Whenever you are visiting America, and you want to visit a number of National Parks (and federal recreation areas), I can advise to buy an America The Beautiful Annual pass.
This America The Beautiful Annual pass costs 80 US dollars.
It replaces the Golden Eagle pass, which was used in the past.
This America The Beautiful Annual pass can be bought online at:
Unfortunately, this service is only available for US customers.
But no problem at all, you can just buy your America The Beautiful Annual pass, at the entrance booth of the first National Park that you visit.
I agree 80 US dollars is a lot, but when you visit a few parks, you surely make a profit, see my list with the parks I visited during my USA roundtrip 2007 and the entrance prices:
- Grand Teton / Yellowstone : 25 US$
- Big Horn : 5 US$
- Devils Tower : 10 US$
- Badlands : 15 US$
- Scots Bluff : 5 US$
- Fort Laramie : 3 US$
- Mesa Verde : 15US$
- Black Canyons of Gunnison : 15 US$
- Rocky Mountains : 20 US$
- Cedar Breaks : 4 US$
- Bryce Canyon : 20 US$
- Grand Canyon (North Rim) : 25 US$
- Zion : 25 US$
Which gives a total of 187 US$, so I paid 80 US$ for my America The Beautiful Annual pass, you see I made 107 US$ profit by buying this card.
Fondest memory: the diversity of the park
Enkel de foto werd gepost, in afwachting van de informatie, deze informatie komt wat later.
bedankt voor uw bezoek en tot nog eens.
I have just posted the photograph, the text with more information will follow later on
Thanks for your visit and you are welcome to revisit later on.
Fondest memory: The splendid nature and wildlife
Barring road construction, most park roads are open to automobiles from about May 1 to the first Sunday in November; please plan with this in mind.
Make lodging reservations as early as possible.
Plan your arrival to secure your campsite early in the day.
Review park regulation and permit information before your arrival.
Pack clothes that can be layered and that are appropriate for the season of your visit.
Get up-to-date road and weather information close to your time of visit by calling (307) 344-7381.
To purchase books, maps, or pamphlets about the park before you arrive, contact the Yellowstone Association at (307) 344-2293.
Plan your visit link
Entrance to Yellowstone is $20 per car for 7 days. We were also visiting Grand Teton National Park (which actually would have been included in the $20 fee). We were, however going to be staying longer than 7 days, so instead of paying the $20 fee twice, we opted to get a National Parks Yearly Pass, which costs $50. This pass gives you access to any National Park for one year. We don't have any immediate plans to visit another National park, but hey, you never know. We will be prepared :) The card will also make for a fun souvenier.
When I was there we purchased a now discontinued National Parks Pass,( Which will still be honored for 1 year from the date we received it) The NPS have since introduced a new system. The "America the Beautiful" Passes. These will replace the traditional pass, the Golden Eagle, Golden Age and Golden Access passes. The new standard pass is $80, which is $30 more expensive then the pass we bought but does allow access into the areas that were only formerly available with the Golden Eagle pass (which at $15 more that the regular pass was still $15 cheaper than this new one) Ah but time marches on and prices keep going up, what can you do? It's still more than worth it to support the parks. You can of course still buy a weekly pass to each park, which is $15 per vehical, $7 if you are on foot or bike.
Check out the NPS website for more details on ALL passes.
For all National Parks Passes
When planning our trip I used the Yellowstone Park area of the National Park Service website – as well as VT of course (thanks Amy and others!)
It’s also really worth sending for a Trip Planner Package from the Online Bookstore. We got the Basic Trip Planner which included:
- Yellowstone: the Official Guide to Touring America's First National Park (with some excellent photos - I thought this was too nice to risk spoiling by taking it with me!)
- Yellowstone/Grand Teton Road Guide (incredibly useful)
- Yellowstone Travel Map
I also ordered the set of 8 trail leaflets describing Canyon, Fountain Paint Pots, Mud Volcano, Upper Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, West Thumb and Historic Fort Yellowstone.
Together these cost about $20 and helped enormously with planning the trip, as well as making great souvenirs afterwards.
Fondest memory: Thanks to all the advance planning we were able to make the most of our time in Yellowstone. I particularly enjoyed getting off the main loop roads on to some of the quieter one way roads such as Firehole Lake Drive and Virginia Cascade Road
If you only had one day at Yellowstone, I would go see Old Faithful and the area around it, and drive over to Hayden Valley to see the bison and the Mud Volcano area.
Personally, Yellowstone is so out of the way for most people , no matter where you are coming from, that I can hardly imagine that anyone would only spend one day there. I would say you need at least 3 days to see most of it. We spent 4 nights there, which was just enough to see everything I wanted to see and go on one hike. We were up from very early in the morning until it got dark, with not much rest in between. So, if you want to take your time , you will probably need a week.
If you plan to be a frequent visitor to National Parks in the course of a year, the National Park Pass can be a great purchase. I bought mine in March in Rocky Mountain National Park ($20). Since then it has paid for itself at least two times. The pass is $50 and can be used at any of the National Parks, National Monuments and National Recreation Areas.
Upon purchase you will sign the back. Each card can accommodate two signatories. Although we were told that we would need to show ID each time we use it, ID has actually only been requested once in 8 uses so far.
Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is $20 per car or $10 per individual (on a snocoach tour).
We were there from 8/9 – 8/13, not long enough, but we got some great hikes in, and I wanted to share some advice because this site was so helpful to us in planning our trip.
I would say the highlights were Grand Canyon (definitely start at Grandview Point and make your way to Artist Point, stopping at all the hotspots), eating at Lake Yellowstone Hotel (excellent food and view of lake, go early so you can spend a few hours watching the sunset from the lobby – amazing!), Fairy Falls Trail (we hit it about 8:30 am, and were totally alone – on the way out the crowds were already streaming in), and seeing Castle Geyser erupt out at the Old Faithful complex (very rare eruption). Don’t bother doing the Tower Falls Trail to the falls because the trail has been washed out for the last three years or so (learned the hard way). Also, the road from Tower to Canyon was out when we were there, which was a bummer. If you’re camping, the showers at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are cool. And spend at least a couple of days in the Grand Tetons….
Animal sightings: mountain goats, elk, bison, moose (near Grand Tetons), osprey
Fondest memory: There are many wonders located in and around Yellowstone National Park, but as we drove from West Yellowstone to the Norris Junction, we ran across a sign pointing to Mt. Haynes...so we pulled off the road, jumped out and took a picture of the sign as well as the mountain...what we wouldn't do for VT...lol...in the picture you'll see spartan & the traveldogs (Sam and Aspen).
Besides the activities that I have discussed in my tips, the concessionaire offers a variety of other activities. I have never taken these, but some sound like a lot of fun. I am listing these for you, in case you would like to include them in your plans. I would recommend that you reserve these ahead of time. There are Stagecoach Adventures offered at Roosevelt Lodge, Photo Safaris, Twilight Shadows Excursions offered from Canyon Lodge that will take you out for evening wildlife viewing, a series of bus tours that do the driving for you and take you to highlighted areas, and Old West Cookouts which depart from Bridge Bay, Lake Hotel, Fishing Bridge RV Park, and Canyon Village. According to the literature I picked up on the Old West Cookouts in the fall of 2004, you will sit around a campfire and are served baked beans, potato salad, chuckwagon corn, cole slaw, corn muffins, watermelon, and apple crisp. With the main dish being steak cooked on a grill. It is all served up with cowboy music, storytelling, and if you sign up for the interpretive Roosevelt Cookout Roundup you will be delivered to the meal by horse or wagon, stopping along the way to view wildlife.
For additional information about these activities call 307-344-7311, write to P.O. Box 165, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, or visit www.TravelYellowstone.com
Favorite thing: Yellowstone has a great collection of raging rivers and hearty streams, like this one below Tower Falls. Some waterways are fed by runoff so the season will effect water levels in many places. You can count yourself as fortunate to see buffalo crossing or swimming some of these rivers, or bears fishing at the others. Be careful in your own crossings, since even in summer water temperatures (and water force) can be a terrible obstacle.
Favorite thing: There is so much to "take in" at Yellowstone much of it on a grandiose scale - the geysers, bison, lakes and grand canyon. Do take the time to observe the "little" things...you'll be surprised at what you'll find. An array of living creatures that create some of the most outstanding colors in the park. Hard to believe that living creatures can withstand such hot temps, water too hot for us to touch. But these creatures or "thermophiles" are adapted to hot envirnoments and thrive in hot springs, volcanoes, deserts and even power plants and hot water heaters.
Favorite thing: The Old Faithful geyser area has its own post office. It's located next to the Snowlodge, and behind the Old Faithful Lodge. Very convenient for sending postcards to fellow VTers, friends or family. I even had to mail one to myself :-) just to get the Old Faithful post mark.
Favorite thing: Such is the beauty of Yellowstone that vistas like the one shown here become commonplace and almost mundane. The mountains may not be as awe-inspiring as the Grand Tetons, or Denali or Ranier. But at all times in Yellowstone the mountains surround the visitor. Every time the car stops there is a 360 degree panorama of big mountains. It really is larger than life.
Favorite thing: Be sure to call the national park service to book your vacation as early as possible. Only a few hotels are open in the park, limiting the number of guests. I started out in West Yellowstone, where I met the snowcoach at the IMAX. You'll have to book a snowcoach ride into the park b/c the park is closed to automobile traffic in the winter. The snowcoaches stop frequently to let you take photos of wildlife, give info sessions, and for bathroom breaks. It's about a 3 hour ride from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful Snow Lodge
North Rim Drive, Wyoming, United States
Good for: Solo
We stayed in the Snow Lodge (not cabins) for 3 nights at the end of our weeklong trip. My father,...more
For the price it is not worth it. We were in a cabin. The cabin had two sides to it w/ a connecting...more