When you tell people that you are having a vacation in Wyoming, the first thing that comes to mind is Yellowstone National Park. This magnificent park is one of the oldest in the United States and a must-see for all.
Pictures of the colorful natural pools are amazing but seeing them right in front of you is mesmerizing. Apart from that, there are numerous wildlife and scenic sites to explore.
It is no surprise that this park is one of the most visited parks in the US. The park is humongous and there is a lot to discover. Whether it’s your first time visiting or not, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your visit:
Getting to the park could mean you are taking a plane or traveling across Western or Northern America by car. Lots of people also bring their campervan or RV with them to spend more time inside the park.
There are 5 entrances to the park. If you are coming from Nevada, Colorado, or Utah, you’d probably use the South Gate. Those coming from Canada or in Northwestern USA could access the north or northeast gates. While the west or east gate is accessible for those who are coming from Dakota.
When To Visit
When scheduling a time to visit, you must consider two main factors. First is the climate and then the tourist. The park is open throughout the year but during winter, there are roads that are closed. This usually starts in October. You also don’t want to camp out there in the freezing cold so don’t go there during winter if you don’t intend to sleep in the hotels or lodges in the park.
It is in mid-April that the other roads start to open. However, if you want to go there with all the roads open, it is best to go during mid-May. The best time to go there is from June to August due to the optimal season. However, that also means that there will be more tourists in those months.
Take Your Time
Yellowstone National Park is a very huge park and it is best enjoyed if you spend several days in there. Some people who spend 3-4 days don’t even get to see all they want to see and eventually come back to discover more sites. However, most will agree that a 3-4 day stay is the minimum amount for you to see most of the park.
It would be best to spend the days in the park and camp there because staying outside would mean that you’d be spending hours traveling to Yellowstone National Park.
Create An Itinerary
Although you don’t really have to create one, it would be better to create one because of simply how huge the area is. You’d want to be able to see most of what the park has to offer. Planning is one of the best ways to ensure of that.
List the sites you definitely want to visit. Aside from the sites, there are also things to do there. Do you enjoy hiking? You might want to schedule a day for that if you want a change from having to drive around the park.
Choose Your Accommodation
There are different ways to spend the night in the Park. However, you should make sure to book in advance. You can book a cabin or a campsite and spend the night there in nature. There are 5 campsites that you can book. The other campsites are on a “first-come, first-serve basis”. Sleeping outside the park is also possible. There are various places to stay that are near the gates.
Most will advise you to stock up on food and beverages in the cities outside the park. That’s because they are more affordable and you also have more choices. There are groceries in the cities where you can purchase the food you prefer.
Food and drinks in the park are usually available at gas stations or tourist shops. However, there isn’t a lot of choices and as we’ve mentioned it could be expensive. There are also restaurants in the park but the prices are quite high.
There are other expenses you’d have to pay for. One of them is the entrance to the park. There is a 7-day pass for a vehicle that costs $35. However, if you intend to come back often, you may want to get the annual pass that costs $70.You can buy the passes at the park entrance or you can also buy them online.
Sites You Shouldn’t Miss
There’s a lot to see at Yellowstone park and there is a lot to discover. Part of the fun is discovering what is there that may not be jampacked with tourists all the time. However, here are the classics that you shouldn’t miss.
- Old Faithful Geyser
- Noris Geyser Basin Area
- Hayden Valley
- Yellowstone Grand Canyon
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Midway Geyser Basin Plus The Grand Prismatic Spring
- Lake Yellowstone