Grand Geyser eruption. Credit: NPS / Jacob W. Frank

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming – Listen to a million different national park influencers/bloggers and you might get a million different tips on planning out your visit. But when it’s a big day like the Fourth of July, listening to the experts is the best move. Fortunately, Yellowstone National Park just released their top 10 tips for visiting this Independence Day.

Yellowstone National Park:

  1. Leave Fireworks at Home.
    Fireworks are not allowed in Yellowstone because a spark can ignite a wildfire. The current fire danger level is now MODERATE. Campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites. They must always be attended and cold to the touch before abandoning. Soak, stir, feel, repeat. Currently, there are no active fires in the park. Stay up to date on the current fire situation and browse a summary of past fires in the park.
  2. Give Wildlife Room
    Wild animals can be dangerous if you get too close! People have been injured or killed by bears, bison and elk. It’s your responsibility to respect safety regulations and view wildlife from a safe distance. Always maintain a minimum of 25 yards (23 m) from all wildlife, 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves, and back away from an animal if it moves closer to you. Follow instructions from park rangers and learn how to watch wildlife safely and travel safely in bear country.
  3. Drive and Park Responsibly
    Observe posted speed limits and use pullouts to watch wildlife, take pictures and let other cars pass. Do not stop your vehicle in the road. When pulling over, be sure to park with all four tires fully to the right of the white line. Pack your patience and allow for plenty of time to travel through the park during this busiest time of the year.
  4. Check Road Statuses
    Summer is road construction and repair season in the West. Weather or road improvement projects may cause temporary closures and traffic delays. Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:
    • Visit Park Roads.
    • Call (307) 344-2117 for recorded information.
    • Receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions). 
  5. Make the Most of Your Trip
    Learn about the park by attending a ranger programIndigenous cultural event, exploring the Yellowstone Tribal Heritage Center, or participating in the free Junior Ranger program. Download the free National Park Service app (and offline content) before you arrive in the park.
  6. Stay on Boardwalks
    Boardwalks take you to amazing places. However, people who travel off boardwalks have been severely injured or killed by breaking through the thin ground in thermal basins or falling into hot springs.
  7. Plan Ahead
    All campgrounds and lodging require a reservation and are usually full well in advance of your trip. Operating hours and service levels can change with little notice. Check the latest information before coming to the park:
    Operating Dates
    Current Conditions
    Lodging and Camping
    Places to Go
    Things to Do
    Fishing Permits
    Boat Inspections and Permits
  8. No Vehicle / Entrance Reservations Required
    Vehicle reservations are not required to enter the park – just a park entrance pass. Save time at entrance stations by purchasing your pass online before you arrive. Keep in mind that summer is busy, so be prepared for crowds at popular areas and lines at the entrance stations, in construction areas and at roadside wildlife sightings. Please be patient and enjoy your visit.
  9. Expect Limited Connectivity
    Don’t be surprised if you can’t receive calls or texts, even in the few areas where you might have cell reception.
  10. Prepare for Weather Changes
    Unpredictability characterizes Yellowstone’s weather. Expect big temperature swings, rain or snow during every month of the year and hot, dry weather during the summer months. No matter when you visit, bring water to stay hydrated, a warm jacket, rain gear and lots of layers. Check the current weather conditions

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