Yellowstone National Park
is the flagship of the National Park Service and a favorite to millions of visitors each year. The park is a major destination for all members of the family. By driving the grand loop road, visitors can view the park from the comfort of their vehicle and also take a rest at one of the many roadside picnic areas. For the active visitor, the park has thousands of miles of trails from dayhikes to backcountry explorations. The main attractions are all located on the grand loop road and here are some of the top reasons to visit the park. This site has a lot of the information you need for your trip and you may also consider our dvd "The Wonders of Yellowstone" to help you plan your visit.
* World's First National Park
* 2,219,789 acres (Larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined)
* Wildlife - 7 species of ungulates (bison, moose, elk, pronghorn), 2 species of bear and 67 other mammals, 322 species of birds, 16 species of fish and of course the gray wolf.
* Plants - There are over 1,100 species of native plants, more than 200 species of exotic plants and over 400 species of thermopholes.
* Geology - The park is home to one of the world's largest calderas with over 10,000 thermal features and more than 300 geysers. It has one of the world's largest petrifiied forests. It has over 290 waterfalls with the 308' Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River as it's showpiece.
* Yellowstone Lake is the largest (132 sq. mi.) high altitude (7,732') lake in north america.
* 9 visitor centers
* 12 campgrounds (over 2,000 campsites)
- 98 Minutes
~Telly Award Winner for Nature
Two years in the making
and just released, "The Wonders of Yellowstone" video
has been highly requested, produced in DVD format and is only available through YellowstoneNationalPark.com.
Take a complete tour of Yellowstone National Park as our Narrator
Cathy Coan, guides you to all the wonders of the park including
the geyser basins, wildlife, waterfalls and much more.
Info or Order Online
National Park Service Releases New Rule for Winter Use in Yellowstone
The National Park Service has published a final rule to guide winter use in Yellowstone National Park following extensive public review and comment. The final rule authorizes oversnow vehicle (OSV) use in Yellowstone and contains provisions that allow greater flexibility for commercial tour operators, provides mechanisms to make the park cleaner and quieter than what has been allowed during the previous four winter seasons, rewards oversnow vehicle innovations and technologies that improve the Yellowstone experience, and allows for an increase in visitation. The final rule relies on impact analysis conducted through the 2013 Winter Use Final Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (final Plan/SEIS).
“This is a balanced and flexible plan that we believe will work for tour operators, for park visitors and for the iconic landscapes with which we are entrusted to protect,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We appreciate the public comment and review that has gone into informing this science-based approach that will provide a safe and positive experience for the millions of visitors who come to Yellowstone every year.”
The 2013/2014 winter season will be a transition year to the new rule during which the park will allow snowmobiles and snowcoaches under the same conditions in place for the past four winters. The one-season transition period will also allow time for the NPS to advertise and award concession contracts and for commercial tour operators to adequately prepare for the new rule.
Beginning with the 2014/2015 winter season, the previous management approach of fixed maximum number of OSVs allowed in the park each day will be replaced with a more flexible concept of managing vehicle access by transportation events, defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven seasonally. New best available technology standards will be required for snowmobiles no later than the 2015/2016 season, and for snowcoaches by the 2016/2017 winter season.
Commercial tour operators will be able to use their allocated transportation events for snowmobiles, snowcoaches, or a mix of both, as long as no more than 50 of the authorized 110 daily transportation events are snowmobile transportation events. This approach allows the proportion of snowcoaches or snowmobiles in the park each day to be adjusted, allows for an increase in the size of snowmobile groups to meet demand on peak days, and permits an increase in vehicle group size per transportation event if voluntary enhanced emission standards are met.
The plan also allows one non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles to enter through each park entrance every day. The park will be working with interested stakeholders to develop the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, along with the Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification. The rule also continues to allow OSV use on the East Entrance road over Sylvan Pass.
To reinforce the central approach of the agency and a key tenant of this successful rule making, park managers will continue to collaborate with the public by implementing an Adaptive Management Program, which will combine science with public input, to ensure that OSV use impacts stay within limits predicted in the final Plan/SEIS. The kick-off meeting for this program is November 22, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Interested members of the public are encouraged to attend. For more information
National Park Service Approves Construction Of Cell Tower For Yellowstone’s Fishing Bridge And Lake Village
The National Park Service has given final approval permitting Verizon Wireless to build a cell tower to serve the Fishing Bridge and Lake Village developed areas in Yellowstone National Park. Cell phone service originating from inside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park is currently limited to the Mammoth, Old Faithful, Canyon, Tower-Roosevelt, and Grant developed areas. The Lake developed area is the one additional location in the park where park managers determined new cell phone coverage could be added under the park’s 2008 Wireless Communications Services Plan Environmental Assessment and its associated Finding of No Significant Impact - NPS
Yellowstone Visitation Already Over One Million Mark For 2013
As visitation enters the peak summer period, visitation to Yellowstone National Park has already topped the million mark for the year. There were 744,056 recreational visitors to Yellowstone in June and a total of 1,016,651 for the first six months of 2013.
Monthly and annual recreational visitor figures which will be reported over the course of this year may not reflect an actual significant change in the number of park visitors, just a different and more accurate accounting of park visitation. July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed in order by August, June, September, and May - NPS
Frequently Asked Questions for Yellowstone National Park
How much is the entrance fee?
$25 - Private, noncommercial vehicle;
$20 - Motorcycle or snowmobile (winter)
$12 - Visitors 16 and older entering by foot, bike, ski, etc.
This fee provides the visitor with a 7-day entrance permit for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
A $50 park annual pass provides entrance for a single private non-commercial vehicle at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The $10 Interagency Senior Pass (62 and older) is a lifetime pass available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Where do I enter Yellowstone National Park?
Yellowstone has 5 entrances to the park:
North Entrance - Gardiner, MT, the North Entrance is the only park entrance open to wheeled vehicles all year. November through April, provides access to Cooke City, MT. US Highway 212 east of Cooke City is closed to wheeled vehicles November through April. The Mammoth to Norris road is open to wheeled vehicles from April 20 to November 4, and to tracked oversnow vehicles from around December 17 to March 12. Closest airline service is Bozeman, MT
West Entrance - West Yellowstone, MT, the West Entrance is open to wheeled vehicles from April 20 to November 4, and to tracked oversnow vehicles from December 17 to March 12. Closest airline service is West Yellowstone, MT, Bozeman, MT, Idaho Falls, ID, and Salt Lake City, UT.
Northeast Entrance - Silver Gate and Cooke City, MT, is open year around for wheeled vehicles to Cooke City through the North Entrance. Opening dates for roads east of Cooke City vary from year to year, depending on the weather. The Beartooth Highway is
open from late May/early June to mid October and is dependent upon weather conditions. Closest airline service is Billings, MT.
South & East Entrances - Open to wheeled vehicles from May 11 to November 4, and to tracked oversnow vehicles from December 17 to March 12. Closest airline service to the South Entrance is Jackson, WY and Cody, WY to the East Entrance.
Where should we stay?
The best way to answer this is to decide how much time you have and what you want to see the most. As an example, if you plan on visiting Yellowstone National Park for only a few days and want to experience some of the main attractions then West Yellowstone would be a good base. From there, it is a short drive to the geyser basins, Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. If you want to have the full park experience then perhaps lodging at Old Faithful would be a good choice. If you want to view the most wildlife, then we suggest the Northeast Entrance and a short trip to the Lamar valley. The South Entrance is a great option if you have more time and want to visit Grand Teton National Park however it is a longer drive to the heart of Yellowstone if you base out of Jackson. The North Entrance is park headquarters and has the most historic information on the park.
When is the best time to visit the park?
This depends on what your interests are. Here's a summary; Spring has abundant wildlife, roaring waterfalls and wild weather. It can snow or be in the 70's. Summer has it all including the most crowds. If you and your family plan on a summer trip, here's our best advise. Get out early and eat your breakfast on the road! Fall is a special time of year. For wildlife there is a sense of urgency in the air. Everything seems to be diminishing including the crowds. Winter is a time of solitude. In years past it was more "economical" to visit most of the park. Now it is more restricted unless you can afford a snowcoach or guided snowmobile tour. The North Entrance is the busiest due to the ease of access and plowed road.
With 5 entrances and over 2 million acres, we highly suggest you plan your trip in advance. We recommend you obtain some of the many travel planners or DVD's that are available for Yellowstone. If you're more detailed oriented then obtain a travel planner. If you want to know as much information as possible in under 90 minutes then purchase a Yellowstone DVD.