Yellowstone National Park

Overview

America's first national park is the home of more geysers (including the legendary Old Faithful) than any other geographic spot on earth. Spreading from Wyoming into Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone contains a natural ecosystem that visitors are encouraged to explore and enjoy while showing respect to its dazzling flora and fauna. An overall area of 3,468 square miles contains mountain ranges, canyons, rivers, and lakes, including the huge, high-altitude Yellowstone Lake, which lies directly above the Yellowstone Caldera, North America's largest (active!) supervolcano. Hundreds of mammal, bird, reptile, and fish species thrive inside the park's borders, living alongside a handful of endangered neighbors.

Information

A dozen campgrounds, featuring over 2,000 campsites, are available for the tent-inclined. Backcountry camping for those who like out-of-the-way places are only reachable on two feet or four hooves, and require a permit. Fort Yellowstone provides an historical/education tour, and presentations that include campfires and guided walks are also available throughout the park, though more prevalently in the summer than in other seasons. Hunting is not permitted within Yellowstone, but it is allowed during open season in surrounding national forests. Fishing, however, is allowed with a fishing license. Many fishing spots inside the park are fly fishing only, and strictly catch-and-release.

Price range

Entrance fee for a private, noncommercial vehicle is $25. Entrance fee for each snowmobile or motorcycle is $20. Each visitor 16 and older entering by foot, bike, ski, etc. is $12. These fees are good for seven days. Annual or Lifetime Passes ($50-80 for pass holders and accompanying passengers in a single, private non-commercial vehicle; $10 for seniors 62 and up) are also available.

Best time to visit

Winter provides snowy landscapes, incredible nature views, and steaming geysers. Spring is the least crowded time of year at the park. Summer brings the biggest crowds, but they’re nicely offset by the majority of hiking trails and visitor services being available.

Near by POI

Located near the north entrance to the park in Gardiner, Montana, The Heritage and Research Center houses the Yellowstone National Park's archives, research library, museum exhibits, herbarium, and archaeology laboratory.

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