Rocky Mountain National Park: Wilderness Overnight Backpacking Permits

Planning to go backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer? Now is the time to get ready! A wilderness camping permit is required year-round. Wilderness Camping Permits go on sale through at 8 a.m. MST on Friday, March 1.

Your permit must be picked up at the Headquarters Wilderness Office (beside the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on Highway 36 west of Estes Park, CO) or at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center (Highway 34, north of Grand Lake, CO). Note there will be no in-person reservations taken at the park’s Wilderness Offices from March 1 through April 1, for summer trips between May 1 through October 31, 2024.

Rocky Mountain National Park (Photo by National Park Service)

To get important tips and begin planning for your summer trip, visit the park’s Wilderness Overnight Backpacking page.

Follow Adam and Kathryn of Adventures of A+K on their Hike to Sky Pond. And always remember to Leave No Trace.

Glacier National Park: Going-to-the-Sun-Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road traverses Glacier National Park’s rugged terrain for 50 miles. This engineering marvel offers awe-inspiring views of snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. Completed in 1932, it winds across the Continental Divide and showcases diverse ecosystems and wildlife and is a National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Due to heavy snowfall, it’s only open in the summer.

May 24 through September 8 vehicle reservations are required for the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road and North Fork from 6 am to 3 pm. July 1 through September 8 vehicle reservations are required for Many Glacier from 6 am to 3 pm. A portion of vehicle reservations are available 120 days in advance, on a daily rolling basis. Next Day vehicle reservations will be available at 7 pm MDT for next-day entry starting on May 23, 2024 on a daily rolling basis.

Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park is an engineering marvel. (National Park Service photo by Tim Rains)

The park is open 24/7 and visitors may enter vehicle reservation areas before 6 am or after 3 pm without a vehicle reservation. For more information check the NPS website. You can book your reservation here.

To help you get started planning your trip to Glacier, Parks Channel creators have lots of tips on where to go, what to pack, where to eat, where to stay, and what to do if you see a bear. Which you will. It’s Glacier.

Haleakala: Sunrise from the Summit

Haleakalā, meaning “House of the Sun,” is a dormant shield volcano on Maui, Hawaii. Rising 10,023 feet above sea level, its summit hosts a starkly beautiful landscape of cinder cones and lunar-like terrain. Revered by Native Hawaiians, it’s a site for spiritual ceremonies and offers stunning sunrise views and unique biodiversity.

To view the sunrise at Haleakala, you’ll need a reservation to enter the park between 3am – 7am. This reservation ensures a parking space at one of the four sunrise viewing locations at the summit. April permits are now available at Please note: tickets are per vehicle, not per person, and tickets are limited to one per customer every three days.

Cameron Sabin of National Park Diaries explains how and why the endemic species of Hawaii are threatened with extinction.


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Washington DC: Cherry Blossoms on the National Mall

Peak Bloom is happening now! The Yoshino Cherry Trees along the National Mall and Tidal Basin in Washington DC, are open and revealing their beautiful, pink flowers. You don’t need a reservation or permit to enjoy them, but you will need to plan ahead and bring patience as you will be joined by tens of thousands of other people.

This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will run special events from March 20 – April 14 to welcome and educate visitors and celebrate the trees’ magnificent blooms. Check the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s website for full details.

The Trust for the National Mall helps the National Park Service all year long in its work to care for the iconic cherry trees, now celebrating their 112th year on the Tidal Basin. You can help protect them from the effects of ever-increasing foot traffic, the changing climate, and the rising sea level by making a donation here.

And if you can’t make it to DC this month, you can tune in to #BloomCam and track the progress of the blossoms on the National Mall with 24/7 views of the Tidal Basin, thanks to EarthCam and Salamander Washington DC.

Check out our Washington National Mall page for tips on visiting Washington.

Top photo of the Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington DC by Sean Paul/FreePik.