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Yellowstone National Park Travel Guide

Hotels & Lodging
Location, Entrances & Access
Things to See and Do
Maps

Yellowstone National Park is the world's first national park, established on March 1, 1872. It is a huge park, spanning 63 miles north to south, and 54 miles east to west, and totaling 3,472 square miles in three states.

Annual precipitation ranges from 10 inches at the north boundary to 80 inches in the southwest corner. Winters are cold, with a record low of -66 degrees F.

The Park is one of the world's most popular natural attractions, with attendance exceeding 4 million visitors a year.

We have made multiple trips to Yellowstone over the years, during all seasons, and share some of our photos and trip experiences in this review.

A beautiful bison at full speed in Yellowstone National Park (Staff Photo)
A beautiful bison at full speed in Yellowstone National Park

 

 

Lodging Options In and Near Yellowstone National Park

Lodging in Yellowstone National Park

Nine hotels/lodges with over 2,000 hotel rooms/cabins are located inside of the Park. Camping and wilderness camps are also available.

Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone NP

Lake Yellowstone Hotels & Cabins in the Park

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins in Yellowstone NP

Old Faithful Snow Lodge in Yellowstone NP

Dunraven Lodge in Yellowstone NP

Grant Village Lodge in Yellowstone NP

Cascade Lodge in Yellowstone NP


Lodging Near Yellowstone National Park

The closest lodging outside the park is located in West Yellowstone.

Lodging in West Yellowstone

Lodging in Cody, Wyoming

 

Hotel and lodging options at Yellowstone National Park

Everything You Need to Know About Yellowstone’s Supervolcano

Explorer Cabins at West Yellowstone
Explorer Cabins at West Yellowstone, Montana


Active geyser at Yellowstone National ParkAn active geyser at Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Attractions

Yellowstone Lake covers over 131 square miles of area, reaching a maximum depth of 138 feet.

Visitors to the park marvel at a supervolcano's hidden power under the earth, rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers.

The park has thousands of acres of mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes, and endless species of wildlife to watch.

Hiking, camping, fishing, photography, bicycling, boating, horseback riding, snowmobiling, snowcoach tours, and ranger programs are available.

The park sits atop one of the world's largest calderas at 45 x 30 miles and experiences up to 3,000 earthquakes every year. It features more than 10,000 hydrothermal features and 500 geysers.

Visitors walk a wooden bridge across a geothermal area at Yellowstone National ParkVisitors walk a wooden bridge across a geothermal area at Yellowstone

Discovered in 1870 by the Washburn Expedition, Old Faithful geyser erupts about every 74 minutes. But intervals are not constant, and can in fact range from 60-110 minutes.

The next eruption time is posted around the park. Old Faithful can vary in height from 100-180 feet with an average of about 130-140 feet. Eruptions normally last between 1.5 to 5 minutes.

One of the main attractions in the park is its wildlife, including bears, fox, elk, bison, lynx, 285 species of birds and more.

The National Park Service provides numerous visitor centers, geyser viewing areas, trails, lookouts, museums, and contact stations.

While in the Yellowstone area, you might want to drive the popular Beartooth Highway and visit the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West in nearby Cody, Wyoming.


Yellowstone Park Location, Entrances and Access

Yellowstone is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, with small parts of the park also in southern Montana and eastern Idaho.  Only 3% of the park is in Montana and 1% in Idaho.

Entrance to Yellowstone National ParkEntrance to Yellowstone National Park

There are five entrances to the park ... we have been through all of them in our trips to Yellowstone over the years:

  • North entrance, via US 89, near Gardiner, Montana ... close to Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Northeast entrance, near Roosevelt, Wyoming, via US 212, the Beartooth Highway ... closed in the winter
  • East entrance, on US20, close to Yellowstone Lake, west of Cody, Wyoming
  • South entrance, on US 89, close to West Thumb and Grant, north of Grand Teton National Park
  • West entrance, on US20, near West Yellowstone, Montana

The Old Faithful Lodge, a must-see attraction for visitors, is located:

  • 113 miles west of Cody, Wyoming
  • 137 miles south of Bozeman, Montana
  • 98 miles north of Jackson, Wyoming
  • 50 miles southeast of West Yellowstone, Montana

Roosevelt Arch

The Roosevelt Arch at the Gardiner, Montana north entrance to Yellowstone National Park

The Roosevelt Arch at the Gardiner, Montana north entrance to Yellowstone National Park


Map of Yellowstone National Park (Courtesy of NPS)

Map of Yellowstone National Park


Interactive Map of the Yellowstone National Park Area

Our Original Photographs of Yellowstone National Park

View toward the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park


Geysers and steam vents along the river near Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park
Geysers and steam vents along the river near Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park


Thundering herd of bison down a slope to the road at Yellowstone National Park
Thundering bison herd down a slope in Yellowstone National Park

 

Bison grazing on the grasslands
Dozens of bison grazing on the grasslands at Yellowstone National Park
Bison grazing alone after the spring thaw
Bison grazing alone after the spring thaw at Yellowstone National Park


Geothermal activity panorama at Yellowstone National Park
Geothermal activity panorama at Yellowstone National Park

 

Crystal clear hot boiling water in Yellowstone National Park
Crystal clear hot boiling water in Yellowstone National Park


Brilliant, colorful hot water pool at Yellowstone National Park
Brilliant, colorful hot water pool at Yellowstone National Park


 

Tranquil scene along the Madison River in the western part of Yellowstone National Park
(May, 2019)

Tranquil scene along the Madison River in the western part of Yellowstone National Park


Visiting National Parks During the COVID-19 Outbreak in 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the national parks of the United States offer wide open spaces, and opportunities for family fun, hiking, fishing, biking, plenty of fresh air and a break from the rigors of Coronavirus Lock Downs.

The National Park Service is closely monitoring and responding to the pandemic. Some facilities and services may be limited. As operations are changing on a park-by-park basis, we recommend visitors check with individual parks for specific details about their operations, including campgrounds.

So if you are visiting Yellowstone or another national park, plan ahead ...

Read more ... National Park Service: Public Health Update

For More Information about Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park official website at NPS

 

Phone 307.344.7381 for recorded information. For road and weather information, phone 307.344.2117.


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