NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – On March 1, 150 years ago, Yellowstone became America’s first national park for all to enjoy. Within Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres, visitors have unparalleled opportunities to observe wildlife in an intact ecosystem, explore geothermal areas that contain half the world’s active geysers and view geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
Follow the top 10 things to know to enjoy your visit and protect the park today and for the next 150 years!
- Buy your park entrance pass online
Reservations are not required to enter the park – you just need 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 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. To learn about major road projects and where to expect construction delays and closures, check the road improvement projects page.
- Plan ahead
Make sure you know about:
Expect modified food services in the park. Operating hours and service levels can change with little notice. Check the latest information before coming to the park.
- 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 from all wildlife and 100 yards from bears and wolves. Learn how to watch wildlife safely 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 appropriate walking shoes, a warm jacket, rain gear, and lots of layers. Check the current weather conditions.
- Commemorate 150 years of Yellowstone
A variety of virtual and in-person activities will occur in Yellowstone and surrounding gateway communities throughout 2022. Be sure to follow #Yellowstone150 on social media to stay current on commemoration information!