We offer ten tips for planning a great trip to Yellowstone, in celebration of National Park Week, April 19-27, 2014.
Two Yellowstone wildflowers in July

The Yellowstone Treasures Newsletter

Here's the latest from the author of the Yellowstone Treasures guidebook. You're getting this very occasional e-newsletter because you asked for information, bought books from our website, or we know you personally and think you would enjoy receiving update e-mails. Feel free to forward it to anyone you know who might be interested. To unsubscribe, see the link at the end of this letter.

National Parks Week

This year the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees to all national parks for April 19 and 20, the first two days of the week they are celebrating with a "Go Wild" campaign. There are events planned throughout the week. But please note that not all roads in Yellowstone are open yet for the season. The East Entrance is due to open May 2, and the South Entrance opens May 9.

TEN TIPS for planning a great trip to

Feel free to print out these tips or pass them on to friends.
  1. DO plan to camp or reserve lodgings in more than one place. A few nights in each of two to four locales will maximize what you’ll see and minimize driving time.


  1. DON’T expect to see everything in one trip or visit too many different places. Allow time for the unexpected bison jam or to catch a second eruption of a phenomenal geyser.
  2. BE PREPARED to do some walking. Going a mile or two away from any road can be very enjoyable—and is guaranteed to take you away from crowds.
  3. INCLUDE at least one area just outside the park in your itinerary: the Grand Tetons, Cody, Red Lodge, West Yellowstone, and the Gallatin Canyon are all good choices.
  4. KNOW the Yellowstone seasons. At 7000- to 8000-foot elevations, spring does not come until sometime in May, and even then some roads may be blocked by snow. Autumn begins early in September, and winter is long! Bring layers of clothing but plenty of sunscreen.
  5. BE AWARE that Yellowstone’s roads are slow, often full of potholes, and that some may be undergoing construction.
  6. PLAN to be on the roads early and late in the day. Avoid crowds by staying off the main roads between 10 am and 5 pm whenever possible.
  7. TAKE binoculars or a spotting scope as well as your camera, especially for animal watching. Cell phone use is still somewhat limited in Yellowstone.
  8. PREPARE THE KIDS: watch videos, read from Yellowstone Treasures and other books about the area or the animals, tell them how different it will be (wild animals, staying outdoors, no TV). Let them do some of the planning.
  9. CHECK at the visitor center at Old Faithful Village for predicted geyser eruption times. Your patience in waiting for some of the spectacular predictable geysers will be amply rewarded! During summer you can call 307-344-2751 for the next eruption times for Old Faithful and a few other geysers.

Author info

Janet Chapple is the author of YELLOWSTONE TREASURES: The Traveler’s Companion to the National Park, updated fourth edition (2013). Janet took the picture above of moss campion and Pasque flowers in July 2011. On her blog she shares more photos and writes about news and recent developments in Yellowstone, various science issues, and her park trip reports and memories. Janet welcomes your comments via the contact form on our website,, or by replying to this newsletter.

Best wishes,
Janet Chapple, author                                         Beth Chapple, webmaster          

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