Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone was America’s first National Park.
Rumblings of a super-volcano below the earth’s crust creates a unique landscape that millions of visitors flock to from around the world. Steam rolls from vividly colored pools, muddy cauldrons burp smelly gasses, and spouts of hot water shoot hundreds of feet into the air. This amazing park has half of the world’s geothermic features.
Yellowstone National Park is also home to herds of bison, elk, pronghorn and bighorn sheep. Bears and bison regularly slow traffic through the park.
Places to Stay While at Yellowstone
Inside the park, there are a number of cabins that fill up very quickly. They will need to be booked almost a year in advance. These include Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Roosevelt Lodge and Cabins, Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Lodge, Snow Lodge and Canyon Lodge and Cabins, among a few others that are tucked inside Canyon Village.
There are a number of towns nearby Yellow stone that may have lodging options (either Airbnb/VRBO, hotels or resorts). The distances listed are for the closest entrance to the park. Yellowstone is huge, so it may still take up to an hour to reach the middle of the park at Canyon Village.
- West Yellowstone, MT (2 miles away from park entrance)
- Gardiner, MT (5 miles)
- Cooke City, MT (5 miles)
What State is Yellowstone in?
This seems to be a common question among those just starting to become interested in visiting national parks. Yellowstone National Park is, in fact, located within parts of three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The majority of the park is in the top-left corner of Wyoming (96%), with only the small northern and western boundary strips of the park located in Montana (3%) and Idaho (1%).
How do you get to Yellowstone?
The most common way to get to Yellowstone National Park is by flying into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), which is located in Montana in the city of Bozeman. The Bozeman airport is 88 miles/1.5 hours away from the northern entrance of Yellowstone in Gardiner, MT. It is also 91 miles/1.5 hours away from the park’s western entrance in West Yellowstone, MT.
VISIT Yellowstone National Park:
Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, and has a total area of 2,219,791 acres (3,468 square miles, or 8,987 square kilometers).
|Address||2 Officers Row, Yellowstone National Park, WY, 82190|
|Hours||Open 24 hours in May-September. Many roads are closed in Winter|
|Entrance Fee||$35 per vehicle, valid for 7 days|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Yellowstone National Park is the 25th most visited park in the country.
Winter in Yellowstone means fewer crowds, frigid temperatures, and steaming geyser basins. Skis, snowshoes, and snowmobiles become the primary modes of transportation as most park roads close, rivers and lakes freeze, and winter storms blanket the park with fluffy, white snow.
Using Historical Data to Predict
We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Yellowstone National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is.
Our data shows the best months to visit Yellowstone National Park are May, October & September.
Yellowstone National Park Road Trips
Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Yellowstone National Park is visited.
Other Nearby National Park Sites
From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Yellowstone National Park.
|John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway||36 mi|
|Grand Teton National Park||54 mi|
|Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area||123 mi|
|Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument||164 mi|
|Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site||165 mi|
|Big Hole National Battlefield||169 mi|
|Craters of the Moon National Monument||171 mi|
|Fossil Butte National Monument||189 mi|
|Minidoka National Historic Site||230 mi|
|Golden Spike National Historic Site||230 mi|
Nearby Campsites & RV Parks
If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Yellowstone National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.
|Bridge Bay - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||5 miles|
|Fishing Bridge RV - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||7 miles|
|Canyon - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||9 miles|
|Norris - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||14 miles|
|Grant - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||15 miles|
|Madison - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||18 miles|
|Tower Falls - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||21 miles|
|Lewis Lake - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||23 miles|
|Indian Creek - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||23 miles|
|Slough Creek - Yellowstone National Park||WY more||26 miles|
Nearest Ski Resorts
For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Yellowstone National Park:
|Sleeping Giant||Cody, WY||7,428 ft||49%||33 mi|
|Grand Targhee||Alta, WY||10,000 ft||56%||55 mi|
|Big Sky Resort||Big Sky, MT||11,166 ft||87%||64 mi|
|Red Lodge Mountain||Red Lodge, MT||9,416 ft||69%||71 mi|
|Jackson Hole Mountain Resort||Jackson, WY||10,450 ft||87%||78 mi|
|Snow King||Jackson, WY||7,808 ft||62%||80 mi|
|Lost Trail Powder||Sula, MT||8,200 ft||48%||80 mi|
|Bridger Bowl||Bozeman, MT||8,700 ft||75%||87 mi|
When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Yellowstone National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Yellowstone National Park.
|Salt Lake City International Airport||SLC||Salt Lake City, UT||274 mi|
|Denver International Airport||DEN||Denver, CO||442 mi|
|Calgary International Airport||YYC||Calgary, AB||478 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Yellowstone National Park.
|Jackson Hole Airport||JAC||Jackson, WY||70 mi|
|Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport||BZN||Bozeman, MT||87 mi|
|Idaho Falls Regional Airport||IDA||Idaho Falls, ID||108 mi|
|Billings Logan International Airport||BIL||Billings, MT||127 mi|
|Bert Mooney Airport||BTM||Butte, MT||135 mi|
|Helena Regional Airport||HLN||Helena, MT||156 mi|
|Pocatello Regional Airport||PIH||Pocatello, ID||157 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.