Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

What are the best spots to visit in Yellowstone? Here’s how much it costs to enter the oldest national park

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Spanning over 3,4000 square miles in the Northwestern United States, Yellowstone is one of the most visited national parks in the country, with scenic views and hiking trails visited by millions of people every year. The park has a variety of biomes and world-renowned lakes, canyons, and mountain ranges. Congress established Yellowstone in 1872, which is considered the nation’s first national park. 

During the summer of 2022, Yellowstone was temporarily closed due to intense water flooding that damaged critical infrastructure for the park’s daily operations. Flash floods made many parts of the park unsafe for visitors and destroyed power lines resulting in blackouts throughout the surrounding region. 

Eventually, the park was able to reopen by implementing a licensing system that allowed only certain vehicles to enter Yellowstone on specific days of the week. This was done in order to manage the flow of people and keep the park from being overcrowded. 

“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our teams and partners, we are prepared to reopen the south loop of Yellowstone. It is impossible to reopen only one loop in the summer without implementing some type of system to manage visitation,” said Cam Sholly, Yellowstone’s superintendent, in a statement at the time. 


Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser is one of the most visited attractions in America's oldest national park. 

Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser is one of the most visited attractions in America’s oldest national park. 
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

What are the best spots to visit?

One of Yellowstone’s most popular attractions, besides the wildlife and scenic environment, is the Old Faithful geyser. Shaped like a cone, the geothermal wonder has erupted over the last two decades nearly every two hours, with sometimes hundreds of tourists spectating the event at a time. 

The park’s official website has a variety of different activities individuals, and their families may enjoy, including white water rafting in Jackson Hole, guided tours of wildlife and nature, prospecting for sapphires, and visiting the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. 

Another popular tourist spot in Yellowstone is the Grand Prismatic Spring which is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and one of the largest worldwide. Located in the park’s Midway Geyser Basin, the hot spring is known for rainbow colors that circulate around the edges of the mineral water. 


How much does it cost?

A typical seven-day pass to Yellowstone costs $35 for a private vehicle. However, if you are entering through the park’s south entrance, you will have to move through Grand Teton National Park and pay an additional $35 under this plan. 

Yellowstone has a diverse natural environment and scenic views filled with unique wildlife such as bison.  

Yellowstone has a diverse natural environment and scenic views filled with unique wildlife such as bison.  
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

A year-long pass to Yellowstone costs $70 per vehicle. However, if you’re a senior citizen 62 or older, you can buy a lifetime membership for $80, according to the park’s website. 

What states is it located in?

Yellowstone’s location is unique, spanning three different states: Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Overall, most of the park is located in Northwest Wyoming, while the remaining area is in southern Montana and eastern Idaho. 


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