- Download and install our free park app before you get here.
Be sure to follow prompts for downloading offline content. Cell service is extremely limited, and you'll want to have content available on your phone so it's available anywhere in the parks.
- Buy your entrance pass in advance.
Save time at the entrance station by paying your entrance fee at Recreation.gov.
- Make a reservation if you plan to camp.
Campgrounds require reservations in advance, and campsites won't be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Store your food to keep wildlife safe.
Use metal food-storage boxes to store food and all items with a scent wherever they are available. If you're camping, be prepared to move all food and anything with an odor from your vehicle into the food-storage boxes at each site.
- Build fires only in designated fire rings.
Conditions are dry here and fire restrictions may be in effect to prevent unwanted human-caused fires.
- Be safe around rivers and lakes.
Drowning is the most common cause of fatalities here. Many people who drown don't plan to swim but fall in unintentionally.
- Follow best practices for wilderness trips.
Check our overnight backpacking web pages for ideas to minimize your impact to park wilderness, and to avoid a life-threatening situation miles away from help. Our wilderness film series offers tips for choosing a campsite, staying healthy, and storing your food.
- Enjoy wildlife from a distance.
Getting close to park animals can have disastrous results for both you and them. Learn how to stay safe during a wildlife experience.
- Head off the beaten path.
Enjoy a secluded sequoia grove, try a short trail to a quiet peak, or find the roads less-traveled.
- Avoid traffic congestion.
Time your arrival to avoid the middle of the day when lines at entrance stations can be longer, and be sure you're ready with a full tank of gas.
Last updated: May 26, 2021