Yellowstone 101

Travel Tips for America's First National Park

Geysers, Waterfalls, Wildlife and more

Gateway Communities & Entrances: 5
Miles of road: 466
Miles of boardwalks: 15
Miles of backcountry trails: ~1000
Visitors: 4+ million per year

With so much to see and do in Yellowstone and the surrounding areas, how do you navigate it all and make your vacation the best visit to America’s west?

This section of the website is here to help you. With an insider’s view of the park and gateway communities, you’ll find tips and trip reports ranging from activities to lodging and dining recommendations as well as information on how to get the best out of your vacation while protecting this amazing location.

Recent Blog Posts

Driving in Yellowstone

Driving in Yellowstone

Having reasonable expectations set to drive in Yellowstone makes it much more enjoyable. In this post, I share the realities of driving in Yellowstone and how to set your expectations to make your trip better. This post brought to you by our sponsor TOUR YELLOWSTONE...

What’s June like in Yellowstone?

What’s June like in Yellowstone?

What is it like during June in Yellowstone? When is the best time to see Yellowstone? These questions regularly arise when people plan their vacation to Yellowstone. This post is the part of a series that covers what it’s like in the park during different months....

Where do you find wildlife in Yellowstone?

Where do you find wildlife in Yellowstone?

Wildlife watching is a huge draw in Yellowstone, but if you're not familiar with the park, how do you find them? This post covers some of the basics of wildlife watching in Yellowstone. This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you follow a link and...

What’s May like in Yellowstone?

What’s May like in Yellowstone?

What is it like during May in Yellowstone? When is the best time to see Yellowstone? These questions regularly arise when people plan their vacation to Yellowstone. This post is the first of a series that will cover what it’s like in the park during different months....

The Best Time to Visit Yellowstone

The best time to visit is when the entire park is open. Other than that, it depends on what you want to see. Here at Yellowstone Naturalist, the seasonal changes are tracked month by month on the phenology pages. Use them to help you plan the timing of your vacation.

Geyser Gazing

Learning about the geysers and then heading out to watch them erupt takes patience and a bit of knowledge about how to watch them. The Geyser Watch section of this website is here to help you understand more of what you might see.

Top Travel Tips for Yellowstone

1. Give yourself a time buffer

Everything takes longer than you’ll expect. From traveling at a slower pace to wildlife jams to wanting to see it all, you’ll need more time.

2. Know one trip may not be enough

To really “see Yellowstone” you might need multiple trips. For your first trip, just hit the highlights. Then later on, visit again to dive in a bit deeper.

3. Each Gateway Community can be a trip unto itself

Five different entrances each have five uniquely different communities. Each has much to offer. Consider spending a few extra days to explore the areas just outside of Yellowstone as well.

4. Hire a Tour Guide

Consider starting your trip with a guided tour to give you an overview of the park and the gateway community the tour originates from (or within the park itself). Then spend the rest of your trip revisiting what you want to explore further.

5. Get in Shape

Vacations in general require quite a bit of walking. Yellowstone vacations are no exception. The amount of walking you can handle each day will have a direct impact on how much you can see and experience in the greater Yellowstone area.