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Yellowstone National Park Travel Hacks

#1 Yellowstone is the size of a small state. It is larger than Rhode Island or Delaware. So, unless you are on a bus tour you will need your own transportation.

#2 Pick a gate. Yellowstone spans three states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho). The majority of Yellowstone is in Wyoming. That’s right, Wyoming = Yellowstone. Actually 53% of Yellowstone is in Park County, Wyoming. Powell is in Park Country, Wyoming (aren’t we lucky). The gates (entrances) into the Park very in size, landscape and animal activity.

#3 Pick a gate community. Each gate has a town close to it. The South Gate is Jackson, the West Gate is West Yellowstone, the North Gate is Gardiner, the Northeast Gate is Cook City, and the East Gate is Cody. Powell, Wyoming is just 20 miles northeast of Cody and we have two gates that are easily accessible by vehicle, the East Gate and the Northeast Gate. Each of the gate communities are distinct.

#4 Cell service is spotty. Isn’t this kind of the point of our National Parks? Unplug, unwind, go ahead and take those selfies and send them a little later. Keep a map of the park with you so you don’t get lost.

#5 Again, Yellowstone is the size of a small state. While there are gas stations in the park they aren’t around every geiser. Fill up your tank. Keep it full.

#6 You are at elevation, in the Park and in the surrounding communities. Drink water, stay hydrated. You have spent time planning your trip and paying for it. Do you really want to get sick due to dehydration, nah.

#7 The animals are wild. Not like theme park, well fed, will not approach your jeep wild. The kind of wild that is live or die wild. So, don’t approach the Buffalo…use the zoom instead. The friendly Park Rangers give a pamphlet of what types of animals are in the park and how far away you need to view them. Read it.

#8 Get off the roads. Get into the park. Hike some trails. Bike some trails. You traveled all the away from your busy city to be in nature. Get in nature. Yellowstone National Park fills your soul in a kind of way that little other places do. Our great President Teddy Roosevelt knew what he was doing when he declared this land to belong to the people.

#9 Bring bear spray. Grizely bears live in the park. They are meat eaters. Black bears live in the park. They eat lots of plants but also eat meat. If you surprise either kind of bear they may attack you. That is when you pull out your bear spray which is in the holster on your body, per the manufacturer instructions, not in your backpack were you can’t reach it.

#10 Buffalo do ram cars. Buffalo are herd grazing animals. Often they will be to the side of the road or on the road. Mostly they will just keep walking; but, Buffalo are wild animals and you never know!

Not sure about what to bring, where to stay, and what to do in Yellowstone National Park? Ask a local. The Powell Visitor Center is here to help. We love talking about our National Treasure and surrounding region.