If you have the option, extend your visit to 4 or 5 days (or even longer): You’ll see so much more, will have the time to get out and hike a few trails, and will be able to soak in the scenery without feeling quite so rushed.
A stop at any of the park visitor centers is an excellent way to kick off your trip. Most have exhibits on Yellowstone’s wildlife, geothermal features, volcanic activity, or history, plus brochures and maps. Rangers are on hand to answer questions, provide info on current conditions, and make insider suggestions based on your particular fancy. There are 10 centers and information stations, but some might be closed if you visit the park off-season. Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth is open year-round, and Canyon Visitor Education Center and Old Faithful Visitor Education Center have winter hours from December to March. Outside the park, the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center is also open year-round.
You can begin a Yellowstone tour from any of the park’s five entrances, but this section assumes you’ll be starting from the most popular one, the west entrance, and driving clockwise around Grand Loop Road. Simply adjust the order of attractions if you jump in at any other point.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.