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In which state is Yellowstone National Park?

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There is no point in planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park without knowing what state it is in! If you're looking forward to visiting one of America's most beautiful national parks, you need to know where it is, how big it is and what to do there. So, which state is Yellowstone National Park located in? What can you expect from visiting this place?

In this article, we'll take a look at the states covered by Yellowstone National Park. We'll also cover the size of the park, some of the top activities or natural wonders in the park, and how to best visit this wilderness area. Let's get started and learn all about where Yellowstone National Park is right now!

In which state is yellowstone national park
Yellowstone National Park occupies the space of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, although the three states are not evenly distributed.

©Michael Hinkle/Shutterstock.com

yellowstone national park fact
state or state located in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana
Park size 3,472 square miles, or 2,221,766 acres
number of trails 92 trailheads, including boardwalk trails and 1,000 miles of backcountry trails
open time of year Year round, closed in winter
average number of visitors 4 million visitors per year
elevation 5,000-11,000 feet

Which states contain Yellowstone National Park?

In which state is yellowstone national park
Yellowstone is primarily located in Wyoming, with more than 90 percent of the park located in that state.

© Lillac/Shutterstock.com

In which state is Yellowstone National Park? Yellowstone National Park occupies the space of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, although the three states are not evenly distributed. In fact, Yellowstone is primarily located in Wyoming, where more than 90 percent of the park is located. After Wyoming, less than 5 percent of parks are in Montana, and the last 1 percent is in Idaho.

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Yellowstone National Park has five different entrances. This gives you a lot of options when it comes to getting to and traveling through the park. Yellowstone is the perfect place for summer road trips and national park exploration, with nearly 500 miles of paved roads to traverse. This means you can enter the park from the west, or exit from any other direction, if you wish.

When you're planning a visit to Yellowstone National Park, one important thing to be aware of is the elevated elevation throughout the park. Yellowstone's elevations vary from 5,000 feet all the way up to 11,000 feet. However, the highest park elevation is on a mountain peak and can only be reached by hiking trails. This means you don't have to worry about driving that high, despite the park's average elevation of 7,000-8,000 feet!

How big is Yellowstone National Park?

In which state is yellowstone national park
Yellowstone National Park has five different entrances.

© Kris Wiktor/Shutterstock.com

Yellowstone National Park covers 3,472 square miles, or 2,221,766 acres . It looks almost a square from above. Yellowstone is approximately 60 miles north-south and 55 miles east-west. That doesn't mean you can simply walk 55 miles across the park and get to the other side – it's far from it! There's a reason Yellowstone has over 500 miles of paved roads: so you can see all the great things this national park has to offer!

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

In which state is yellowstone national park
There's a reason Yellowstone has over 500 miles of paved roads: so you can see all the great things this national park has to offer!

©Carolina K. Smith, MD/Shutterstock.com

Yellowstone National Park has many activities, many of which are seasonal. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can take part in the following activities at Yellowstone:

  • hiking
  • camping
  • Interpretive trails and boardwalks
  • Geysers and other thermal basins to watch
  • Ranger Activities
  • wildlife viewing
  • bird watching
  • Kayaks and Canoes
  • fishing
  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
  • snowmobile rental
  • snow tour
  • horse riding
  • Cycling
  • Backpacking
  • photography
  • Visitor Center
  • museum
  • Gift shop
  • to eat
  • stay
  • Guided tours and opportunities such as camel tours
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When is Yellowstone National Park open?

In which state is yellowstone national park
From June to October, you can make the most of every mile of Yellowstone National Park.

©Susanne Pommer/Shutterstock.com

Yellowstone National Park is open year-round, but some roads are closed seasonally. In fact, only the northernmost entrance and the northeast entrance remain open to visitors during the winter season, which begins on time on November 1st. The road between the two entrances remains open, but all other roads throughout the park will be closed during this time.

That's not to say you can't visit other parts of Yellowstone this time of year. In fact, the park offers many snow activities starting December 15th. That means you can rent a motorized snowmobile or hop on a snow coach tour to explore the rest of the park safely and securely!

All roads in and out of the park will be open on June 1. That means you can make the most of every mile of Yellowstone National Park between June and October. While the weather can make these dates subjective, Yellowstone is no stranger to cold weather and snow. However, this still means that if you choose to visit in winter, you should plan to travel slowly and safely!

How many people visit Yellowstone National Park each year?

In which state is yellowstone national park
Nearly 3/4 of the visitors to Yellowstone choose to visit in the summer only, so be sure to plan accordingly!

© iStock.com/juliannafunk

An estimated 4 million tourists travel to and visit Yellowstone National Park each year . 2016 was the most visited year with an estimated over 4.2 million visitors during the period. While that doesn't sound like there are many tourists throughout the year, most tourists choose to visit Yellowstone in July and August.

That's why, if you're planning to visit Yellowstone during the best weather, you should make sure you have plenty of time to do everything you need to do, despite the crowds. Nearly 3/4 of the visitors to Yellowstone choose to visit in the summer only, so be sure to plan accordingly!

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featured image

shutterstock_602444258
Yellowstone National Park is home to a variety of ungulates, including grizzly bears, pronghorn, white-tailed deer, badgers, otters and badgers

© Lillac/Shutterstock.com


about the author

august croft


I am a non-binary freelance writer working full time in Oregon. A graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BA in Theater and a major in Creative Writing, I have an interest in a variety of topics, especially the history of the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping on the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my family's kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast-iron skillet.

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