I am so lucky to have gotten to visit Yellowstone quite a bit over the years. During my 2021 adventures, I used Big Sky, MT as my home base. It’s about an hour from the West Yellowstone entrance. During the off-season I would pop into the park for a few hours. It afforded me the opportunity to see the Park during different seasons, different weather, etc.
I love this park! Theodore Roosevelt was right to make this a treasure of the country. The park closes in the Winter, and only opens when appropriate, so no set date. When they open, it is so peaceful. It is easy to move around, sit in parking lots and watch bison roam the land. You don’t have access to restaurants, lodges, or restrooms early on. So enter knowing the limitations.
The closer you get to summer, the busier it gets. You’ll hit traffic and lines.
Yellowstone National Park is HUGE! You’ll want to hit Old Faithful and the Roosevelt Arch, but beyond that, you have lakes, geysers, canyons, and more. I’ve still only seen a small part of the park.
Note: check Park warnings. This area is prone to wildfires. They’ll have large sections closed for repairs at times.
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Parking: Parking is located throughout the park. They have large lots at the major attractions and lodges, and smaller lots scattered throughout the park. This is a park where people will also park along the side of the road to observe animals. Please be very careful doing this. Make sure you pull off in designated areas and pull far enough off of the road so that others can drive around you.
Bathrooms: Bathrooms are available throughout the park. They do a good job of identifying and indicating where the restrooms are, usually at the main attraction spots, campgrounds, stores, etc.
What to wear: Watch the weather. If you are just walking around the main attractions, casual clothes are appropriate. If you plan to hike, wear moisture wicking clothes.
What to pack: Water! Water! Water! You are in a very dry climate when visiting Yellowstone. You may experience headaches and other symptoms of dehydration. Make sure you are drinking a lot. Also pack your back with snacks. During peak season, traffic is slow. You want to make sure that you have what you need in the car in case you are sitting for an hour or more. It can make the trip more challenging if you don’t have some of the basics.
Pets: Pets are allowed in designated areas in the park and on a leash. Visit the Yellowstone website for clarity on where pets are welcome.