Frequently Asked Questions about Yellowstone National Park

Our Yellowstone Experts answers questions about falling into a geyser, seeing a bear, and booking a hotel room. Which is more fearsome? Also find answers about fees and regulations.

People walking on one of Yellowstone's boardwalk next to a geyser

3 Things Not to Do In Yellowstone

Find out what happened when tourists broke the rules and learn three things not to do when you are in the park. Read More...

Yellowstone visitors photographing bears

Are there any Yellowstone regulations I need to know about?

Rules and regulations for Yellowstone visitors including biking, driving, fires, boating, fishing, and viewing wildlife. Read More...

Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Photo by Ed Will, Flickr

Are Yellowstone Hotels & Campgrounds Open in Winter?

Many of Yellowstone’s hotels and cabins, including the famous Old Faithful Inn, are only open during the summer season. However, there are a couple of options for lodging during the winter inside the park. Read More...

Gun in Yellowstone

Can I Bring a Gun to Yellowstone?

Yes, you can carry a gun in Yellowstone. But it’s illegal to fire it – even in self defense. And once you exit Yellowstone, you could be in one of three states, so it’s important to know the law. Read More...

pets-in-yellowstone

Can I Bring My Pet to Yellowstone?

Pets are prohibited throughout most areas in national parks. It’s best to leave Fido at home, but if your dog is along here’s how to make the best of it. Read More...

Couple smoking and hiking

Can I Smoke in Yellowstone? How about marijuana?

Smoking is permitted only inside vehicles and designated areas. It’s forbidden in thermal and natural areas. Boom! As for possessing marijuana, it’s illegal on Federal land. Read More...

Hiker using her cell phone GPS in Yellowstone

Do Cell Phones Work in Yellowstone? Is There WiFi?

Cell phone service is available in over 50 percent of the park. WiFi is available for purchase at the Mammoth Dining Lounge, Lake Hotel, and Grant Village. Read More...

Bison on the road near Yellowstone National Park

Do I need a car to tour Yellowstone? How long does it take to drive the Grand Loop?

During the summer season, cars are the best option for taking a trip around Yellowstone unless you are riding with a bus tour or concessionaire that provides transportation. The Grand Loop takes between 4 to 7 hours to drive in full. Read More...

Man on a Yellowstone boardwalk in front of a hot springs

Has Anyone Ever Fallen into a Geyser?

Visitors have in the past slipped and fallen into hot springs, or were severely injured with burns from erupting geysers, but it is extremely rare. Read More...

Old Faithful at Sunset

How Can I Avoid the Crowds at Old Faithful?

Every year, Yellowstone draws in nearly three million visitors—most of them eager to see Old Faithful. The busy days of June through September. Read More...

Bison herd with two calves. Photo by Jerry Gates

How close can I get to wild animals in Yellowstone?

Stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from other large mammals like bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes. Read More...

Cabins at the Roosevelt Lodge. Photo by NPS David Restivo

How far in advance do I need to book hotels and campgrounds?

2016 Travel Alert: The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years and expecting record visitors! Book early to avoid disappointment Read More...

Grizzly bear by lake

How many people get killed by bears in Yellowstone?

Although both black bears and grizzlies have a fearsome reputation for scratching or mauling people to death, attacks rarely occur, and deaths are even chancer. Read More...

The Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone's north entrance at Gardiner, Montana

How Much Does Yellowstone cost?

Entrance to see Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and other wonders of America’s first national park comes with a small price tag. Read More...

Bison Herd in the Road to Mammoth. Photo by NPS Neal Herbert

Is it okay to drive along side buffalo on the road in Yellowstone?

Our city slicker impulses may be to beep the horn if one bison decides to hold everyone up. Here’s what you should do. Read More...

Fake Explosion

Is Yellowstone Going to Blow? Exaggerated Reports of Volatility

As long as there’s been a National Park seated on a super volcano, there’s been erroneous reports of impending doom. Read More...

Danger sign at the West Thumb in Yellowstone

Unnatural Deaths in Yellowstone – And How to Avoid Them

The second edition of Lee Whittlesey’s popular book “Death in Yellowstone” was released this year with 60 new tales of demise. Read More...

Lewis Falls in Autumn

When is the Best Season to Visit Yellowstone?

Is it worth visiting in spring? Fall? Every season brings not only a new landscape to the park, but a variety of exhilarating seasonal pursuits in Yellowstone. Read More...

Roosevelt Gate: For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.

Which Entrance to Yellowstone National Park Should I Take?

There are five Yellowstone park entrances in three states, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, allowing easy access to this vast park. Read More...

Test tube geyser from YouTube video

Why Do Geysers Erupt?

Watch a video showing a test tube “geyser” with clear looping chambers underneath. It slowly bubbles until the pressure is reached, creating a blast. Read More...