Red Lodge Montana & Yellowstone National Park Vacations

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Yellowstone National Park

Just one hour south of Red Lodge lies one of the Nation’s most majestic parks. Yellowstone National Park is a wonderland of geysers, hot springs, waterfalls, mud-pots, mountains, and wildlife.

  • Yellowstone National Park became America's first National Park in 1872
  • Wildlife in the the park include grizzlies, bison, wolves, and elk
  • Amazing geothermal features include Old Faithful Geyser and Grand Prismatic Springs
  • Other unique natural features include the Lower Falls, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Yellowstone Lake
  • Park fees include $30 for a private vehicle or $15 for walking/biking visitors 
  • YNP is located 70 miles south of Red Lodge on Highway 212
  • Always contact a Ranger for weather and road conditions

Overview

Yellowstone National Park became the United States’ first National Park in 1872. It’s expansive 2 million acres span 3 states, including Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, creating the perfect outdoor recreation destination for people of all ages and abilities. YNP is home to a diverse assortment of wildlife including wolves, grizzly and black bears, bison, elk, and big horn sheep, as well as a variety of native trout. It is also known for it’s unsurpassed geothermal activity, as evident by the famous Old Faithful Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring. Other natural attractions include Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Yellowstone Lake.

Location

The majority of Yellowstone National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming. YNP headquarters are located in Mammoth, Wyoming.

Directions

From Red Lodge, Yellowstone Park is located about 70 miles south. Follow the Beartooth Scenic Highway via US Highway 212 to the Northeast Entrance. Note that to access the park in the winter, you must enter through the North Entrance.

Seasons

YNP is open year-round, however driving conditions make it less accessible during the winter months. Accessibility usually declines between November and March due to snowfall. During these months, internal park roads are open only to over-snow transportation. The road between the North (Mammoth) and Northeast Entrance stays open year-round (but the road east of the Northeast Entrance is only open to over-snow vehicles).

Fees

To enter the park, visitors in non-commercial, private vehicles are required to pay $30. On bike or foot, the fee is only $15. Both passes last 7 days and can be used for entrance into Yellowstone. A pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton costs $50.

An annual park pass is $60. This pass is for use by it's cardholder and accompanying passagengers in one private vehicle. Several types of interagency passes can also be purchased.

Activities

Viewing Unique Natural Features
As home to the world’s largest calderas, YNP is known for it’s spectacular geothermal activity. There are over 10,000 geothermal features within the park boundaries, including geysers, mud-pots, and hot springs. Some of the most famous geothermal features in YNP include Old Faithful Geyser, Morning Glory Pool, and Grand Prismatic Spring. The park also encompasses other majestic natural features. The Petrified Forest, Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Lamar Valley of Yellowstone Park are some of the most amazing sights to be seen in North America.

Wildlife Viewing and Photography
Yellowstone is home to some of the most amazing wildlife in North America. Here visitors can view and photograph grizzlies, wolves, moose, coyotes, elk, eagles, black bears, and bison. The Lamar and Haden Valleys are the most productive areas to observe wildlife.

Learning About YNP
There are several opportunities to learn more about Yellowstone. There are 9 visitor centers in the Park, each offering unique exhibits and educational videos. Most of these visitor centers also offer souvenir shops and restaurants. The Canyon Visitor Education Center has exhibits on Yellowstone’s supervolcano, and the Albright Visitor Center of Mammoth displays information on the Parks history and wildlife.

Hiking
There are over 1,100 miles of trails in Yellowstone Park. Be prepared when taking longer hikes by dressing appropriately for unpredictable weather and watching for dangerous wildlife. The park offers several opportunities for day hikes. Those with in the Northeast Entrance area include the Lost Lake Loop, Specimen Ridge Trail and Hellroaring Trail. Other trails can be found on the YNP website listed below.

Camping
Yellowstone Park has approximately 12 campgrounds within the park boundaries. Pebble Creek, located on the Northeast Entrance Road is closest to Red Lodge. Other campgrounds in the park include Mammoth, Norris, Slough Creek, Tower Falls, Bridge Bay and Lewis Lake. Many of the campsites in the park require campers, due to the large concentration of wildlife in the area. Several of these campsites can be reserved on a first come first serve basis. Reservations: 307-344-7901 (same day) and 307-344-7311 (future)

Fishing and Boating
Some of the most amazing native trout fishing is found in Yellowstone National Park. Here, the season is open from late May to early November. Whether fishing by boat or bank, special permits and regulations apply for the area, and visitors are expected to adhere to all rules and requirements set forth by National Park Services.

Snowmobiling
Cooke City, located just minutes from the Northeaster Entrance of YNP, is a famous hub for snowmobiling in YNP. There are nearly 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails for the expert and beginner sledders, alike. The deep snow and amazing scenery create an amazing snowmobiling experience. Entrance fees are $20 per snowmobile for a day.

Snowcoach Tours
Snowcoach tours give visitors the opportunity to view YNP during the winter from the comfort of a warm vehicle. These shuttles are equipped with tracts and knowledgeable drivers, giving riders a whole new YNP experience. Snowcoach tours travel through Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, and Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Ride cost between $100 and $250 per person.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
During the snowy months, winter recreationalists may enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing the numerous groomed trails of YNP. Nearest to the Northeast Entrance, visitors can ski and snowshoe the Bannack, Tower Falls, and Black Plateau Trails. Other trails can be found on the YNP website listed below.

Contact

For weather and road conditions, as well as information on permits and regulations, contact YNP Headquarters or visit a Visitor Center.

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