Rules and Regulations

Yellowstone National Park is filled with potential hazards. We want you to have a safe experience while you visit us. Please:

The following rules and regulations do not attempt to duplicate the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) so they should not be regarded as a comprehensive list of regulations. They will, however, answer many of the most common questions regarding park rules. The Superintendent's Orders (Compendium) is a listing of local regulations that is more technical and comprehensive concerning local issues.

These activities are prohibited within Yellowstone

  • Willfully remaining near or approaching wildlife, including nesting birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
  • Traveling off boardwalks or designated trails in hydrothermal areas.
  • Throwing anything into thermal features.
  • Swimming in hot springs.
  • Removing or possessing natural or cultural resources (such as wildflowers, antlers, rocks, and arrowheads).
  • Leaving detachable side mirrors attached when not pulling trailers.
  • Traveling off-road by vehicle or bicycle.
  • Camping outside of designated areas.
  • Spotlighting wildlife (viewing with lights).
  • Imitating elk calls or using buglers. Imitating wolf howls.
  • Using electronic equipment capable of tracking wildlife
  • Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft (drones) on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service is prohibited.

Guns in Parks

A new law regarding firearms in National Parks is in effect as of Feb. 22, 2010. See Laws & Policies for more information.

Attention Hunters Transporting Carcasses Through the Park!

Game animal carcasses or parts may be transported through Yellowstone by motor vehicle on park roads only:

  • The transport of heads and spinal cords from deer, elk, or moose through the park is prohibited if they were taken in states known to have chronic wasting disease in wildlife. More details of the regulations can be found in the Superintendent's Compendium (located on our Laws and Policies page).
  • The transporter will keep the items/carcass covered and out of sight.
  • The route is direct and continuous with no stopping except for essential or emergency situations.
  • Transported carcasses are not allowed to overnight within the park boundaries.
  • Carcasses are freshly harvested and accompanied by a marked/valid state tag documenting legal harvest outside the park.
  • All carcasses, shed antlers, skulls, horns, bones, and other parts must be accompanied by a "Yellowstone Permit to Transport" issued at the point of entry into the park. Commercial transport of such items is prohibited. Those states affected include: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

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