Yellowstone National Park Information and Trip Planner
National Parks are worth a visit. It is our countries legacy. There's no better way to bond with the family and enjoy the great outdoors. Most National Parks have something unique to become a designated National Park. Yellowstone is beyond special, it is the world's first national park. It is over 2.2 million acres packed inside an ancient caldera. Geysers, waterfalls, wildlife and scenic beauty. All these wonders are at every turn. This guide will help you plan your Yellowstone trip to be more efficient with less stress so that you'll hopefully have a satisfying vacation/trip. Nothing is worse than unexpected complications while on vacation. For those that prefer to wing it, you're probably not reading this or just looking for reservations, in that case have a great journey and go for it.
Let's begin, you probably know about Yellowstone whether from TV, books, the internet or a combination of these and now it's time to get serious and actually plan your trip. As we previously mentioned, there's a lot to see so grab a notebook, laptop or Smartphone.... something to take notes. There are a lot of attractions you don't want to miss.
- Next obtain maps either paper and/or digital. You don't want to get lost in Yellowstone. There are 5 entrances/exits to Yellowstone with 5 gateway communities. This makes it convenient to either stay in or out of the park and/or use another exit on your way home.
- Purchase a Yellowstone DVD. We recommend, "The Wonders of Yellowstone DVD " but there are a few others that are also informative. We feel a Yellowstone dvd is more effective than Youtube or a website. It's great chance to get the family all in one spot, nuke some popcorn then plan and enjoy your next vacation together. The DVD is a crash course on everything Yellowstone. Things you must see (all the highlights) and things to avoid with the amount of time you have available. Being flexible allows you to spend more time in a certain part of the park more than others. The DVD will show you those areas. This is where your note device becomes practicable. While watching the DVD, take notes on everything mentioned is this planner and your trip will become much more pleasurable and efficient.
- Be aware of road construction delays during the spring/summer/fall months. Road construction can take hours out of your day. Be prepared to travel around these delays and still get to your destination.
- For those families and people that must have contact to the outside world, you're still in luck. Yellowstone National Park does have cell service, just not everywhere. Cell service is currently limited to areas of Canyon, Grant Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful. Wi-Fi is prohibited in the Old Faithful Inn and the Lake Hotel in order to preserve the historic lodging experience. Xanterra will be permitted to offer Wi-Fi service in other park lodging and general stores. Yellowstone's planning is to actively promote the courteous and respectful use of cell phones and Wi-Fi devices and to establish and sign "cell phone free zones" in the park.
-Gas is available at all the gateway communities. Gas stations in the park are located at Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Village, Grants Village, Fishing Bridge and Old Faithful.
-Only two park roads are plowed in the winter and remain open for wheeled-vehicle use:
- The road between the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to the Northeast Entrance at Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana.
- From Mammoth Hot Springs to the parking area at the Upper Terraces (approximately 1/2 mi. of road)
They are maintained only during daylight hours and may close during severe storms. Expect snowpack, ice, frost heaves, drifts. Mud/Snow tires or tire chains may be required and are recommended always. Speed limit for all vehicles is 45 mph (73 kph), or lower where posted—such as from North Entrance to Mammoth. Do not stop on the road or block traffic when viewing wildlife or scenery. Use pullouts. Trails and overlooks may be snow-covered, icy, and dangerous. Obey all trail closures. Walk cautiously at all times and watch your children
* For more information from the Official Yellowstone National Park Trip Planner visit our site: http://yellowstonenationalpark.com/planner.htm
Roads From West Yellowstone And Mammoth Hot Springs To Old Faithful Set To Open Friday, April 19
Yellowstone National Park will open the roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful on Friday, April 19, as originally scheduled.
Budget cuts due to the impacts of sequestration prompted the park to take many administrative actions and make changes to park operations for this season. This included delaying the start of plowing from March 4 until March 18, which pushed back the scheduled opening of roads by one to two weeks.
Favorable weather conditions, below average snow levels, and assistance from the Wyoming Department of Transportation have allowed the park to prepare some road segments for automobile travel earlier than anticipated. This will permit Yellowstone to open the roads from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful to visitors at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19.
Restroom facilities will be available at Madison Junction and Old Faithful starting April 19, with pay-at- the pump fuel available 24 hours a day at both the Upper and Lower Service Stations.
The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, the Geyser Grill and the Bear Den Gift Shop will open for the season on Friday, April 26. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Cabins and Restaurant, the Old Faithful Upper Store and the Lower Service Station convenience store all open for the season on Friday, May 3.
Visitors should be aware that spring in Yellowstone is very unpredictable and often brings cold temperatures, high winds and falling snow. Even cleared sections of roads can be narrow and covered with a layer of snow, ice and debris. Therefore, visitors should use extreme caution when driving as road clearing operations can be ongoing at any time throughout the park. In the case of extreme weather conditions, temporary road closures are also possible with little or no advance warning.
Park entrance fees will be waived April 22-26 as part of National Park Week. The week-long annual celebration is designed to encourage people to visit one of America's 401 national park system sites. A seven-day pass to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is normally $25 for a private, non-commercial vehicle.
The road from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana through Mammoth Hot Springs, and on to the Northeast Entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, is open all year.
Thanks to fundraising efforts by the communities of Cody and Jackson, Wyoming, crews and equipment from the Wyoming Department of Transportation have joined National Park Service efforts to clear park roads for visitor travel. You can follow the progress of spring road clearing in Yellowstone on the web at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/plowing.htm.
Weather permitting, the road from Norris Junction through Canyon and Fishing Bridge to the park's East Entrance will open to travel on Friday, May 3 as originally scheduled. Travel through the South Entrance to Grant Village, West Thumb Junction and on to Fishing Bridge is set to open as originally scheduled on Friday, May 10, given favorable weather conditions. The road from West Thumb Junction to Old Faithful will open sometime after May 10.
The road from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana through Mammoth Hot Springs on to the Northeast Entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, is open all year.
Information on current conditions in the park is available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/conditions.htm. Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
- www.nps.gov/yell -
Yellowstone Winter Season
Yellowstone National Park will open to the public for the winter season as scheduled on December 15. Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, visitors will be able to travel to the park's interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches from the North, West and South Entrances. Travel through the park's East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin December 22.
The road from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Montana, outside the park's Northeast Entrance is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year. At Old Faithful, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center open for the season on December 15. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins and the Obsidian Dining Room open on December 18.
The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room and gift shop will open for the season on December 20. The Yellowstone General Store, the medical clinic, campground, post office and the Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year, as are the 24-hour gasoline pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.
Park staff members will continue to closely monitor road conditions and weather forecasts that can have an impact on roadways and guided oversnow travel operations. Weather during the winter season is extremely unpredictable in Yellowstone and road closures or delays can occur with little or no warning. Visitors are reminded to come prepared by carrying personal emergency survival equipment in their vehicles and dressing appropriately for outside activities in extremely cold weather.
All the administrative steps have been completed in order for the 2012-2013 winter season to open as scheduled on Saturday. Winter Use in Yellowstone this season is being managed under an operating plan much in the same manner as has been permitted the last three winters. Under the rule, up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches will be allowed into the park each day.
In early 2013, the National Park Service intends to issue a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and a proposed rule to guide long-term winter use in Yellowstone, which will take effect in time for the 2013-2014 winter season. - NPS Release
Yellowstone National Park Fees
Park Annual Pass
- Entrance Fee for a private, noncommercial vehicle - $25
- Snowmobile or motorcycle each - $20
Visitor 16 and older entering by bike, foot, ski, etc - $12
This fee provides the visitor with a 7-day entrance permit for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Please, keep your admission receipt in order to re-enter the parks. Snowmobile operators must possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license. Annual or Lifetime Passes are possible alternatives to the above fees.
The $50 park annual pass provides entrance to pass holder and accompanying passengers in a single private non-commercial vehicle at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Pass is valid for 12 months from date of purchase. Purchase your pass at one of the park’s entrances. The $10 Interagency Senior Pass (62 and older) is a lifetime pass available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Pass is available only in-person at entrances or visitor centers.
Yellowstone Lodging and Campsite Reservations
Xanterra Parks & Resorts - (866) 439-7375
* There are many campsites available on a first come basis operated by the Park Service.
Check our Camping Directory for more information.
Gateway Communites Chamber of Commerce
West Yellowstone, Mt - (406) 646-7971
Cody, Wy - (307) 587-2297
Jackson, Wy - (307) 733-3316
Cooke City/Silver Gate, Mt - (406) 838-2495
Gardiner, Mt - (406) 848-7971
Other options for air travel convenience
Bozeman, Mt - (406) 586-5421
Idaho Falls, Id - (208) 523-1010
- 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 now available.
Take a complete tour of Yellowstone National Park as our Narrator
Cathy Coan guides you to all the wonders of the park including
all the geyser basins, wildlife, waterfalls, camping, maps and
Perfect Video Trip Planner"
Info or Order Online
Wildlife of Yellowstone"
- 94 Minutes
Wildlife of Yellowstone DVD presents to you the most popular and
prominent wildlife inhabiting Yellowstone National Park. This
dvd, taped in digital format, has the highest quality scenes of
grizzlies, black bears, moose, wolves, otters, owls, fox and much
more including their young. Inside this dvd you will find
94 Minutes on the Wildlife of Yellowstone.
· Three Chapters : Large Mammals, Small Mammals and Birds
· Narrated by Yellowstone Tour Owner and Specialist - Ken
· Where, When and How to Spot the Wildlife of Yellowstone
Info or Order Online