On the morning of May 13th 2020, it was officially announced that Yellowstone National Park would be opening for the 2020 season with a few precautions. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know before you hit the road to enjoy this incredible place.
1. Stay in Wyoming
Yellowstone has chosen to open only the southern gate that connects to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming (near Jackson Hole) and the western gate that is in Cody, Wyoming. As a result, visitors will only have access to the lower loop – which includes Old Faithful! The loop is open for day-use only, so no camping until mid-June.
2. Map Out the Lower Loop
So what is in the lower loop anyway? If this is your first time to Yellowstone or you never really paid attention to what is where in Yellowstone (guilty), here are some highlights in the lower loop: Old Faithful, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and the Sulphur Caldron.
3. Grab Your Pass Ahead of Time
If you have planned out your trip a bit ahead of time, at least 2 weeks, you should consider purchasing your National Park Pass online. The Annual National Park pass gains you access to all of America’s National Parks for the next 12 months! The pass cost just $80 + shipping. A pass to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park will cost $70 per week for both parks. Separately they cost $35 per park per week.
4. Pack a Lunch
All of the concessions and food providers of Yellowstone will be closed until June 15th with the exception of gas stations. We suggest packing your favorite snacks and lunch for your sightseeing day. Haydens Post is offering to-go boxes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting May 21. Just call be ahead!
5. Continue to Be “Bear Aware”
While the park may seem quieter than it other years that doesn’t mean you should be diligent with your surroundings. Yellowstone is full of wild animals who react with their instincts when they feel threatened. Do not leave food unattended in the open, pack or rent your bear spray, and never approach wildlife- they are faster than you think.
6. Take It All In
There’s a reason Yellowstone is one of the world’s most famous and sought after national parks with its unique thermal features and breathtaking landscape. Take it in. Stop on the road just to gaze out at the open and untouched. Your trip may not last forever, but the memories will.