If you’re planning to visit Yellowstone National Park and wondering what the things you can do there to make the most out of your trip, you’ve come to the right place!
This guide covers the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park, the best places to visit, entry fees, the best weather, etc.
Let’s get started!
|Park||Yellowstone National Park|
|Things To Do||Boating, Sight-seeing, and Discover|
|Hotels Near Yellowstone National Park||The Cody Hotel, Gray Wolf & Suites, and Many More.|
|Price||$35/ day and $70 annual pass|
|Camping Location||Multiple Locations|
Where Is Yellowstone National Park?
Yellowstone National Park lies in the northwest region of Wyoming, stretching into eastern Idaho and southern Montana in the United States.
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is in the closest vicinity to Yellowstone National Park.
From here, you can reach Yellowstone National Park by taking a cab and driving for an hour or so. There are five entrances to the park in total, including Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Jackson, Wyoming, Cooke City, Montana, and Cody, Wyoming.
Yellowstone National Park is America’s oldest national park known for its awe-inspiring natural wonders and red-toned canyon walls.
Situated in Wyoming it is a wonderland of scenic landscapes, geothermal activity, and elusive wildlife.
The park’s area is around 2 million acres, with expansive wilderness and places that even today only a few have seen.
From the breathtaking views of the geysers and hot springs to giant reserves of magma and stunning grasslands.
Yellowstone offers visitors a chance to experience both natural beauty and a piece of history at the same place.
History of Yellowstone
For thousands of years, before it became a National Park, Yellowstone was the home for native American tribes where they hunted, fished, gathered plants, and use the hypodermal waters for religious and medicinal practices.
Although the place was thoroughly explored by the European fur traders and trackers in the late 1700s.
The first formal expedition was sent by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company in 1870, to explore the vast regions of the park.
A photographer and painter named Thomas Moran was also part of the expedition team and their work introduced Yellowstone to the world which eventually captured the attention of Congress and on March 1st, 1872, the world’s first national park was born.
Read: Big Bend National Park
Things to do in Yellowstone National Park
There are literally tons of places to see and do in Yellowstone, but it wouldn’t be possible to list them all, here are the top 5 places that are an absolute must-see:
Grand Prismatic Spring
One of the most remarkable places to see in Yellowstone is the rainbow-colored Grand Prismatic Spring.
Bigger than a football field, it is the third-largest hot springs in the world and the most beautiful feature in the entire park.
The spring has a different appearance in the summer and winter and is without a doubt one of the best things to see in Yellowstone National Park.
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Another absolute must-see in the park is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone which is about 24 miles, 4,000 ft wide, and 1200 feet deep at its lowest point.
It is one of the main landmarks with several outlooks and hiking trails along both rims of the canyon.
Stretching along each side of the river, are scenic overlooks which makes it the best spot for photography, painting, and hiking adventures.
Old faithful is one of the most popular natural features in Yellowstone and probably one of the oldest geysers in the world.
Staying true to its name, old faithful erupts every 45 to 90 minutes, on a reliable schedule.
The eruption usually lasts long to admire this remarkable wonder and take plenty of photos. You can either see it from the ground or take a trial to see from above.
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth hot springs is an amazing and unique spectacle that can’t be missed. It is a huge complex of hot springs located in the north of Yellowstone.
It is mainly famous for its terraces formed over several centuries and are often described as “Natural Sculptures”.
The main highlights of Mammoth Springs are Palette spring, Liberty spring, Minerva terrace, and Canary spring.
One of the best places to catch a glimpse of exotic wildlife is the Hayden Valley.
Situated at the North of Yellowstone, it is a great place to see grizzly bears, elk, deer, wolves, and hundreds of wild bison waling around the huge plains of the valley.
To get a more spectacular view of the valley, consider going to Grand loop road and its various lookout points and you won’t be disappointed.
Best Time to Visit
If you prefer mild weather and want to avoid crowds, April to May as well as September through early October are the best times to visit Yellowstone National Park.
The temperatures are cooler yet pleasant and you have a great chance for solitude and spectacular wildlife viewing.
Summer is the most viable season to visit the Park. July and August are peak months with extreme crowds and high lodging rates.
Avoid visiting in winters, unless you’re planning on skiing as the temperatures drop to over 20°F.
Yellowstone is a huge park, larger than some states so you must have a map with you all the time.
Make sure to download the PDF map of the park or get the topographic maps at REI.com highlighting all main attractions, trails, and scenic highlights so you can plan ahead.
Read: Denali National Park
Hotels Near Yellowstone National Park
If you want to stay near the park, here are some best hotels located near the park recommended by TripAdvisor.
All these hotels offer the best deals and most amazing accommodation at affordable prices:
- Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone
- The Cody Hotel
- Gray Wolf Inn & Suites
- Kelly Inn West Yellowstone
- Yellowstone Gateway Inn
You can only Camp in Yellowstone National Park is only allowed for 14 days between July 1st to Labor Day to 30-days for the rest of the year.
The most common camping locations are neighborhood communities and forests outside the park, while group camping is available at Madison, Grant, and Bridge Bay from late May so on.
The campsite fee ranges from $49-79 per night depending on the group size.
Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park?
The weather in Yellowstone can change quickly, especially during the fall.
From June to early September, daytime temperature ranges from 70-80°F while at night temperature can go below the freezing point.
During the Spring and Fall temperatures range from 30 to 60°F. Winter in the Yellowstone is accompanied by extremely high temperatures between zero and 20°F.
For more information and weather forecast, check out the official weather page of this national park.
Also Read: Wind Cave National Park – Yay Or Nay?
Where to get a Yellowstone National Park Pass?
You can either buy the park pass online or at the entrance as you arrive. A 7-day pass to Yellowstone Park costs $35/vehicle while an annual pass cost around $70/ vehicle.
If you book online, don’t forget to bring the hard copy or downloaded digital pass on your mobile as you’ll be required to show it all the time in the park.
Checklist before Visiting Yellowstone National Park
Here’s are the top 10 items you must bring with yourself to the park:
- A Sun hat and Sunscreen
- Flashlight and first-aid kit
- Warm and Cold clothing layers
- Waterproof Hiking Boots
- A Rain Coat
- Water bottles or a hydration system
- A bug Spray
- Park’s Map
Frequently Asked questions
Are Pets allowed in Yellowstone National Park?
No, pets are not allowed in the winter accommodations except the service dogs. During the summers maximum of two pets (cats & dogs) are allowed in the designated cabin units only.
Are there any connectivity Issues in the park?
Cell phone coverage is very limited throughout Yellowstone. Television, radios, and air conditioners are not available.
Only limited Wi-fi is available at Grant village, Canyon, Old Faithful, and Mammoth Springs.
Can I Get a free entry to Yellowstone Park?
Only visitors under 16, students visiting for educational purposes, and active military will receive an entrance waiver.
Visitors with a permanent disability will also get a free pass and discount on camping.
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