Yellowstone National Park covers nearly 3,500-square miles of beautiful wilderness recreation area all atop a volcanic hot spot, which is pretty darn cool if you think about it. Most of the park is in Wyoming, with small parts reaching into both Montana and Idaho. Our family loves to hike, observe, and just spend time exploring the beauty of Yellowstone. We’ve always entered Yellowstone Park through the West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana, but you may enter the park through four other entrances as well.
The entrance fee for Yellowstone is $25 per vehicle, which is good for one week (seven days). Other options include a $50 annual pass to Yellowstone, or an $80 annual pass to all National Parks. If you are planning to enter multiple parks in a given year, the annual pass is the way to go. And if you think about it $80 is a cheap pay to spend time in some amazing places.
Yellowstone features canyons, rivers, lush forests, hot springs and geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful Geyser. Old Faithful is a must-see, erupting every 60 and 110 minutes. According to Yellowstone officials, these eruptions last between 1 ½ to 5 minutes and shoot, on average, 130 feet into the air.
Our young kids were anxious to see a grizzly bear, which sadly (or thankfully?) we didn’t encounter. But we did see plenty of bison, elk, antelope, and rabbits. We’ll have to keep looking for that bear.
Have a fourth-grader in the family? A White House youth initiative is trying to get all 4th graders and their families into the National Parks for free. Learn more and obtain your pass at https://www.everykidinapark.gov/get-your-pass/.
Yellowstone has five different entrance stations: North Entrance near Gardiner, Montana; West Entrance adjacent to the town of West Yellowstone, Montana; East Entrance which is near Cody, Wyoming; South entrance which is nearest to Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and the Northeast entrance near the gateway communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana. Be sure to visit https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/entrances.htm to learn about dates, times, and weather conditions as not all entrances are open all year long.
Our kids really enjoyed walking on the boardwalk paths to see the geysers. I’m not sure they truly understood and appreciated the beauty we were seeing, but they had a great, great time. Truth be told, I’m not sure we fully appreciated the beauty. This park is one gigantic post card. Next time we come, we are going to bring our tent and sleeping bags and experience even more of the beauty (<<<He says!).
As amazing as these pictures are, I’m not sure they do Yellowstone justice. If you’ve never visited, we highly recommend it.