Skip to Content

Tips For Visiting Yellowstone

5 Important Tips for Visiting Yellowstone | Are you planning to travel to Yellowstone National Park?

Make sure you know these important tips & tricks so you can stay safe, enjoy your trip, and have the best vacation ever.

I am currently in Yellowstone with Lucy, her family, our mom, and The Hardworking Husband.

Yellowstone has been in the news a lot, recently. As you know, the HH and I visit Yellowstone often. We have learned quite a few things during our visits, so I thought I would share 5 of my best tips for visiting Yellowstone.

Last week Steamboat Geyser went off for the first time since 2005. We wished we had been there to see it. We will be visiting that area hoping to see some minor eruptions from that geyser.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Tip #1: Take Your Own Food

If you can, take your own food.

Food in Yellowstone is EXPENSIVE and not always the tastiest. If you are unable to bring your own food, there are grocery stores in the surrounding towns that are less expensive than buying food in the park.

The following is our menu for our three days in Yellowstone:

Sunday Dinner: Hamburgers & Potatoes
Monday Breakfast: Kolaches
Lunch: Hotdogs & Chips
Dinner: Tacos
Tuesday Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: Sandwiches & Chips
Dinner: we will either be home or in an area that is less expensive to eat out.
We take a small tabletop propane grill. We use it at the cabins we are staying in, and in the park in a picnic area. We also take a towel to wrap around the grill in case it hasn’t cooled completely before we put it in back in the car.
We make sure we stay in a place that has a kitchen. The rooms with kitchens aren’t that much more expensive, and it saves you much more than you would pay for eating out.
We have put together 45 Dinner Recipes for Vacations that will help you save so much money, without spending much time in the kitchen!

Tip #2: Don’t Get Dehydrated

My second tip is to take a lot of water, or beverages that don’t have caffeine.
Most people going to Yellowstone aren’t used to the elevation. It is easy to get altitude sickness (main symptom is terrible headache). Altitude sickness is actually similar to a hangover. The main cause of it is dehydration.
You will be walking a lot in Yellowstone, and the sun is rather intense because of the high elevation. So drink lots of water. You need to feel like you are tired of drinking water.
I often will make decaf tea to drink because I’m not a big fan of water. It gives me flavor and hydration without the caffeine.

Tips #3 & #4: Layer Clothing & Wear Sunscreen

The temperature changes greatly during the day in Yellowstone. It is cool in the mornings and evenings but gets warm during the day. And as I said before, the sun gets very intense because there is less atmosphere between you and the sun.

So I have two tips to go along with this. First, sunscreen and lots of it!

You can burn a lot faster at higher elevation. I am part Swedish and burn pretty easily, so I reapply sunscreen about every hour if I’m in the car some, and about every 45 minutes if I’m out walking.  Stand in the shade when possible, and wearing a hat is helpful as well.

Secondly, dress in layers. You probably will want shorts by mid day, but you will be chilly in the morning and evening. So a jacket and maybe long sleeves are a good idea.

The forecast while we are here is highs of mid 70’s and lows of mid 30’s. And remember, standing in direct sunlight at that elevation in the mid 70’s feels much hotter!

Tip #5: Stay Outside the Park

I could go on and on about tips for visiting Yellowstone but I will end with this last one. Some of the surrounding towns are quite a drive from the park. So we pick a town to stay in that is just minutes from the park gates.

While Jackson, WY is close to the gate to Grand Teton National Park, it is quite a ways to get into Yellowstone. Cody, WY is similar to Jackson in that its bit of a drive to get into the park.

Gardner and West Yellowstone are close to the gates. We have always stayed in West Yellowstone because we live closer to it.

I’ve got another post that includes where we like to stay, eat, and more tips.  So go check it out!

Bonus Tip: Don’t Pet the Animals!
Oh, I must add one more tip. Every time I’m in Yellowstone, I see someone WAY too close to an animal. These animals are wild. Please stay away from them.
Yellowstone Park Rangers recommend to stay 100 yards from bears and wolves and 25 yards from all other animals. I say it should be even farther.

Check out the YNP website when planning your trip. There is so much information over there.

And if you’re bringing kids with you to Yellowstone, check out Lucy’s 8 Tips for Visiting Yellowstone with Kids.

Follow us on Pinterest
Coffee With Us 3

Check out our link parties here.

5 Important Tips for Visiting Yellowstone | Are you planning to travel to Yellowstone National Park? Make sure you know these important tips & tricks so you can stay safe, enjoy your trip, and have the best vacation ever.


10 Things to See in Yellowstone | Coffee With Us 3

Saturday 9th of April 2022

[…] this is your first time visiting Yellowstone, check out our 5 Important Tips for Visiting Yellowstone.  Are you visiting with kids?  We’ve got Tips for Visiting Yellowstone with Kids, […]

Visiting Yellowstone - Tips, Tricks, and Favorites | Coffee With Us 3

Friday 18th of May 2018

[…] you’re looking for more tips for visiting Yellowstone, we’ve got another post that you’ll want to check […]


Wednesday 22nd of June 2016

I went to Yellowstone a few times as a child. We drove from NYC to Cali a few times to visit my grandparents. I loved it and always wanted to visit with my own kids. It just never happened. It looks as beautiful as I remember it. I hope I can arrange to bring my family there sometime soon! Diane Sullivan (FB)>

Rochkirstin Santos

Tuesday 21st of June 2016

Bringing own food during travel is nothing new for backpackers who are in budget. It's okay to try the local food but if it's super expensive and not delicious, it's not worth a single try. In any case, how expensive is it really?

Lisa @Bitesforbabies

Tuesday 21st of June 2016

I went to Yellowstone ages ago, when I was a child...and consequently hardly remember it! I would love to take the kids there one day as they are nature and animal lovers and would be in absolutely awe there!