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.
Yellowstone visitors photographing bears

We want you to have a good time but there are a few rules you need to follow.

Bicycling in Yellowstone

Bicycling is permitted only on established public roads, parking areas and designated routes, so feel free to bring bikes on your Yellowstone vacation. However, keep in mind that bicycles are prohibited on boardwalks and backcountry trails.

Boats in Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Boaters must have a Coast Guard-approved "wearable" flotation device for each person boating. Be sure to obtain a boating permit before you take to the water. View Fees

Fishing Permits for Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Want to catch your own dinner during your Yellowstone camping or vacation experience? Fishing is allowed with a permit.

Fishing tackle must be non-toxic. Lead split-shot sinkers, soft lead-weighted ribbon for nymph fishing and other toxic tackle are not allowed.

Yellowstone Park: Special permit required. Purchase at a ranger station, visitor center or at any Yellowstone General Store. View Fees

Grand Teton Park and Rockefeller Memorial Parkway: a Wyoming fishing license is required, which can be purchased at Moose Village Store, Signal Mountain Lodge, Colter Bay Marina and Flagg Ranch Village.

Pets in Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Pets are allowed to come with the family on your vacation to Yellowstone National Park; however, certain restrictions (for their own safety) are in place. Whether in a Yellowstone camping area or just exploring the park, pets must be leashed and are prohibited from trails, in the backcountry and in thermal basins. Pets are not allowed more than 100 feet from a road or parking area. Leaving a pet unattended or tied to an object is prohibited. In Grand Teton Park, pets are also not allowed in boats on the Snake River, or on lakes other than Jackson Lake. More About Pets in Yellowstone

General Yellowstone Regulations

Calling to attract wildlife - bugling to elk, howling to wolves, etc. - is illegal.

Disturbing park features - possessing, collecting, removing, defacing or destroying any natural or archaeological objects or plants, animals or minerals - is prohibited.

Feeding Yellowstone wildlife is against the law.

Fires are permitted only in designated Yellowstone camping areas, in picnic areas with fire grates and in some backcountry campsites. Any dead-and-down material may be used as firewood, but chainsaws are prohibited. Thoroughly extinguish all fires.

Food must be attended to while not in storage, and must be stored properly. Never leave food outside your vehicle or in Yellowstone camping areas when you're away or sleeping, as it may very well attract unwelcome visitors.

Littering is illegal throughout the Park and in Yellowstone camping areas.

Motorcycles, motor scooters and motorbikes are not allowed off-road or on trails. Operators must have a valid driver's license and vehicles must display valid state license plates.

Climbing is a great adventure to include during your Yellowstone vacation. Climbing is allowed in only a few areas of Yellowstone Park however it is illegal in the Grand Canyon area of Yellowstone. Contact the backcountry office in Yellowstone for more information. For climbing information in Grand Teton National Park, stop in at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station, staffed by climbing rangers during peak season who can advise on weather and route information.

Seat Belts must be worn by all people driving or riding in vehicles.

Slow-moving vehicles must pull over to let others pass. Never stop or pause in the middle of the road. Use pullouts!

Speed limit is 45 m.p.h.

Spotlighting - viewing animals with an artificial light - is illegal. Flashlights kept in your car or at your Yellowstone camping site should not be used for viewing wildlife.

Weapons and firearms are allowed in Yellowstone but you are not allowed to fire them. More about guns in Yellowstone


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.

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?

Cars are the best option for taking a trip around Yellowstone unless you are riding with a bus tour or concessionaire.

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.

Yellowstone's Hayden Valley in Autumn

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Registration desk at Yellowstone's Lake Lodge

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Can I Bring My Pet to Yellowstone?

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

Old Faithful Visitor Center

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There are eight main visitor centers, seven of which are inside Yellowstone. The eighth is in West Yellowstone, Montana near the West Entrance.

Ranger Don demonstrates a new extendable arm prototype at Yellowstone's South Entrance

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