Trip Checklist

In order to ensure the most successful and enjoyable trip to Yellowstone, visitors should plan ahead and take into account the following travel suggestions.

  • Plan your trip and the features you want to see in accordance with the park’s opening and closing road schedule. Most roads are accessible to vehicles as early as May 1, but some do open later. Check with the Park Service prior to setting your trip dates.
  • Be prepared for road construction, and avoid stressing about unexpected delays. Yellowstone’s website ( provides links to the latest road construction reports for travelers’ convenience.
  • Worried about the weather or road conditions? An informational hotline provides current weather and road reports for Yellowstone’s major regions. Call (307) 344-7381 for additional information.
  • Familiarize yourself with the park’s regulations and fees prior to your arrival. This will help you realistically budget your Yellowstone vacation expenses and ensure that you do not unknowingly violate park laws.
  • Lodging has the ability to make or break your trip, so plan accordingly. Since the park receives over three million visitors each year, reserve your lodging as early as possible.
  • If your travels involve camping within the park or near Yellowstone’s boundaries, arrive as early as possible on the night of your stay in order to secure a site. After claiming your spot for the night, then continue your day’s sightseeing.
  • Yellowstone’s weather can be unpredictable in all seasons. All visitors are encouraged to pack and wear clothes that can easily be layered. Even during the summer, cold temperatures are inevitable, so make sure to bring a jacket. Also, due to the area’s high elevations and thinner atmosphere, pack and use sunscreen to avoid unpleasant burns.
  • Be prepared for emergencies at all times, especially when hiking Yellowstone’s trails. All visitors are urged to pack along extra food, clothing, a first-aid kit, water, and matches.
  • Last but not least, remember your camera. Yellowstone is brimming with photo opportunities you will definitely want to capture!
  • Don't forget your copy of the Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia or Ultimate Wyoming Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia. Or both!

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