Yellowstone National Park Transportation & Travel

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Half the fun of a Yellowstone trip is getting here. With beautiful river canyons, scenic byways and pastoral landscapes, you'll truly enjoy the sites along the way.

Getting to Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is accessible from a number of gateway communities, including Jackson & Moran WY (from the south), West Yellowstone MT (from the west), Bozeman, Livingston & Gardiner MT (from the north), Cody WY (from the east), and Red Lodge & Cooke City/Silver Gate MT (from the northeast). Many of these towns have regional airports and car rentals, as well as a number of businesses offering sightseeing, wildlife, and winter specific tours of the national park.

What is the best route for driving into Yellowstone?

  • North Entrance - Near the gateway community of Gardiner, MT, the North Entrance is the only park entrance open to wheeled vehicles all year. November through April, the North Entrance provides the only access to Silver Gate and Cooke City, MT. Beyond Cooke City the road is closed to wheeled vehicles November through April. The road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris is open to wheeled vehicles from the third Friday in April through the first Sunday in November, and to track over snow vehicles from the third Wednesday in December to Monday of the first full week in March. Services are available year around.
  • West Entrance - Adjacent to the town of West Yellowstone, MT, the West Entrance is open to wheeled vehicles from the third Friday in April through the first Sunday in November, and to track over snow vehicles from the third Wednesday in December to Monday of the second full week in March. Services are available year around.
  • South & East Entrances - Open to wheeled vehicles from the first Friday of May through the first Sunday in November, and to track over snow vehicles from the third Wednesday in December to Monday of the second full week in March. Limited services are available near the South & East Entrances.
  • Northeast Entrance - Near the gateway community of Cooke City, MT, this entrance is open year round for wheeled vehicle access to Cooke City through Gardiner, MT and the North Entrance. Opening dates for roads east of Cooke City vary from year to year, depending on the weather. The Beartooth Highway is open from Friday of Memorial Weekend to 8:00 am on the day following Columbus Day. Storms occasionally (temporarily) close the Beartooth Highway during this "open" period. Services are available year around.

What Airports can I fly into?

  • Bozeman, Montana – Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport / Gallatin Field, the busiest airport around the Park, provides service for five airlines (Delta, United, Horizon, Frontier, and Allegiant). Daily flights are offered to Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Francisco, and Seattle. Seasonaly or weekly flights are offered to Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, LaGuardia (NY/NJ), Houston, and Las Vegas. Bozeman is located approximately 90 miles from both the north and west entrances to the Park.
  • Cody, Wyoming – Yellowstone Regional Airport is located just two minutes from downtown Cody, Wyoming, approximately 52 miles from the east gate of Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody is served year round by a Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines through Salt Lake City, Utah. The airport is also served by United Express and Mesa Airlines through Denver International Airport.
  • Jackson, Wyoming – Jackson Hole Airport is located ten miles north of the town of Jackson and approximately 40 miles south of the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The Jackson Hole Airport has service provided by American Airlines, Delta, Northwest, SkyWest, United and United Express. Direct flights are available to many major US cities
  • Billings, Montana - Billings Logan International Airport, is the regional hub for three major airlines, Delta, Northwest and United. Billings can be found 3 hours north of the northeast entrance to the Park. However, Beartooth Pass, which is located along the way, is closed during the winter months, making this route impassable during that time.
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho – Fanning Field is located nearly 100 miles to the southwest of the southern entrance to the Park. Service to this airport is provided by Horizon, Allegiant Air, Delta, SkyWest, and United Express.
  • West Yellowstone, MT airport is serviced only in the months of June to early September.

Getting Around Yellowstone

Car Rentals

All major national car rental companies have offices in the neighboring communities, some in town and some at the airports, plus a number of local independents. If you want to be able to enjoy Yellowstone National Park at your own pace, it is wise to plan ahead to rent a car.

Bus Tours

During the summer season, commercial businesses offer tours originating from Bozeman & West Yellowstone, MT, and Jackson Hole & Cody, WY.

During the winter season, some businesses provide snow coach tours over most park roads, or bus transportation on the Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City road.

Park Concessionaires also provide bus tours within the park during the summer season.

Questions & Answers

Yes, you can easily drive from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park. You''ll need to exit Yellowstone through the South Entrance and drive the 6.9 mile John D. Rockefeller Memorial Highway to the northern edge of Grand Teton National Park.

No. By mid-December winter snows close the majority of the park. The only road open year-round is from the east entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs. Yellowstone is even more magical blanketed in fresh snow and with trees crystallized by freezing steam. You can still enjoy the park during the winter season via snowcoach and limited snowmobile tours to Old Faithful. You can also experience the surreal solitude and beauty by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing throughout the park, but be warned: the good stuff is pretty far from most entrance stations.

Yes. You can drive to Old Faithful. If you enter the park from the West Entrance, Old Faithful is 32 miles from West Yellowstone, the closest gateway city to the famous geyser. Plan on the drive taking between 45 minutes to over an hour. You’ll likely see plenty of wildlife and scenery as you travel through the park. You’ll be driving on the Grand Loop Road, which connects all the major attractions within the park in a giant figure eight over its 198 mile length.

About 6.9 miles. Yellowstone is separated from Grand Teton National Park's northern boundary only by the short and scenic John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. The 24,000 acres connecting the two national parks was dedicated to Rockefeller for his contributions to Grand Teton National Park and others.

About 6.9 miles. Yellowstone is separated from Grand Teton National Park''s northern boundary only by the short and scenic John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. The 24,000 acres connecting the two national parks was dedicated to Rockefeller for his contributions to Grand Teton National Park and others.

Yellowstone is 7.5 hours (424.8 mi) west of Mt. Rushmore by car. Yellowstone is on the western edge of Wyoming. You’ll need to cross the entire state of Wyoming to Keystone, South Dakota, There are several possible routes you can take, each having different sight-seeing attractions along the way.

Glacier National Park is about 6.5 hours (375 mi) north of Yellowstone via US-89. The route passes along scenic mountain ranges. Optionally, you can take a detour through Big Sky, a popular ski resort town in the mountains.

Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone are about 7.5 hours (430 miles) apart via US-16, the shortest route. You may want to stop in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, a must-see stop on your American West road trip. You’ll also be cutting through the Bighorn National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland. Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills National Forest near Keystone, South Dakota.

If you rush the Grand Loop, you can drive all 200 miles in about 4 hours. For the best experience in Yellowstone, plan on slowing down to connect with the area rather than just drive through it. Plan on at least 7 hours if you want to view wildlife, stop for a day hike or boardwalk walk or two, eat lunch, and really experience Yellowstone. If you drive the Grand Loop in 4 hours, you’ll miss most of what makes Yellowstone unique. Many wise visitors break the loop up into multiple days to have a richer experience where you don’t remember it as a long day at the wheel.

Yes, but the wildlife that will excite you on the roadside or even crossing the road during the day can be your vacation’s worst nightmare at night. If you hit a large animal, like a bison, it can seriously damage your car, injure or kill you and kill the animal.

The West Entrance is closest to Old Faithful geyser and the famous Old Faithful Inn. After entering the park, you’ll drive 14 miles to Madison. Head south at Madison to the Upper Geyser Basin. The Upper Geyser Basin is home to Old Faithful and 150 other geysers packed into one square mile. Take the boardwalk and enjoy a largely flat, easy stroll through the geyser basin and thermal features.

In the Spotlight

Other Transportation Resources

Glacier Train

Train service is available to Glacier National Park.