Big Sky Roundup

Yellowstone shares top ten tips for visiting the park this Fourth of July

By: - June 30, 2021 3:17 pm

Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River (Diane Renkin/National Park Service, used by permission).

Leave the fireworks at home.
That’s one of the top things to know to recreate responsibly and safely in Yellowstone National Park this Fourth of July, the park said Wednesday in a news release:
  1. Most park camping and lodging is reserved and full. No camping or overnight vehicle parking is allowed in pullouts, parking areas, picnic grounds or any place other than a designated campground. If you don’t have a reservation, the nearest campsite or hotel room may be hours away.
  2. Fire danger:
    • Leave fireworks at home. Fireworks are not allowed in Yellowstone. The park is very dry, and just a spark could ignite a wildfire.
    • Campfires must always be attended and cold to the touch before abandoning. Soak, stir, feel, repeat.
  1. Expect crowds, traffic and delays. Millions of people visit Yellowstone in summer. Traffic and wildlife along and on roads, and road construction often make drive times longer than expected. Parking areas and popular destinations will be congested.
  2. 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.
  3. Plan ahead:
    • No reservations are required to enter the park.
    • To reduce wait times at busy entrance stations, buy your pass online ahead of time.
    • Check current conditions.
    • Learn the operating hours for services.
  1. Wildlife are dangerous. People have been injured or killed by bears, bison and elk. Always maintain a minimum of 25 yards (23 m) from all wildlife and 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. Watch wildlife safely and travel safely in bear country.
  2. Stay on boardwalks. People have been severely injured or killed by breaking through the thin ground in thermal basins or falling into hot springs.
  3. Protect yourself and others. Consistent with CDC recommendations on COVID-19, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  4. Enhance your experience. Download the free NPS Yellowstone or National Park Service app (and offline content) before you arrive.
  5. Connectivity is limited. Don’t be surprised if you can’t receive calls or texts, even in the few areas you might have cell reception.
Last but certainly not least, take the Yellowstone Pledge! Protect the park and protect yourself. If you see someone, in person or online, whose behavior might hurt them, others or the park, tell a ranger. If you’re in the park, dial 911.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and onFacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. 

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