August 1 - August 31
August 1 at 8 a.m. MDT September 1 - September 30
September 1 at 8 a.m. MDT October 1 - October 20

40 percent of available timed entry permits will be released first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov at 7 p.m. on the night before a desired arrival date, beginning on the evening of May 23.

These are expected to sell out quickly and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead when possible.


Your permit will allow a two-hour window to enter Rocky Mountain National Park, which you will have chosen when you purchased your entry permit. Be sure to arrive at the entrance gate early in the two-hour window to avoid possible entrance lines affecting your ability to enter within the allotted time.


No Car? No Problem!


Arrive in Estes Park by bus! Bustang, a full-service coach, travels between Denver and Estes Park on weekends and select holidays between May 25 and September 29 in 2024. With several Front Range stops in between, Bustang is a convenient, sustainable option for riders departing from destinations along US Highway 36.

The bus will drop riders directly at the Estes Park Visitor Center, where they can hop on free shuttles to get around town. Riders can also remain on the bus to ride to Rocky Mountain National Park's Park & Ride. From there, the park's shuttle system gives easy access to many of the national park's trails. Riders entering the national park on Bustang do not need a timed entry permit but do need an entrance pass. 

Learn more about riding Bustang to Estes Park.

Take the Hiker Shuttle from Estes Park

The hiker shuttle will operate between the Estes Park Visitor Center and the Bear Lake Park & Ride from May 24 to October 20, 2024. 7-day service will operate May 24 to September 2. Beginning on September 7, weekend service only will continue through October 20.

  • To ride the Hiker Shuttle, all passengers must reserve Hiker Shuttle Tickets in advance. Reservations can be made online on a first-come, first-served basis through www.recreation.gov.
  • All riders in a party are required to have a Hiker Shuttle Ticket. There is a $2 processing fee for each Hiker Shuttle reservation. One reservation will cover from 1 to 4 Hiker Shuttle Tickets, which is good for up to 4 people in a party - regardless of age.
  • When making a Hiker Shuttle Reservation, remember to change the number of tickets in your check-out box to match the number of people in your group. If there are 4 passengers in your party, make sure to change the number of tickets reserved from "1" to "4."
    • All passengers, including infants and small children, must have their own Hiker Shuttle Ticket.
    • Please only reserve the number of seats needed.
  • Passengers with Hiker Shuttle Ticket Reservations will board the Hiker Shuttle in front of the Estes Park Visitor Center.
  • The Hiker Shuttle does not pick up or drop-off passengers at any other locations in Estes Park or in Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • After boarding the Hiker Shuttle, the bus will drive passengers to the Park & Ride Transit Hub inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Once at Park & Ride, passengers may transfer to the park's free Bear Lake or Moraine Park Shuttles to reach destinations located along the Bear Lake Road Corridor.


  • For buses departing from the Estes Park Visitor Center and going to the Bear Lake Park & Ride: every 45 minutes from 9am to 2:15pm.
  • For buses leaving the Bear Lake Park & Ride and returning to the Estes Park Visitor Center: every 45 minutes from 10am to 1:45pm and 3pm to 6pm.


No Timed Entry Permit? Again, No Problem!

You’ve still got options! Opt for a sunrise hike, arguably the most beautiful time to hike in the park. Or, enter the park when the time restrictions end after 2 pm or 6 pm. Another way to enter the park without a timed entry permit is to go guided. Here is a list of how to choose the right guide for you.

Luckily, there is so much more to do in Estes Park. Find stunning hiking, biking and horseback riding trails in the nearby Hermit Park as well as more camping options. The views in Hermit Park offer spectacular views of the Estes Valley and surrounding peaks.


Pro tip: Arrive at the entrance gate early

Your permit allows you a two-hour window to enter Rocky Mountain National Park, which you will have chosen when you purchased your entry permit. Be sure to arrive at the entrance gate early in the two-hour window to ensure you are able to avoid possible entrance lines that would affect your ability to enter within the allotted time.