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
Roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful and Canyon Open Friday - NPS
Additional road segments in the park will open during May as road clearing operations progress. Yellowstone’s East Entrance is scheduled to open to travel on Friday, May 2. The park’s South Entrance is set to open to the public on Friday, May 9. The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance, Silver Gate and Cooke City, Mont., is open all year.
National Park Week
Entrance fees will be waived April 19 and 20 to kick off National Park Week. A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is normally $25 for a private, non-commercial vehicle.
Spring Opening Dates in Yellowstone
General opening dates for the entrances to Yellowstone National Park for 2014. The opening dates are weather dependent. As each entrance date draws near, we will announce the exact day of the opening.
- North Entrance - Gardner, MT - Open year round to wheeled vehicles.
- Northeast Entrance - Cooke City/Silvergate via Beartooth Hwy - Late May to early June weather permitting
- East Entrance - Cody, WY - Mid May
- South Entrance - Jackson, WY- Mid May
- West Entrance - West Yellowstone, MT - Late April
Bison Illegally Shot in Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park is asking for the public’s help in identifying who was responsible for illegally shooting and killing three bison inside the park last week.Park rangers determined the bison were likely shot between the evening of March 13 and morning of March 15 alongside the road in the Blacktail Plateau area of northern Yellowstone.
A reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the crime. Anyone with information is requested to call the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132.
The Lacey Act and the Code of Federal Regulations strictly prohibit the killing or removal of any animal from inside Yellowstone. This includes animals shot legally outside the park that cross into and die within the park boundary. Taking and removing any animal parts, including shed antlers, is also prohibited.Violators are investigated and aggressively prosecuted, and are subject to penalties including fines, restitution, and the forfeiture of vehicles, equipment and personal property associated with the violations.
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.