Discover Yellowstone National Park

Located primarily in Wyoming but also extends into Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is a sprawling expanse of awe-inspiring landscapes, teeming wildlife, and geothermal wonders.

Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the world’s first national park, boasting a rich history alongside its stunning natural beauty. Visitors flock here to witness iconic sights like the majestic Old Faithful geyser, the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring, and the magnificent Yellowstone Falls.

Beyond its geological marvels, Yellowstone is a haven for diverse ecosystems, home to grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and herds of bison. Hiking trails wind through pristine forests, offering glimpses of untamed wilderness at every turn.


Top 3 Facts About Yellowstone National Park


Oldest National Park

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park, serving as a model for conservation efforts worldwide.


Super Volcano

Beneath Yellowstone lies one of the world’s largest active volcanic systems, often referred to as a “supervolcano.” While its last major eruption occurred around 640,000 years ago, the park still experiences geothermal activity, with geysers, hot springs, and mud pots serving as visible reminders of the volcanic forces beneath the surface.


Wildlife Sanctuary

Yellowstone provides crucial habitat for a diverse array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk, and bald eagles. It’s one of the few remaining places in the contiguous United States where all native species of large mammals still roam freely.

Camping and transportation in Yellowstone National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Yellowstone National Park

Getting to Yellowstone National Park depends on your starting point and preferred mode of transportation. Here are several common ways to reach the park:

  • By Air: The closest major airports to Yellowstone are Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Montana, Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in Wyoming, and Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD) in Cody, Wyoming. You can rent a car from these airports or take a shuttle service to the park.
  • By Car: Yellowstone is accessible by car from several directions. The park has five entrance gates: North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana), West Entrance (West Yellowstone, Montana), South Entrance (near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming), East Entrance (near Cody, Wyoming), and Northeast Entrance (near Cooke City, Montana). Major highways leading to the park include US-89, US-191, and US-20.
  • By Bus: Some tour companies offer bus tours to Yellowstone from nearby cities such as Jackson, Wyoming, or Bozeman, Montana. These tours often include transportation, guided excursions, and accommodations.
  • By Train: Amtrak offers train service to cities near Yellowstone, such as Salt Lake City, Utah, and Whitefish, Montana. You can rent a car or take a bus to the park from there.
  • By RV or Camper: If you’re traveling with an RV or camper, you can drive directly to Yellowstone and stay at one of the park’s campgrounds. Check the park’s website for RV length restrictions and campground availability.

Places to Stay Near Yellowstone National Park

There are various options for accommodation and camping near Yellowstone National Park, catering to different preferences and budgets:

  • Lodges and Hotels:
    Inside the Park: Yellowstone offers several lodges and hotels within the park boundaries, including Old Faithful Inn, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Canyon Lodge. These accommodations provide convenient access to park attractions but tend to book quickly, so reservations are recommended well in advance.
    Nearby Towns: The gateway towns surrounding Yellowstone, such as West Yellowstone (Montana), Gardiner (Montana), Cody (Wyoming), and Jackson (Wyoming), offer a wide range of hotels, motels, and lodges to suit various budgets and preferences. These towns are typically within a short driving distance from park entrances.
  • Campgrounds:
    Inside the Park: Yellowstone operates numerous campgrounds, ranging from primitive sites to those with RV hookups. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during the peak summer season. Some popular campgrounds include Madison Campground, Bridge Bay Campground, and Grant Village Campground.
    National Forest Campgrounds: National forests surrounding Yellowstone, such as Gallatin National Forest and Shoshone National Forest, offer additional camping options with varying amenities. These campgrounds provide a serene setting amidst towering forests and pristine landscapes.
  • RV Parks and Resorts:
    Inside the Park: Yellowstone maintains RV-friendly campgrounds with amenities such as hookups, dump stations, and restroom facilities. However, space may be limited, so early reservations are advisable.
    Private RV Parks: Several private RV parks and resorts are located near Yellowstone, offering full hookups, amenities like laundry facilities and Wi-Fi, and convenient access to the park.
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Best Time to Go to Yellowstone National Park



Summer is the peak tourist season with warm temperatures, open roads, and full accessibility to park facilities and attractions. Expect crowds, especially around popular landmarks, and make reservations well in advance for accommodations and activities.



Winter offers a tranquil atmosphere with snow-covered landscapes and opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and wildlife viewing. Many roads and facilities close, but select areas remain open for winter recreation.



Spring offers quieter crowds, emerging wildlife, and the chance to witness newborn animals. However, weather can be unpredictable, with lingering snow in higher elevations, and some facilities may still be closed.

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Fall brings cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and fewer crowds than summer. Wildlife viewing is excellent, with animals preparing for winter, and the weather is generally pleasant. Some facilities begin to close as the season progresses.

Must-See Attractions

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Old Faithful Geyser

Witness the iconic eruptions of Old Faithful, one of the world’s most famous geysers, which erupts approximately every 90 minutes, shooting boiling water and steam into the air.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Marvel at the stunning Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where the Yellowstone River cuts through colorful canyon walls, creating majestic waterfalls like Lower Falls and Upper Falls.

Grand Prismatic Spring

Explore the vibrant colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, one of the largest hot springs in the world, with its striking blue center surrounded by bands of yellow, orange, and green microbial mats.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Yellowstone National Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Research park attractions, activities, and accommodations in advance. Yellowstone is vast, so having a rough itinerary can help you maximize your time and prioritize must-see sights.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Yellowstone’s weather can be unpredictable, with temperature fluctuations, rain, snow, and strong sun. Dress in layers, bring waterproof clothing, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, and check the weather forecast before your visit.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Keep a safe distance from wildlife and never approach or feed animals. Use binoculars or zoom lenses for close-up views and always give wildlife plenty of space to avoid disturbances.

Stay Informed

Arrive Early or Late

Visit popular attractions early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and enhance your wildlife viewing opportunities. Many animals are more active during these times, and you’ll have better chances of finding parking.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is renowned for its geothermal features, including geysers, hot springs, mud pots, diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and the iconic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

The best time to visit Yellowstone depends on personal preferences. Summer offers warm weather and full accessibility to park attractions, while fall boasts vibrant foliage and fewer crowds. Winter provides opportunities for snow activities and serene landscapes, while spring offers wildlife sightings and emerging blooms.

Reservations are highly recommended for camping in Yellowstone, especially during the peak summer season. Campgrounds often fill up quickly, so booking well in advance is advisable. Some campgrounds accept reservations, while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Yellowstone is home to diverse wildlife, including bison, elk, grizzly bears, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles. Visitors may also encounter smaller mammals such as coyotes, foxes, otters, and various bird species.

Winter activities in Yellowstone include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, wildlife watching, and ranger-led programs. The park’s winter landscape transforms into a serene wonderland, offering unique opportunities for outdoor recreation and photography.

Yellowstone charges entrance fees for visitors entering the park by private vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or on foot. The fees vary depending on the season and type of vehicle, with discounts available for seniors, military personnel, and annual pass holders.

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