If you plan to see Yellowstone National Park on a budget, it's important to make your plans in light of the costs and conditions. Take a look at some major categories to consider if you're planning to visit Yellowstone.
The entrance fee is $30 for a private, noncommercial vehicle; $25 for each snowmobile or motorcycle; or $15 for each visitor 16 and older entering by foot, bike, ski, etc.
An annual pass is $60 Note a variety of operating hours that vary by season.
Nearest Commercial Airports
Cody, Wyo. (78 mi.) Jackson Hole, Wyo., (101 mi.) Bozeman, Mont.(132 mi.) Idaho Falls (164 mi.), Billings, Mont. (184 mi.), Salt Lake City (376 mi.)
Budget Airlines to Shop
Allegiant (Billings) Horizon (Idaho Falls, Billings, Salt Lake); Frontier (Billings, Bozeman and Jackson Hole) Southwest (Salt Lake City)
Nearby Cities with Budget Rooms
Many people who come to Yellowstone stay in one of the park lodges or make use of camping facilities. Conventional hotel rooms are distant and often hard-to-book during the busiest seasons. You will find lodging options just outside the park to be few in number. West Yellowstone offers a few options, as does Cody.
Camping and Lodge Facilities
There are nine lodges, hotels and cabins in the park. As with many popular national parks, the lodgings available here will fill up quickly in the summer months.
Many prefer to make reservations a minimum of 6-8 months in advance. The most popular of these lodgings is the Old Faithful Inn, offering more than 300 rooms at about $110-$260/night.
Back country camping is allowed, but you must pick up a permit in person no more than 48 hours prior to your visit. Limits are imposed on the number of permits issued each day.
Information: (307) 344-2160
Camping in Yellowstone is possible in 12 areas, where you can make reservations in the morning for your stay. But in peak season, these spaces often fill up early in the day -- start early. Fees range from $15-$27/day. An RV park site will cost close to $50/night. Note that each campground has its own annual schedule, with only Mammoth open all year.
Top Free Attractions in the Park
Old Faithful is probably the world's most famous geyser, and it attracts constant attention, with eruptions every 60-90 minutes. However, the world's largest concentration of geysers is found in this area, and you can explore many others.
Another breathtaking sight here is Yellowstone Canyon, the namesake of the entire park. Don't miss the view of the Lower Falls and the canyon -- it's something to savor.
Parking and Ground Transportation
Yellowstone is a large park, and distances between points of interest can be great. There are bus tours you can take within the park. Note that many roads here are closed during the winter months. Make note of road schedules and construction areas.
Many people combine a visit to Yellowstone with Grand Teton National Park, about 100 miles to the south in western Wyoming.
For more information, visit Yellowstone National Park's official Web site.