Yellowstone National Park
What To Know Before You Go
The Yellowstone is the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, carved by glaciers, landslides, volcanic activity, and massive land faults.
Entrances and Fees
There are five park entrances/exits in three states – Montana, Idaho and Wyoming – allowing easy access to this vast park. To plan your visit to Yellowstone National Park, visit nps.gov for up-to-the minute information about seasonal open/close dates and road closures.
Entrance fees are $25 per private vehicle for seven days, or $50 for one year (valid from purchase date). The pass includes entrance fees for Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton National Park. If you love parks as much as we do, you can purchase the America the Beautiful Pass for $80, which entitles you to entry into all national parks and Federal Recreational Lands. If you're 62 or older – BONUS!! – your entrance pass is only $10 and will last a lifetime. All passes can be purchased in advance online. For details, please visit nps.gov.
Yellowstone Park is home to more wildlife than almost anywhere else in the United States. Visitors are likely to see a number of wild animals in the park, including grizzly and black bears, gray wolves, bison, elk, moose and bighorn sheep among others.
Take a few minutes before you visit Yellowstone Park to educate yourself about safely viewing wildlife. Wild animals, especially females with young offspring, are unpredictable and dangerous. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife.
Each year a number of park visitors are injured by wildlife when approaching too closely. Approaching on foot within 100 yards (91 m) of bears or wolves or within 25 yards (23 m) of other wildlife is prohibited. Please use roadside pullouts when viewing wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing them. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal's natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close! It is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within ANY distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
During your visit to Yellowstone National Park you will see hydrothermal areas, which can also be very dangerous. Boardwalks have been built around Yellowstone's boiling hydrothermal pools and geysers for good reason. The crust surrounding them is thin and breaks easily, and often overlies more scalding water. Enjoy these features up close, but stay on the paths. Also, pets are strictly prohibited in Yellowstone Park's hydrothermal areas, for your safety – and theirs.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Ben Franklin was a smart guy.
The Official Park Information Newspaper
To plan your visit to Yellowstone Park, download Yellowstone Today. This official National Park Service newspaper is filled with up-to-the-minute information about Yellowstone National Park and offers tips on making your adventure even more exciting. Now get out there are have fun!
Weather can vary during your vacation. Because elevations inside Yellowstone National Park range from 5,280 to 11,400 feet, visitors should not be surprised if the weather changes dramatically during their visit.