Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

Posted by TripMapper | 27th April 2023

Yellowstone National Park is a spectacular destination for nature lovers and adventurers. The park boasts a variety of unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. As you explore the park's vast meadows, you'll see colourful wildflowers and stunning canyons carved by ancient rivers. You might even spot some of the park's iconic wildlife, such as bison and wolves. From the Grand Prismatic Spring, with its vibrant colours, to tranquil Yellowstone Lake, every corner of the park is a testament to the beauty of nature.

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Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

Your visit to Yellowstone will be an unforgettable experience and well worth the visit! There are many incredible things to see and do in Yellowstone National Park:

  • Experience the thrilling eruption of Old Faithful Geyser and venture into the Upper Geyser Basin.
  • Uncover the captivating Grand Prismatic Spring and its vibrant hues.
  • Roam around the picturesque Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-elevation lake in North America.
  • Admire the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and the majestic Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.
  • Embark on a wildlife safari to spot grizzly bears, wolves, elk, bison, and other iconic species.
  • Visit the Lamar Valley, renowned as the "Serengeti of North America," for exceptional wildlife watching.
  • Delight in scenic drives along the Yellowstone Grand Loop and the famous Beartooth Highway.
  • Embark on a backcountry adventure and camp under the stars in the park's remote wilderness areas.
  • Try your hand at fishing in one of Yellowstone's pristine rivers or lakes, known for their abundance of Cutthroat trout (fishing regulations in Yellowstone National Park are structured to support native fish conservation goals).
Seasons in Yellowstone National Park

April to May: Witness newborn wildlife, blooming wildflowers, and cascading waterfalls at their fullest.

June to August: Enjoy long days, warm temperatures, and access to many activities and services.

September to October: Experience vibrant foliage colours, fewer crowds, and wildlife preparing for winter.

November to March: Discover a winter wonderland with snow-covered landscapes, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobile tours.

The park has something to offer every month of the year so the best time to visit Yellowstone varies depending on what you want to do and your personal preferences. The months of June through August provide the most options for activities and services, but they also attract the largest crowds. During spring and fall, there are fewer crowds, but the weather tends to be cooler, and some services may not be available. If you plan a winter visit, you can enjoy the snowy landscapes and the steaming geyser basins with less crowds. However, keep in mind that accessing certain areas such as Old Faithful and Canyon is restricted to oversnow travel and many facilities are closed.

Travelling Around Yellowstone National Park

To fully experience Yellowstone, it's recommended to both drive and hike. The park has an excellent road network that gives access to its famous sights and breathtaking views. For those who don't want to drive or want some guidance, shuttle buses and guided tours are available.

Best hikes in Yellowstone National Park

There are more than 900 miles of trails to explore if you want to experience the park's natural beauty by foot. Want to find the best trails or easiest hikes in Yellowstone National Park? We recommend checking out AllTrails where you can find the perfect trail for your next trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park entrance fee

The cost to visit Yellowstone National Park depends on the type of entrance pass or ticket you choose, the mode of transportation, the duration of your visit, and the activities you plan to do.

Yellowstone National Park charges an entrance fee that grants you access to the park for a certain number of days. As of May 2023, the entrance fees were as follows:

  • Private vehicle - $35.00. Good for entry for seven days from the date of purchase.
  • Motorcycle or snowmobile - $30.00. Good for entry for seven days from the date of purchase. Snowmobile entry is limited to guided tours or permit holders.
  • Individual (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian) - $20.00. Good for entry for seven days from the date of purchase.

Check the official National Park Service website for more detailed information on fees. There may be additional charges for specific activities within the park.

Depending on your trip plans, an annual 'America the Beautiful' interagency pass can be great value. As of May 2023, the annual pass cost $80 for US citizens between 16-62 or international visitors. Each pass covers entrance fees at lands managed by the National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service and also standard amenity fees (day use fees) at lands managed by the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers the pass owner and all occupants in a personal vehicle at sites that charge per vehicle or, the pass owner and up to three additional adults (16 and over) at sites that charge per person. Children ages 15 or under are admitted free.

Plan your trip to Yellowstone National Park

Before you visit Yellowstone National Park, we recommend checking the official National Park Service website for the most up-to-date information to confirm operating hours, weather, passes and fees, and any restrictions on road access, services and activities.

Make Wyoming (or Montana or Idaho) your destination, not only Yellowstone. Plan your trip using TripMapper, a travel itinerary app that also calculates your vacation budget - the perfect travel planning app! Start planning your trip to Yellowstone today!

If you're unsure about what to bring for your trip to Yellowstone National Park, take a look at our packing list for national parks. It should help you prepare for your Yellowstone adventure!

AFFILIATE LINKS: Products (including apps) or services featured in this blog are independently selected by the TripMapper team. However, when you buy something through our affiliate links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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