Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park's 2 million acres are home to an incomparable combination of natural beauty, rugged wilderness, majestic peaks and abundant wildlife, as well as the world’s largest concentration of geysers and thermal features. The iconic spots—Old Faithful, Lower Falls and Yellowstone Lake—may be familiar from paintings and photographs, but seeing them in person is a humbling, enthralling experience that visitors can enjoy year-round. 

Lodging and Accommodations

In the summer, visitors may select from eight locations within the park's boundaries with accommodations that include Yellowstone's Canyon Lodge & CabinsGrant VillageLake Lodge CabinsLake Yellowstone Hotel & CabinsMammoth Hot Springs Hotel & CabinsOld Faithful InnOld Faithful Lodge Cabins and Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins. Each of the lodging options has varying amenities and dining offerings. It is important to note that all lodging within the park is non-smoking and rooms do not have televisions, radios, air conditioning or internet (although Wi-Fi is available at specific locations), allowing visitors to relax, unwind and enjoy America's first national park. 

In addition to lodge rooms, hotel accommodations and cabins, Yellowstone National Park has 12 campgrounds with more than 2,000 sites that accommodate tent and RV camping. Some campsites can be reserved, while others are first-come, first-serve. Backcountry camping (a permit is required) is available at more than 300 designated sites.

Find more trip inspiration by reading the 10 Wonders of Yellowstone

Exploring Four Seasons in Yellowstone National Park

As a national park, Yellowstone is open year-round and each season provides travelers with a distinct experience ranging from wildlife-watching adventures to backcountry treks and fall-foliage tours to guided snowmobiling. To help you determine which time of year you'd like to explore Yellowstone National Park, we've included an overview of each season below. 

Summer in Yellowstone: Road Trip Season 

Summer is the park's busiest season, but it's also a beautiful time of year to visit. When planning a summer road trip through Yellowstone National Park, plan to make your accommodations and activity reservations early. As the park welcomes a majority of its travelers during summer, be sure to get off-the-beaten-path by taking a hike (check out the trail system here) and plan to depart for your day's adventures early. For more, read 7 Ways to Experience Yellowstone this Summer.

See Fall's Foliage in Yellowstone 

Fall brings comfortable days, chilly evenings, crisp mountain air, elk bugling and an array of colorful foliage to Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife are active in the park during autumn, especially as grizzly and black bears fill their bellies to prepare for the upcoming winter hibernation. Elk are also in rut and visitors will hear bugling in the park, especially in the early morning and at dusk. If wildlife-watching opportunities and quieter trails are high on your Yellowstone National Park travel list, fall is a beautiful time of year to explore the park. 

Yellowstone National Park's Winter Wonderland

Winter in Yellowstone is truly a unique and intimate experience. Although most roads in the park are closed to vehicles, visitors can travel through the park in snowcoaches or on snowmobiles with an authorized guide. Plus, in winter the park becomes a snow-covered wonderland that allows visitors to cross-country ski or snowshoe on miles of groomed trails, watch bison trudge through the snow or simply escape for a quiet and majestic retreat. In the winter, guests can stay inside the park at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins or Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Both locations have casual dining facilities and visitor centers that are open year-round.

Spring: Yellowstone's Undiscovered Season 

Appropriately known as the park's undiscovered season, spring brings additional road openings, with all roads being open by Memorial Day weekend. If you're looking for an uncrowded trip to Yellowstone National Park, spring is an ideal time to plan your trip, with activities that include hiking on lower-elevation trails, wildlife watching (bison and elk calve during April and May) and spring biking

Find more Yellowstone National Park at Explore More of Yellowstone National Park and Greater Yellowstone Area. You can also see your favorite places in Yellowstone on the park's webcams.

Getting to Yellowstone National Park

Getting Here by Car

Visitors can enter the south entrance via State Highway 191/287 from the second Friday in May through early November (weather dependent). This entrance is open to tracked-oversnow vehicles from December 15 to March 15.

Visitors can enter the east entrance via State Highway 20/14/16 from the first Friday in May through early November (weather dependent). This entrance is open to tracked-oversnow vehicles December 22 through March 1.

Roads inside Yellowstone National Park begin to open for the summer season in late April but are not completely open until the end of May, depending on the weather. Check ahead of your visit for road openings and closures. Some roads are open to bicycles and other light traffic before they open to motorized vehicles. RVs and trailers up to 72 feet are allowed inside the park.

All gates are open 24 hours a day in the summer unless weather conditions or construction cause them to close. Visitors should allow plenty of time for driving through the park. Wildlife on or near the road can cause delays. Various bus tours are available that depart from towns around both the south and east gates.

Getting Here by Plane

Year-round commercial airline service is available into Jackson, Wyoming, and Cody, Wyoming. Jackson Hole Airport is located in Grand Teton National Park and is the closest airline service to the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone Regional Airport (located in Cody) is the closest service to the east entrance of Yellowstone. Rental vehicles and chartered transportation are available at both locations.

Yellowstone National Park

96 percent of Yellowstone National Park is located within Wyoming and visitors can access the park from two entrances in the Cowboy State. The south entrance (located north of Jackson and Grand Teton National Park) and the east entrance near Cody.  

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