General Yellowstone Information

Yellowstone National Park

 

General Park Information:

I.  INTRODUCTION:

 

Old Faithful Geyser

Yellowstone National Park was established by the United States Congress in 1872.  The large 2.2 million acre park attracts more than 3 million visitors from around the world each year.  Yellowstone boasts five entrances, 370 miles of paved road, about 250 active geysers, some 10,000 total thermal features, and the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Perhaps the most famous attraction in Yellowstone is the Old Faithful Geyser, which erupts to heights of 106 - 184 feet (30 - 55m).  The magnificent park is also home to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which is 1,200 feet deep and as wide as 4,000 feet.  In addition, Yellowstone is home to a vast variety of wildlife species including the grizzly bear, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, and wolf.  In short, Yellowstone is a pristine wilderness preserve that offers something special for everyone.  Whether you enjoy spectacular mountain scenery, geyser "gazing", or viewing magnificent wildlife in their natural environment, Yellowstone will offer the experience of a lifetime!

II.  PARK RULES & REGULATIONS:

Grizzly Bear

Wildlife Viewing:  Wild animals, especially females with young, are unpredictable. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Each year a number of park visitors are injured by wildlife when approaching too closely. Approaching on foot within 100 yards (91 m) of bears or within 25 yards (23 m) of other wildlife is prohibited. Please use roadside pullouts when viewing wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing them. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal's natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close!

Pets:

1. Pets are prohibited in the backcountry and on trails and boardwalks for the following reasons:

blueball.gif (326 bytes)Yellowstone National Park is a designated natural area where wildlife are free to roam undisturbed. Park visitors should be able to enjoy native wildlife in their natural environment without the disruption of other people's pets. 

blueball.gif (326 bytes)Pets occasionally escape from their owners. Domestic animals generally lack the ability to survive in the wild.

blueball.gif (326 bytes)Yellowstone is bear country, and domestic animals (especially dogs) and bears are traditionally antagonists. A loose dog can lead a bear directly back to you.

blueball.gif (326 bytes)There is a strong possibility that your pet could become prey for a bear, coyote, owl, or other predator.

blueball.gif (326 bytes)There is a possibility of exchange of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife.

blueball.gif (326 bytes)Thermal areas pose particular hazards to pets. Boiling water in pools and thermal channels can cause severe or fatal burns if your pet decides to take a drink or go for a swim.


2. Pets may accompany you in the front country areas of the park.
This includes any areas within 25 feet of roads, parking areas, and campgrounds. Pets must be kept under physical control at all times - caged, crated, or on a leash not to exceed six feet in length.


3. It is prohibited to leave a pet unattended and tied to an object.
If necessary, pets may remain in your vehicle while you are viewing attractions near roads and parking areas. However, we care about your pet's well being. Be sure to provide sufficient ventilation for its comfort and survival.

Pets running at large may be impounded and the owner charged for the care and feeding of the animal. By law, any domestic animal observed by authorities to be molesting or killing wildlife may be destroyed if necessary for public safety or the protection of wildlife.


4. Pets should leave no traces other than footprints.
The owner is responsible for clean-up and disposal of all pet feces. Please be thoughtful of other visitors as well as your pet.


Castle Geyser

Thermal Areas:  Yellowstone's thermal features are extraordinary natural wonders. Most are formed through decades or centuries of natural processes. It is illegal to throw objects into features, deface them or remove any natural features from the park. Stay on boardwalks and designated trails; watch for frosty and icy trails and boardwalks, especially in the morning. Pets are prohibited in thermal areas. Swimming or bathing in the thermal pools or streams whose waters flow entirely from a thermal spring or pool is prohibited.

Bicycling/Pedestrians:  Bicycling is permitted on established public roads and designated routes. There are no bicycle paths along roadways. Park roads are narrow and winding; most do not have a shoulder, or shoulders are covered with gravel. Vehicles, especially motor homes or those towing trailers, may have wide mirrors, posing an additional hazard for cyclists and pedestrians. All bikes are prohibited on backcountry trails and boardwalks. Motorhomes and towing units are required to remove detachable side mirrors when not pulling trailers. 

Swimming:  There are no swimming pools in Yellowstone, and swimming, bathing, or wading in thermal features, or in streams whose waters flow from thermal features, is illegal. River, stream, and lake water is so cold that hypothermia is a serious possibility. Swimming is generally discouraged.

Bears:  All of Yellowstone is bear country. Bears may appear tolerant of people but are known to attack without warning. Do not approach bears! Feeding wildlife is unlawful. Never leave food or garbage unattended. To decrease the likelihood of personal injury, store all food and cooking utensils in a secure place. Backcountry use may be restricted in some areas to reduce human related impacts on bears in high density grizzly bear habitat. Please visit our page that provides advice on minimizing the dangers associated with a bear encounter.

Snowmobiling:  See our Yellowstone Snowmobiling page!

III.  ENTRANCE FEES:

The entrance fee is $20 for a private, noncommercial vehicle; $15 for each snowmobile or motorcycle; or $10 for each visitor over 16 years of age 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. Remember to keep your admission receipt in order to re-enter the parks. Snowmobile operators must posess a valid motor vehicle operator's license.  Advance reservations are not needed to enter the park.

The following options are also available: 

Annual Area Pass

A $40 annual pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is available. It is valid one year from date of purchase.

National Parks Pass

A $50 annual pass for all National Park Units that charge entrance fees.

IV.  YELLOWSTONE WEATHER:

Please visit our weather page!

Home Reservations Weather

* Information on this page provided by the NPS.

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