Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 as the world's first national park. It is a magical park, and many consider it to be the worlds finest. It offers unique geothermal features in high numbers, rare wildlife in high numbers, excellent hiking, camping and excellent water based activities such as rafting, kayaking, motor boating or fly fishing. The Yellowstone ecosystem is widely considered to be the finest inland trout fishing in the world. Yellowstone National Park is 2.2 million acres in size, with 96% of that in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho. The variation of the scenery in Yellowstone National Park is something to behold. One minute you can be high up in the snowcapped peaks that surround Yellowstone National Park, and the next you can be viewing majestic wildlife in alpine meadows, and the next watching Old Faithful with the family. It truly offers something for everyone. The wildlife enthusiast will be satisfied driving to the geothermal areas, and the geothermal enthusiast will be satisfied touring the park for wildlife. Yellowstone National Park is also a great place for kids who are not easily entertained. The massive collection of wildlife, pools, falls, rivers and geothermal features are simply too much to resist.

You really can't say enough about this great national park. Words do it no justice. You have to see it for yourself. Check out our new Yellowstone forum! Also, be sure to take a look at our new Yellowstone FAQ page.

Park facts:
Total acreage: 2,219,789
Square Miles: 3,472
63 air miles north to south
54 air miles east to west
Highest point: 11,358 feet (Eagle Peak)
Lowest Point: 5,282 feet
Water: 5%
Grassland: 15%
Forest: 80%
Larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined
Flora: 1700 native species
8 species of conifers, 80% lodgepole
Mammal: 59 species
Birds: 311 species
Active volcano
2000 earthquakes a year
10,000 geothermal features
Geysers: 300
Waterfalls: 290
One of world's largest petrified forests
One of worlds largest calderas
Lodges/Hotels: 9
Picnic areas: 49
Boat access points: 6
Drive-in campgrounds: 12
Backcountry campgrounds: 287
Marina: 1
Trails: 97 , 950 miles
Visitation in 2006: 3,553,671
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168
Visitor Information
(307) 344-7381
Information for the Hearing Impaired (TDD)
(307) 344-2386
Fax(307) 344-2005

a lone bison grazes in a snow dusted Lamar Valley, Yellowstone
A lone bison grazes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone

Getting There

Yellowstone National Park is tucked into the far northwestern corner of Wyoming, with small slices crossing over into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone has five major entrances. They are West Yellowstone on the west, Gardiner on the north, Cooke city on the northeast, Cody on the east and the southern border with Grand Teton.

Yellowstone National Park is serviced by several major airports. Billings Logan Airport in Billings, Montana is 110 miles from the Cooke City entrance over the rugged Beartooth Pass, and 160 miles from the northern Gardiner entrance. Gallatin Field Airport near Bozeman, Montana is 85 miles from the West Yellowstone entrance of the park. Jackson Hole Airport is located right next to Grand Teton National Park, 48 miles from the southern entrance of Yellowstone. Salt Like City airport in Utah is 320 miles from Yellowstone, so expect a 5 hour drive. All of the drives from these airports to Yellowstone are breathtaking, and another great part of the trip. The most breathtaking drives from airport to Yellowstone are the Billings to Cooke City via Beartooth Pass and Jackson Hole to southern Yellowstone routes. The others have their own charm but don't quite achieve the same heights. All of these towns offer rental car service.

deep pink and red sunset over large pool in Hayden Valley
Sunset over the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone

If you are big on driving instead of flying, there are several routes from major cities we can recommend from experience. Click the link to receive the directions. New York City to Mammoth, Yellowstone is 2,200 miles. From Chicago, Mammoth Yellowstone is 1400 miles. We recommend the I-94 route through North Dakota when traveling from Chicago. This is the same route we recommend when traveling from Minneapolis. While it's not the shortest distance, it is the shortest time. The trip from Los Angeles to West Yellowstone is 1008 miles. From Seattle, expect 744 miles to West Yellowstone. From Denver, you are looking at 520 miles to the southern Yellowstone entrance. Finally, if you are crazy enough to drive from Miami, you are looking at 2,516 miles to the southern Yellowstone entrance.

There is no train service to Yellowstone National Park. The closest is Salt Lake City, Utah. The closest bus line is Salt Lake city to Bozeman.


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