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Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone is just waiting for your exploration. However, before you embark on your journey to Yellowstone, there is a pivotal decision to be made: which Yellowstone entrance is the best gateway for your adventure?

With a grand total of 5 entrances to Yellowstone to choose from, each offering its unique set of advantages and considerations, the task of selection might seem a tad overwhelming.

Here, we present your comprehensive guide to Yellowstone’s 5 entrances, complete with insights on the optimal routes to reach each entrance, the nearest attractions to explore, and the best lodging options.

Yellowstone National Park At-A-Glance

Before diving in, here are a few Yellowstone National Park highlights to help you plan your trip:

  • When Is the Best Time to Visit Yellowstone National Park

The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April and May) and fall (September and October). The weather is relatively mild and the crowds are thinner. Wildlife is also active during these times, making it an ideal opportunity for viewing animals. However, if you’re looking to experience the park’s full range of activities and amenities, the summer months offer the most options despite larger crowds. On the other hand, winter provides a unique chance for a serene and snowy adventure.

  • Where to Stay When Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Accommodation options include lodges and cabins inside the park like the Old Faithful Inn, camping at various campgrounds, and lodging in gateway towns such as West Yellowstone, Gardiner, Cooke, and Cody. Advance reservations are essential for in-park lodges and popular campgrounds due to high demand: Where to Stay When Visiting Yellowstone (20 Best Lodging Options Inside and Near Yellowstone).

  • How to Get Around in Yellowstone National Park

Unlike many other national parks, Yellowstone does not offer a public shuttle system. There is an automated shuttle pilot program in Canyon Village that launched in 2021, and there could be more to come in the future. But for now, having your own personal vehicle is the only way to get around the park.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Vist Yellowstone National Park

In order to visit Yellowstone National Park, you need to purchase a recreational day-use pass, which costs $35 per vehicle and is good for 7 consecutive days. You can purchase the pass right at the entrance to the park. If you are visiting several national parks then make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

  • Check Yellowstone National Park Website for Trail Closures and Road Construction

It is important that you check Yellowstone National Park’s Website for any trail or road closures prior to going to the park. You can check for updates HERE.

5 Gateways to Yellowstone National Park

There are 5 distinct entrances to Yellowstone, each offering a unique portal to the park’s treasures:

1. West Entrance: The West Entrance, situated in West Yellowstone, Montana, is in close proximity to the famous Old Faithful and the vibrant Grand Prismatic Spring. This entrance is typically open from late spring to fall.

2. North Entrance: The North Entrance awaits in Gardiner, Montana, welcoming visitors year-round. From here, you can venture to iconic destinations like Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar Valley, renowned for its wildlife sightings.

North Entrance to Yellowstone

Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance to the Park / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which One is the Best Gateway to the Park

3. Northeast Entrance: Situated in Cooke City, Montana, the Northeast Entrance opens up the stunning Beartooth Highway and the Absaroka Mountains. It is a seasonal entrance, typically accessible from late spring to fall.

4. East Entrance: Cody, Wyoming, is home to the East Entrance. From here, you can access the breathtaking Sylvan Pass and gaze upon the vast expanse of Yellowstone Lake. However, keep in mind that this entrance is seasonally open, with winter road closures.

5. South Entrance: Located near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the South Entrance grants access to the renowned Yellowstone Lake and the mesmerizing Upper Geyser Basin. It’s generally open from late spring to fall.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Yellowstone Gateway

When it comes to planning your Yellowstone adventure, the choice of entrance holds significant importance, influencing your overall experience.

Here are key factors to consider:

  • Proximity to Your Starting Point: When deciding on your Yellowstone entrance, the first factor to consider is how close it is to your current location. The distance between your starting point and each entrance can significantly impact your travel time and convenience.
  • Seasonal Variations: Yellowstone’s seasons play a crucial role in determining entrance accessibility and the overall experience. Some entrances are closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall, while others remain open year-round.
  • Attractions and Interests: Identify the specific attractions and activities that align with your interests within the park.
Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone

Morning Glory Pool in Upper Geyser Basin / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which One is the Best Gateway to the Park

  • Crowds: Some entrances are more popular and tend to be way more busier than others, especially during peak tourist seasons. Think about your preference for a tranquil, serene environment versus a livelier, bustling atmosphere.
Bison in Yellowstone

Bison in Yellowstone National Park / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which One is the Best Gateway to the Park

  • Lodging and Amenities: Evaluate the lodging options available near each entrance. Additionally, consider the availability of amenities, such as dining options, visitor centers, and refueling stations.
  • Scenic Routes and Drives: For those who appreciate scenic drives and picturesque routes, investigate the roadways leading to and from each entrance. Here are two posts worth checking out:

23 Best Stops on Yellowstone Lower Loop Drive (Maps+Useful Tips)

16 Best Stops on Yellowstone Grand Loop Drive (Maps+Useful Tips)

Yellowstone Golden Gate Viaduct

Yellowstone Golden Gate Viaduct / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which One is the Best Gateway to the Park


West Entrance

The West Entrance is situated right next to the charming town of West Yellowstone, Montana, serving as a primary access point to Yellowstone National Park.

This entrance offers proximity to some of the park’s most famous features, making it a popular choice for travelers.

How to Get to Yellowstone's West Entrance

  • If You Are Driving: The West Entrance is easily accessible by car. If you are coming from the west, you can reach it via U.S. Route 20. If you are arriving from the north or south, the entrance is accessible from U.S. Route 191.
  • If You Are Flying: The closest airports to the West Entrance are the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (approximately 90 miles away) and the Idaho Falls Regional Airport (approximately 110 miles away). Both airports offer rental car services for convenient transportation to West Yellowstone.

INTTEPID’S PRO TIP: I typically choose West Yellowstone Airport as my arrival point. This small regional airport is conveniently situated a mere 2 miles from West Yellowstone town. While it offers limited commercial service, it serves as a practical option for those seeking direct access to West Yellowstone. Rental cars are available through Avis.

Where to Stay Near the West Entrance

The town of West Yellowstone is the primary hub near the West Entrance. It offers a range of various lodging options, including hotels, lodges, and cabins. There are plenty of dining options to choose from as well.

Here are my top 2 go to places to stay whenever I am visiting Yellowstone:

Explorer Cabins – These cabins are nestled just a stone’s throw from the park. The beds are comfortable, and the roomy bathroom is a nice touch to a wilderness retreat. Having the kitchenette is a game-changer, giving you the freedom to whip up your favorite meals whenever you please.

Explorer Cabins in West Yellowstone

Explorer Cabins Near Yellowstone’s West Entrance

1872 Inn – If you are seeking a luxurious, adults-only getaway near Yellowstone’s West Entrance, let me share a personal favorite: 1872 Inn. Each room offers free WiFi, a cozy gas fireplace, a flat-screen TV, a coffee machine, and complimentary toiletries.

Top Attractions Near the West Entrance

  • Old Faithful: A mere 55-minute drive from West Yellowstone will have you marveling at the world-famous Old Faithful geyser, which erupts with remarkable regularity.
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: Located just 40 minutes away, this mesmerizing spring showcases Yellowstone’s vivid geothermal wonders. The Grand Prismatic Spring is renowned for its stunning colors, with vibrant shades of blue, green, and orange caused by heat-loving microorganisms.
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone

Grand Prismatic Spring 

  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: Within 1 hour and 10 minutes, you can explore the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, complete with its thundering waterfalls. Two of its most famous waterfalls, Lower Falls and Upper Falls, offer breathtaking vistas from multiple viewpoints.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: In just 1 hour and 25 minutes, you can reach the terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs. These unique terraces are formed by the flow of hot water laden with minerals, creating intricate and otherworldly formations.
Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs  

  • Norris Geyser Basin: A 45-minute drive from West Yellowstone will take you to the dynamic Norris Geyser Basin, one of Yellowstone’s hottest and most active thermal areas. The basin’s centerpiece, Steamboat Geyser, is the world’s tallest active geyser and erupts sporadically, providing a rare and impressive sight.
  • Lamar Valley: In approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, you can find yourself in the picturesque Lamar Valley, often referred to as the “Serengeti of North America.” This valley is a prime location for wildlife viewing, with opportunities to spot bison herds, elk, wolves, and grizzly bears.

The Pros and Cons of Staying Near the West Entrance

Pros of Staying Near the West Entrance to Yellowstone: 

  • Convenient access to iconic attractions: The West Yellowstone Entrance provides easy and relatively quick access to some of Yellowstone’s most renowned attractions. Within a short drive, you can witness the regular eruptions of Old Faithful and explore the vivid colors of Grand Prismatic Spring.
  • Abundant lodging, dining, and shopping options in West Yellowstone: The town of West Yellowstone, located near the entrance, offers a wide range of accommodations, from hotels to lodges and cabins. You will also find a diverse selection of dining establishments serving various cuisines, as well as shops for souvenirs and outdoor gear.
  • Proximity to West Yellowstone Airport for regional flights: For those seeking direct regional flights, West Yellowstone Airport is incredibly close to the West Entrance, just 2 miles away.

Cons of Staying Near the West Entrance to Yellowstone: 

  • Can get crowded during peak tourist seasons: Due to its popularity and easy accessibility, the West Yellowstone Entrance can become quite crowded during the peak summer months.
  • Limited commercial flights into West Yellowstone Airport: While West Yellowstone Airport offers convenience, it has limited commercial flight options.
  • Weather-related road closures may affect accessibility, especially in winter: The region surrounding the West Entrance experiences harsh winters with heavy snowfall. As a result, certain roads and entrances may be closed during the winter months.


North Entrance

The North Entrance will welcome you near the town of Gardiner, Montana, marking the gateway to Yellowstone National Park’s northern reaches.

This entrance provides access to some of the park’s iconic attractions!

How to Get to Yellowstone's North Entrance

  • If You Are Driving: You can reach the North Entrance via U.S. Route 89, which connects Gardiner to other major roads. It’s a convenient route for travelers arriving from the north or south.
  • If You Are Flying: The nearest major airport to the North Entrance is Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, located approximately 85 miles away. From there, you can rent a car for the scenic drive to Gardiner.

Where to Stay Near the North Entrance

Gardiner, Montana, is the primary town near the North Entrance. It offers services, accommodations, and a welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal base for exploring the northern sections of Yellowstone.

Here are a couple of places that I found just right:

If you’re seeking a warm and welcoming bed and breakfast experience, Yellowstone Gateway Inn is a fantastic choice. Wake up to the delightful aroma of a hearty Montana breakfast before setting out for a day of exploration.

Absaroka Lodge offers cozy rooms with a touch of modern comfort, and some even have kitchenettes for added convenience. What sets it apart is its scenic riverside location. Imagine relaxing by the Yellowstone River, soaking in the tranquility of the surroundings!

Top Attractions Near the North Entrance

  • Mammoth Hot Springs: Located about 5 miles from the North Entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs is a surreal geothermal wonder with terraces of colorful travertine formations.
  • Lamar Valley: Lamar Valley located immediately upon entering the park from the North Entrance is often referred to as the “Serengeti of North America” due to its incredible wildlife diversity.
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: Located approximately 20 miles from the entrance is a geological wonder carved by the Yellowstone River. It is known for its stunning yellow, orange, and red-hued canyon walls, as well as its two iconic waterfalls, Upper Falls and Lower Falls.
Short and Easy Hikes in Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone /  Entrances to Yellowstone; Which One Is the Best Gateway to the Park

The Pros and Cons of Staying Near the North Entrance

Pros of Staying Near the North Entrance:

  • Close Proximity to Iconic Attractions: The North Entrance offers excellent access to Yellowstone’s iconic attractions, including Mammoth Hot Springs and Lamar Valley.
  • Access to Wildlife Viewing Opportunities: Lamar Valley, accessible from the North Entrance, ia prime location for wildlife viewing, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
  • Welcoming Town of Gardiner: The town of Gardiner, located at the North Entrance, offers a range of lodging and dining options. It is a charming gateway to the park with amenities for visitors, including restaurants, shops, and accommodations.
  • Convenient Driving Access from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport: Travelers arriving at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport will find the North Entrance conveniently accessible. This airport provides regional and national flight options for those planning to explore Yellowstone.
Brink of the Lower Falls

Brink of the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone 

Cons of Staying Near the North Entrance:

  • Peak Tourist Seasons Can Be Busy: Like many park entrances, the North Entrance can experience high visitor numbers during peak tourist seasons, particularly in the summer.
  • Potential Winter Road Closures Due to Snow: The North Entrance is subject to winter weather conditions, which may lead to road closures and limited accessibility during the winter months.
  • Slightly Longer Drive to Southern Sections: If your itinerary includes exploring the southern sections of the park, be prepared for a slightly longer drive from the North Entrance.


Northeast Entrance

The Northeast Entrance welcomes travelers coming from the town of Cooke City, Montana.

The Northeast Entrance provides access to the picturesque and less-visited eastern regions of Yellowstone National Park.

How to Get to Yellowstone's Northeast Entrance

  • If You Are Driving: The Northeast Entrance is reachable via the Beartooth Highway (U.S. Route 212), a renowned scenic byway that winds through stunning mountain landscapes. This route offers breathtaking views and a unique journey to the park.
  • If You Are Flying: While there are no major airports near the Northeast Entrance, the nearest significant airport is Billings Logan International Airport, located approximately 140 miles away. From Billings, you can embark on a scenic drive to Cooke City.

Where to Stay Near the Northeast Entrance

The town of Cooke City offers a range of accommodations, including motels, cabins, and lodges. Many lodging options provide a rustic and cozy atmosphere near the entrance.

Alpine Motel in Cooke City is probably your best choice. It is conveniently located near Yellowstone’s northeastern entrance, providing easy access to Lamar Valley and the park’s wildlife. It offers a range of room types, including standard rooms and suites, catering to various group sizes and preferences.

Top Attractions Near the Northeast Entrance

  • Beartooth Highway: This renowned scenic route offers breathtaking views as it winds through the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. It’s a highlight in itself and provides access to various hiking trails and viewpoints.
Beartooth Highway

View from Beartooth Highway / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which Entrance Should you Choose

  • Soda Butte: A distinctive thermal feature near the Northeast Entrance, known for its bubbling springs and colorful mineral deposits.
  • Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River: This river offers opportunities for fishing, rafting, and scenic drives along its banks.
  • Pilot and Index Peaks: These peaks provide hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities, with the chance to spot bighorn sheep and other mountain fauna.
Fly fishing in Yellowstone

Flyfishing in Yellowstone / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which Entrance Should You Choose

The Pros and Cons of Staying Near the Northeast Entrance

Pros of Staying Near the Northeast Entrance:

  • Access to the Scenic Beartooth Highway and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness: The Northeast Entrance is the gateway to the Beartooth Highway, one of the most scenic drives in the United States. This highway takes you through the rugged Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, offering jaw-dropping mountain vistas, alpine lakes, and pristine wilderness.
  • Quieter and Less Crowded: Compared to some of the park’s more popular entrances, the Northeast Entrance tends to be quieter and less crowded, providing a more tranquil experience.
  • Unique Thermal Features like Soda Butte: The Northeast Entrance area features unique thermal features, including the captivating Soda Butte. This cone-shaped hot spring cone is known for its striking colors and intriguing geothermal activity.

Cons of the Northeast Entrance:

  • Limited Commercial Airport Options, Longer Drive from Billings: Travelers flying to the Yellowstone region may find limited commercial airport options near the Northeast Entrance. Billings, Montana, is the closest major airport, but it requires a longer drive to reach the entrance.
  • Seasonal Access Due to Beartooth Highway Closures in Winter: Beartooth Highway, while stunning, is subject to seasonal closures in winter due to heavy snowfall and challenging road conditions.
  • More Remote Compared to Some Other Entrances: The Northeast Entrance is relatively remote compared to some other entrances, requiring more extensive travel to reach various park attractions in other sections of Yellowstone.


East Entrance

The East Entrance is situated near Cody, Wyoming, offering access to the scenic eastern sections of Yellowstone National Park, including Yellowstone Lake and the Absaroka Mountains.

How to Get to Yellowstone's East Entrance

  • If You Are Driving: The East Entrance is accessible via the Cody-Yellowstone Scenic Byway (U.S. Route 14/16/20). This picturesque route takes you through the Shoshone National Forest and provides a beautiful drive to the park.
  • Flying: The closest airport to the East Entrance is Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, Wyoming, located approximately 55 miles away. This airport offers commercial service, making it a convenient option for travelers.

Where to Stay Near the East Entrance

The town of Cody offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, motels, and lodges, allowing you to enjoy the town’s attractions while having easy access to the park.

Here are a couple of places that you will find just right for your stay:

Nestled in the heart of Cody, Wyoming, Cody Hotel is a modern gem that I recommend for a comfortable and convenient stay. During my visit, I was impressed by the contemporary design and cozy ambiance of the hotel.

If you are yearning for an authentic Western experience during your visit to Cody, Wyoming, I cannot recommend Cody Cowboy Village enough. This charming retreat offers cozy log cabins that truly capture the spirit of the Old West.

Top Attractions Near the East Entrance

  • Sylvan Pass and Sylvan Lake: Sylvan Pass is a mountainous area known for its spectacular scenery. The area is great for hiking, picnicking, and taking in the stunning views.
  • Lake Butte Overlook: Lake Butte Overlook provides breathtaking panoramic views of Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-altitude lake in North America.
  • Hayden Valley: Hayden Valley is a prime location for wildlife watching. It’s often frequented by bison, elk, grizzly bears, and other wildlife. The vast grassy plains and meandering Yellowstone River create an ideal habitat for observing these magnificent animals in their natural environment.
Hayden Valley in Yelloestone

Hayden Valley / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which Entrance Should You Choose

  • Fishing Bridge Visitor Center: The Fishing Bridge Visitor Center offers informative exhibits and educational programs about Yellowstone’s diverse ecosystems and the park’s natural history.
  • Mary Bay and Yellowstone Lake: Mary Bay, on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, offers a peaceful setting for relaxation and wildlife viewing.
Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which Entrance Should You Choose

The Pros and Cons of Staying Near the East Entrance

Pros of the East Entrance:

  • Access to the Beautiful Yellowstone Lake and its Recreational Opportunities: The East Entrance provides convenient access to the stunning Yellowstone Lake. You can enjoy a range of recreational activities here, including boating, fishing, and lakeside picnics.
  • Convenient Access from Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody: If you are arriving at Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, Wyoming, you will find the East Entrance conveniently accessible.
  • Proximity to the Historic Town of Cody with its Museums and Western Culture: The East Entrance is close to the town of Cody, renowned for its rich Western culture and history. Cody offers attractions like the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which houses several museums, and the Cody Nite Rodeo.
  • Less Crowded Compared to Some Other Entrances, Providing a Quieter Park Experience: One of the advantages of the East Entrance is its relatively lower visitor traffic, especially when compared to some of the park’s more popular entrances.

Cons of the East Entrance:

  • Potential Seasonal Road Closures Due to High-Elevation Mountain Passes: The East Entrance, particularly the Sylvan Pass area, is subject to seasonal road closures in winter due to heavy snowfall and challenging road conditions.
  • Longer Drive to Reach the Central and Western Sections of the Park: If your itinerary includes exploring the central and western sections of Yellowstone, be prepared for a longer drive from the East Entrance.
  • Limited Dining and Lodging Options Within the Park Itself Near the East Entrance: While Cody offers dining and lodging options, the immediate area near the East Entrance within the park has fewer dining and accommodation choices compared to some other entrances.


South Entrance

The South Entrance is located in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park, close to the border of Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

If you are visiting both parks, then the South Entrance will be your perfect gateway to Yellowstone National Park.

How to Get to Yellowstone's South Entrance

  • If You Are Driving: The South Entrance is easily accessible by car via the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, which connects it to Grand Teton National Park to the south. It is a convenient route for those arriving from the Jackson Hole area in Wyoming.
  • If You Are Flying: The nearest major airport to the South Entrance is Jackson Hole Airport in Jackson, Wyoming, located approximately 58 miles away. This airport offers commercial service and rental car options.

Where to Stay Near the South Entrance

Here are my top 3 places that I stayed at located close to the South Entrance.

PRO TIP: Just keep in mind that you need to make reservations way in advance to secure your lodging (about 1 year in advance)!

Headwaters Cabins are located within Grand Teton National Park, 2.4 miles near the South Entrance of Yellowstone making it an ideal base for exploring both parks. Headwater Cabins are comfortable and cozy. Each room has a private bath, coffee maker, and front porch with rocking chairs. Deluxe and Premium cabins also include a mini-refrigerator and microwave.

Colter Bay Cabins are situated in Grand Teton National Park, about 18 miles from the South Entrance of Yellowstone making it a convenient option for exploring both national parks. Colter Bay Cabins are basic yet comfortable. Cabins do not include televisions, microwaves, or mini-fridges.

Colter Bay in Grand Teton

Colter Bay in Grand Teton / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which Entrance Should You Choose

Jackson Lake Lodge is also located within Grand Teton National Park, approximately 23 miles from the South Entrance of Yellowstone offering convenient access to both national parks. The Lodge features 385 rooms including stunning suites, main lodge hotel rooms, and quiet cottages.

Top Attractions Near the South Entrance

  • West Thumb Geyser Basin: Located along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, approximately 17 miles from the South Entrance features colorful hot springs, geysers, and geothermal pools.
  • Yellowstone Lake: The largest high-altitude lake in North America, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and lakeside relaxation.
  • Upper Geyser Basin: The Upper Geyser Basin is located approximately 28 miles from the South Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It is often considered the crown jewel of Yellowstone’s geothermal wonders.
Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

Upper Geyser Basin / Entrances to Yellowstone: Which Entrance Should You Choose

Old Faithful, the most famous geyser in the world, is the star attraction of the Upper Geyser Basin. The eruptions shoot scalding water high into the air, providing a spectacular natural display.

Another notable geyser in the basin, Castle Geyser, is known for its impressive cone structure and periodic eruptions. While not as predictable as Old Faithful, its eruptions are a sight to behold.

Grand Geyser is the tallest predictable geyser in the world and can erupt up to 200 feet in the air. Visitors who time their visit right can witness its spectacular eruptions.

Riverside Geyser is known for its picturesque location along the Firehole River. It erupts in a graceful arch, creating a stunning natural scene.

The Morning Glory Pool is a short hike away. It is famous for its vibrant blue colors and unique appearance.

  • Grand Teton National Park: Just south of Yellowstone, this park offers stunning mountain scenery, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton (Jackson Lake with Mount Moran in the Distance) 

The Pros and Cons of Staying Near the South Entrance

The Pros of Staying Near the South Entrance:

  • Access to Iconic Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb Geyser Basin: Staying near the South Entrance provides convenient access to Yellowstone Lake. Nearby is the West Thumb Geyser Basin, known for its colorful hot springs and geothermal features.
  • Convenient Access from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming: If you are flying into Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming will find it conveniently located for accessing the South Entrance of Yellowstone.
  • Nearby Access to Grand Teton National Park for Additional Exploration: Staying near the South Entrance allows easy access to Grand Teton National Park, located just to the south of Yellowstone. Grand Teton offers stunning mountain vistas, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife, making it an ideal complement to your Yellowstone adventure.

The Cons of Staying Near the South Entrance:

  • Can Be Busy During Peak Tourist Seasons: Like many popular park entrances, the South Entrance can become crowded during the peak tourist seasons, particularly in the summer months. This can lead to congestion at popular attractions, limited parking availability, and longer wait times.
  • Longer Drive to Reach the Central and Northern Sections of the Park: Staying near the South Entrance means a longer drive to reach the central and northern sections of Yellowstone, including attractions like Mammoth Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Lamar Valley.
  • Potential Road Closures Due to Weather, Especially in the Winter Months: The region around the South Entrance can experience heavy snowfall and harsh winter conditions, leading to road closures and limited accessibility, especially in the winter months.

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Choosing One of the Best Entrances to Yellowstone

When it comes to handpicking your Yellowstone gateway, let’s keep it simple. Think about what sparks your wanderlust:

  • West Entrance: If the call of Old Faithful and the rainbow hues of Grand Prismatic Spring are music to your ears, the West Entrance is your backstage pass. With plenty of lodging and the convenience of West Yellowstone Airport, it is your front-row ticket to geothermal wonders.
  • South Entrance (Ideal for Visiting Both Parks): For those enchanted by Yellowstone Lake’s tranquility and the geothermal wonders of West Thumb Geyser Basin, the South Entrance beckons. Plus, it is a stone’s throw from Jackson, Wyoming, with all its vibrant charm. Just be prepared for peak-season popularity.
  • East Entrance (Hello, Beartooth Highway): If jaw-dropping mountain scenery and the thrill of the Beartooth Highway are your jam, the East Entrance is the way to go. It is your gateway to epic drives and Yellowstone Lake views that will steal your breath.

Whether it is geysers, lakes, mountain majesty, or exploring both parks seamlessly, Yellowstone has it all – and it is waiting for you.

Read All Wyoming Posts in:

Wyoming Travel Guide 


Read All the Posts About the United States in: 

United States Travel Guide

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