Driving, Yellowstone National Park
North Entrance - Near the gateway community of Gardiner, MT
West Entrance - Adjacent to the town of West Yellowstone, MT
South Entrance is Jackson, WY
East Entrance is Cody, WY
Please Check the Road Conditons before you travel Please!
Map of Yellowstone
It seems like I see more and more rental RVs (Recreational Vehicles, sometimes called campers) coming through Yellowstone. If you don’t own an RV, but would like to try one, the rental RVs that we see the most are Cruise America. These come in three styles: 19 foot Compacts, which sleep 2 - 3 people; 23 - 25 foot Standard models, that sleep up to 5 people; 28.4 feet Intermediates, that sleeps up to 6; and 28 to 30 foot large, which sleeps up to 7. Cruise America has 134 locations from which you may pick up a rental RV, so visit their web page to see what pickup location would work best for your trip. You can even do one way rentals. So you could pick up your RV at one Cruise America location, drive across the country, and return your RV to a different Cruise America location. There is an extra fee for one way rentals, but by calling the number below you can get all the needed information. Also their website includes an orientation video that is a must to watch if you are considering renting an RV. To find this video go to their web page, click “Site Map,” found at the bottom of the homepage, click “Renters Orientation” from the list. Be aware that even though the video explains how to hook up electricity, water, and sewer, many campgrounds across that country do not have these options. You can usually fill your water tanks in campgrounds, and you should always have drinking water in bottles. Simply purchase a few bottles of drinking water, then you can refill them in campgrounds, provided you like the taste of the campground water. Your generator will be used if you do not have electricity. Campgrounds always have generator hours, so be sure you know what they are. You will not be allowed to use a generator overnight, which would be very rude and disturbing to other campers. The generator only has to be run if you want to use the microwave, air conditioner, or any electrical appliance that requires 110 electricity. Some things in the camper, such as lights, water pump, and the heater fan will run on batteries. Be sure you keep track of the charge in your batteries, as you will have to use the generator to recharge the batteries, and remember, you can only do this during generator hours. The video tells you that the RV must be level for the refrigerator to operate properly, yet their demonstration is done on level ground. There are a lot of campgrounds, especially in State and National Parks where the campsites are not level. Discuss this with Cruise America, to see if they have ways to level the RVs. If you are told that you must park in a level site, be sure you request this when you make your reservations. Also, be aware that you can be a little off level and the refrigerator will still operate.
Campgrounds in Yellowstone fill up early, so make your reservations as far in advance as you can.
This photo of our car was taken shortly after we arrived in Yellowstone NP and pulled over to the side of the highway to get a better look at various Bison that were out in the fields on both sides. Because the attractions of Yellowstone are spread all over the park, you will need a car for the flexibility of seeing and/or stopping for a closer look at whatever it is that strikes your fancy on any particular day. Since we live only about 1100 km away, it also made sense to just drive there and take in a few extra sights along the way, rather than go through the hassle of flying and renting. The second photo was taken on Highway 212 near Red Lodge, Montana as we looked ahead to the 12,800-ft Absaroka Range where we would soon be climbing upward to the Northeast Entrance on the spectacular and winding Beartooth Highway. Gasoline stations are strategically located at the main centres throughout Yellowstone, so that won’t be a problem. We ended up clocking about 3000-km on this six and a half day trip to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton NPs.
The Red Rock Rendezvous antique car rally was in Yellowstone when we were there, and the old Yellowstone buses were on display (photo 4 and 5). This was a tour where 13 drivers from around the country drive vehicles built before 1915 through the scenic roads of Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park and Colorado.
A newspaper story about them said, "Drivers generally hum along about 40 to 45 miles per hour and cover somewhere between 150 and 220 miles in a day, depending on road conditions, weather and the amount of time spent waiting for buffalo to cross their paths.
When we crossed the country in 1964 and 1966 in our 1932 Plymouths, we did about the same speed, but we usually did a little more mileage.
Every summer there is road construction. This year they have it between Madison and Norris. During the days there is about a 30 minute delay and no stopping in this area. Also there is some striping still going on between West Thumb and the South Entrance. Check with the park service as to where they are working before you go. It might save you some headache. But the roads for the most part were in good condition.
Do not expect to drive through Yellowstone in the winter - unless you are in a snow coach. The amount of snow they get in the park each year is such that there is no way to keep the roads open to vehicle travel.
Once inside the park you will be out of the road construction. But on the Cook City Highway there is going to be construction for the next few years. We had a slide that took out a good part of the high way a couple of years ago, so fixing it is going to be long. Expect delays here.
Also - if you are afraid of heights - find another way into the park!!!!! Seriously!!! I am not kidding!!!!
There is a great deal of road construction in the Tetons leading up to the park. Expect to add an extra 40 minutes to an hour to get through to the entrance. Also remember that it is only 45mph for most of the trip there, with times it dips to 25mph. Take your time and camera. Make it fun.
I have booked my car via the company Holiday autos.
This makes it much easier, as it is in your own language, if you have problem you can call their office.
First I was searching the internet to rent a car, but there are so many different companies, like Alamo, Hertz, Avis, Budget, ...
And they all heave different ways in giving their prices (with or without a number of assurances), that makes it really hard to compare; also there are the hidden extras.
And then after a long tiring flight you stand there for the rent a car desk, and then they propose all kind of extras and assurances, and then it is sometimes very confusing to know what you really need.
So the advantage of booking via Holiday autos was that everything was included, so no more extras, of course at the desk they always try to sell one or more extra insurances, but a simple no does it
After the booking you receive a voucher, and upon arrival you present this voucher at the rent a car desk, a few signatures, and you can explore the American Highways.
The rent a car firm was Alamo.
And for the 21 days I paid 681 euro, which is 32.4 euro a day.
My car was a red PT Cruiser – Cryssler.
You don't just have to deal with car traffic. We were stuck for awhile in the Morris canyon by a herd of buffalo using the road as their route to and from places to eat. It is hard to stay 25 yards away when they decide to change course and come right for you. Everyone was patient and I'm sure excited to see buffalo up close and personnal.
My family stayed in Jackson, Wyoming prior to our trip up to Yellowstone and this is where BrushBuck Photo Tours picked us up. We had the most wonderful day exploring Yellowstone. We saw not only all of the Geo-thermal activities that anyone could ever seem to want, but we also saw so much wildlife. The highlight of the trip for me was being able to see a pack of wolves running free in the park.
The tour guides were extremely knowledgable about the parks history and knew so much about the animals, I felt like I had taken a fun college class by the end of the day! What was even better was that my family had, at first, planned on renting a car and seeing all the sites ourselves. I'm so glad we went with professionals who knew exactly where to go to see what we wanted.
If I was to return to the area, I would definately book another tour with this company.
Our trip started down in Grand Teton National Park. We flew into Jackson Hole Airport, the most scenic airport in the country, and we rental a car from the Thrifty car rental agency in the airport. There were a few other agencies in the airport, but Thrify had the best price.
We took the long way around from Grand Teton, driving down through Jackson , over the Teton pass into Idaho, alongside the mountains and finally entering the park by passing through West Yellowstone and going in the West Entrance.
Drving around the park on the Loop Road was a breeze. We had a great road map booklet that explained what we were seeing every step of the way.
When we left, we exited through the South Entrance, driving down the John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, down through the Tetons and back into Jackson. One Gigantic Loop!
There is really only one way to do & see Yellowstone, unless you want to do it on a tour bus... & that is by car. We hired one from the airport in Denver, & drove up through the Teton Ranges, around to the West gate (one of only two open at that time of year) & then in to Old Faithful & out through the north. Avis were very good. Fairly well priced, & our vehicle, which I do suggest you drive carefully and safely, got us where we needed to go, even in spite of the snow & icicling up. It is a large area in the park to cover, & a car is the best way to get around, taking your own time and to see the things that you want to see at your own pace. A great roadtrip!
To make a reservation from within the USA call: 1-800-230-4898
or see below Website for your areas local numbers...
Driving in yellowstone- The most crowded season is Summer when driving through the park can be horrendous. I suggest going to the park in May or September. If you do have to go during summer months June-July-Aug, stay in cabins or camp inside the park and do plenty of exploring on foot. Drive to different areas of the park only after you have seen everything in one area. Stop frequently to see wildlife and drive slow always so that you dont kill anything.
WELL... not much to say ....
if u wanne enjoy yellowstone you have to drive through it .... preferebly in a R.V but if u cant afford 1 ( like i couldnt ) , a car will be sufficient ....
this place is huge !!! more then 10000 squere meters !! u can hike , or cycle through it .... but that will take alot of time !!!
and time = money .....
so rent a car ....and kick ass!!!!!!
The roads of Yellowstone are engineering marvels in places--look at how this road huggs the mountainside without intrusive supports. In other spots there are spectacular bridges. It must be a never ending job to maintain the network of roads since temperatures go well below zero degrees fahrenheit for much of the winter, which is murder on asphalt.