Top Things To Know
Millions of people visit Yellowstone annually to make lifelong memories while watching erupting geysers, roaming wildlife, and the artistry of thermophiles. With so much to explore and learn, however, there are some important considerations to help make this a successful visit.
- Buy Your Park Entrance Pass Online
Reservations are not required to enter the park – just a park entrance pass. Save time at entrance stations by purchasing your pass online before you arrive. Keep in mind summer is busy, so be prepared for crowds at popular areas and lines at the entrance gates, in construction areas, and at roadside wildlife sightings. Please be patient and enjoy your visit.
- Check Road Statuses
Most park roads open to regular vehicles in mid-April and close to wheeled vehicles (cars, vans, motorcycles, etc.) in early November. Weather may necessitate closures at any time, however, so check the park roads page for more information about current park road status and traffic delays due to road improvement projects.
- Plan Ahead
Operating hours and service levels can change with little notice. Check the latest information before coming to the park:
Places to Go
Things to Do
Boat Inspections and Permits
- Give Wildlife Room
Wild animals are dangerous if you get too close! People have been injured or killed by bears, bison, and elk. Always maintain a minimum of 25 yards (23 m) from all wildlife and 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. Learn how to watch wildlife safety and travel safely in bear country.
- Drive and Park Responsibly
Observe posted speed limits and use pullouts to watch wildlife, take pictures, and let other cars pass. Do not stop your vehicle in the road. When pulling over, be sure to park with all four tires fully to the right of the white line.
- Stay on Boardwalks
People have been severely injured or killed by breaking through the thin ground in thermal basins or falling into hot springs.
- Enhance Your Experience
Download the free National Park Service app (and offline content) before you arrive in the park.
- Expect Limited Connectivity
Don't be surprised if you can't receive calls or texts, even in the few areas where you might have cell reception.
- Prepare for Weather Changes
Unpredictability characterizes Yellowstone's weather. Expect big temperature swings, rain, or snow during every month of the year. No matter when you visit, bring a warm jacket, rain gear, and lots of layers. Check the current weather conditions.
- Visiting in Spring
Spring in Yellowstone offers unique rewards and challenges. Visitor services are limited and weather can be very similar to a winter visit, so make sure you know what to expect the month you're visiting.