Planning Your Trip To Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the United States. Located mostly in the state of Wyoming, with portions of it also residing in Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,742 square miles and features lakes, canyons, rivers, and beautiful forested areas. It's also home to a major natural attraction, Old Faithful geyser, along with many other natural phenomena such as Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Lake. Perhaps you are thinking about visiting this lovely national park in the near future. If so, this article provides information you can use to help you plan a memorable vacation to one of the most beautiful nature areas in the world. From travel tips to sightseeing, camping or other accomodations, we'll give you plenty of ideas to use and places to go to get even more information for your trip to Yellowstone National Park. Come along as we plan your trip.

Planning Your Trip To Yellowstone

As with all major vactions, planning is the most important step to a successful and enjoyable vacation. To help you plan your trip, visit for planning and travel advice. The first steps in planning, other than determining the dates you'll be there, include an introduction to the park, fast facts, main attractions of Yellowstone, the top ten sights, a calendar of events, and photos and video tours. There are driving directions from most major US cities; information on lodging and making reservations for your lodging; a guide to dining options in Yellowstone; camping, fishing and hiking information if you plan on doing these things. Keep an eye on the weather just before you plan to leave, it can snow there at any time. And don't forget to service your automobile if you are driving.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

According to's Vacation Planner, most visitors to Yellowstone drive from over 1,000 miles away. Included on their web site are driving directions from most major cities in the United States. If you would rather fly, be advised that the closest airports are still many miles away, unless you are travelling between June and September and don't mind flying on a small commuter plane. There is limited air service into West Yellowstone via Sky West during the summer months only. The closest airports include Bozeman, Montana, Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Airlines serving Bozeman during the spring, summer and falls seasons include Delta, Northwest, United and Alaska. Air service into Idaho Falls is via Delta and Alaska. All major airlines serve Salt Lake City. There is also ground shuttle service from Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City's airports to and from Yellowstone Park.

Lodging and Dining In Yellowstone

There are plenty of lodging options available in and around Yellowstone National Park. You'll find them all listed on, but here is an overview of just a few of the hotels and lodges you'll find.

Old Faithful Inn
Open from July through early September, this is the most famous and popular lodge in Yellowstone. Rates run from $86 to $200 per night. If you'd like to stay here, book well in advance--rooms often fill up six months or more in advance. Close to the Old Faithful geyser.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Also in close proximity of Old Faithful, this is the newest lodge at Yellowstone. Open from early May through October, rates vary from $89 to $173 per night.

Mammoth Hotel and Cabins
Located near park headquarters, this one is also open from early May through early October, and rates run from $74 to $200 per night.

Yellowstone Lodge
Open year round, with rates from $100 to $129 per night. Offers an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, television, and more.

Dining facilities are available throughout the park. These range from fine dining, restaurants and cafeterias, and snack shops. Here's a few to consider

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room - breakfast & lunch buffets, dinner
Old Faithful Snow Lodge Restaurant - breakfast, lunch & dinner
Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria - breakfast, lunch & dinner
Lake Lodge Cafeteria - breakfast, lunch & dinner
Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room - breakfast, lunch & dinner

And if you're looking for a quick snack or light meal, you'll find plenty of places to grab that light meal or snack throughout the park.

Things To See and Do

If you want to camp instead, there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from. Most are open from early May into October. You'll find facilities for RV's and tent camping. If you really enjoy "roughing it," you can experience backcountry hiking and camping.

There are over 1,100 miles of hiking trails at Yellowstone. There are some dangers to hiking, such as a sudden change in weather or wildlife. Be sure to read all the information on hiking regulations and recommendations for what to bring with you in case you encounter a sudden change in weather or other problem.

There are streams for trout fishing, and a permit is required for anglers 16 years of age and older. You can purchase 3-day, 7-day or season permits for fishing.

Enjoy the many geysers, waterfalls, streams, lakes, wildlife and hiking trails in Yellowstone. Whether you're here for a few days or a week or more, there are plenty of beauties to enjoy. You're probably here because you enjoy the great outdoors, and here is one of the best national parks in the country, with plenty to see and do.

Have a great time!

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