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Yellowstone National Park Travel Guide

Park Essentials


Yellowstone has long been a National Park Service leader in providing for people with disabilities. Restrooms with sinks and flush toilets designed for those in wheelchairs are in all developed areas except Norris and West Thumb, where more rustic facilities are available. Accessible campsites and restrooms are at Bridge Bay, Canyon, Madison, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Grant Village campgrounds, while accessible campsites are found at both Lewis Lake and Slough Creek campgrounds. Ice Lake has an accessible backcountry campsite. An accessible fishing platform is about 3½ miles west of Madison at Mt. Haynes Overlook. For more information, pick up a free copy of the Visitor Guide to Accessible Features in Yellowstone National Park at any visitor center.

Park Fees and Permits

Entrance fees of $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle or snowmobile, or $12 per visitor 16 and older entering by foot, bike, ski, and so on, gives you access for seven days to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton. An annual pass to the two parks costs $50.

Fishing permits (available at ranger stations, visitor centers, and Yellowstone general stores) are required if you want to take advantage of Yellowstone's abundant lakes and streams. Live bait is not allowed, and for all native species of fish, a catch-and-release policy stands. Anglers 16 and older must purchase an $18 three-day permit, a $25 seven-day permit, or a $40 season permit. Those under 16 need a free permit or must fish under the direct supervision of an adult with a permit. A state license is not needed to fish in Yellowstone National Park.

All camping outside of designated campgrounds requires a free backcountry permit. Horseback riding also requires a free permit. Day use horseback riding does not require a permit, only overnight trips with stock. All boats, motorized or nonmotorized, including float tubes, require a permit, which is $20 (annual) or $10 (seven days) for motorized boats and $10 (annual) or $5 (seven days) for nonmotorized vessels. Permits from Grand Teton National Park are valid in Yellowstone, but owners must register their vessel in Yellowstone.

Park Hours

Depending on the weather, Yellowstone is generally open late April to November and mid-December to early March. In winter, only one road, going from the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City to the North Entrance at Gardiner, is open to wheeled vehicles; other roads are used by over-snow vehicles. The park is in the Mountain time zone. Yellowstone is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs, and from Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance and the town of Cooke City (with no through-travel beyond Cooke City).

Cell-Phone Reception

A comprehensive cell-phone coverage plan is in process, but currently reception in the park is hit-or-miss and generally confined to developed areas such as Mammoth, Old Faithful, Canyon and Grant Village areas. In general, don't count on it. Public telephones are near visitor centers and major park attractions. Try to use indoor phones rather than outdoor ones so your conversation doesn't distract you from being alert to wildlife that might approach you while you're on the phone.


In case of emergency, dial 911 or 307/344–7381. There are ranger stations in Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful Village. There are also three clinics in Yellowstone

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