Yellowstone Vacation Planning

Yellowstone is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Since the mid-1960s, at least 2 million tourists have visited the park almost every year.

Visitors Centers

The National Park Service maintains 9 visitor centers and museums and is responsible for maintenance of historical structures and many of the other 2,000 buildings. These structures include National Historical Landmarks such as the Old Faithful Inn built in 1903–04 and the entire Fort Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District. An historical and educational tour is available at Fort Yellowstone which details the history of the National Park Service and the development of the park. Campfire programs, guided walks and other interpretive presentations are available at numerous locations in the summer, and on a limited basis during other seasons.

Albright Visitor Center
Canyon Visitor Education Center
Fishing Bridge Visitor Center
Grant Village Visitor Center
Madison Information Station
Norris Geyser Basin Museum
Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
Tower-Roosevelt Visitor Facilities

The Weather

Summer: Daytime temperatures are often in the 70s and occasionally in the 80s in lower elevations. Nights are usually cool and temperatures may drop below freezing at higher elevations. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons.

Winter: Temperatures often range from zero to 20F throughout the day. Sub-zero temperatures over-night are common. The record low temperature is -66F. Snowfall is highly variable. While the average is 150 inches per year, it is not uncommon for higher elevations to get twice that amount.

Spring & Fall: Daytime temperatures range from the 30s to the 60s with overnight lows in the teens to single digits. Snow is common in the Spring and Fall with regular accumulations of 12" in a 24 hour period. At any time of year, be prepared for sudden changes. Unpredictability, more than anything else, characterizes Yellowstone’s weather. Always be equipped with a wide range of clothing options. Be sure to bring a warm jacket and rain gear even in the summer.

Tidbits

Bear Safety
Make bears aware of your presence on trails by making loud noises such as shouting or singing. This lessens the chance of sudden encounters, which are the cause of most bear-caused human injuries in the park. Hike in groups and use caution where vision is obstructed.
Camping
Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates campgrounds at Bridge Bay, Canyon, Fishing Bridge RV Park, Grant Village, and Madison. Same-day reservations can be made by calling: 307-344-7901. Future reservations can be made by calling: 307-344-7311 or 1-866-439-7375, or by writing: Yellowstone National Park Lodges, PO Box 165, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190. Online reservations are not available at this time.
Entrance Fees
The entrance fee is $25 for a private vehicle; $20 for each snowmobile or motorcycle; or $12 for each visitor 16 and older entering by foot, bike, ski, etc. This fee provides the visitor with a 7-day entrance permit for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Keep your admission receipt to re-enter the parks. Snowmobiles must possess a valid motor vehicle license.
Angling in Yellowstone
Angling in Yellowstone National Park is a major reason many visitors come to the park each year and since it was created in 1872, the park has drawn anglers from around the world to fish its waters. The park contains hundreds of miles of accessible, high-quality trout rivers containing wild trout populations—over 200 creeks, streams and rivers are fishable. There are 45 fishable lakes and several large lakes are easily accessible to visitors.

List of Restaurants in the Park

  • Old Faithful Inn Dining Room
  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge Restaurant
  • Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria
  • Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room
  • Lake Lodge Cafeteria
  • Grant Village Restaurant
  • Grant Village Lakehouse Restaurant
  • Canyon Lodge Cafeteria
  • Canyon Lodge Dining Room
  • Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room
  • Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room

Yellowstone Maps

Yellowstone map resources. Includes an overview Yellowstone map, a close-up Yellowstone map of each area, and sectional Yellowstone map options for driving. Yellowstone map supplement gives driving distances.