Follow these top things to know to recreate responsibly and safely in Yellowstone National Park this Fourth of July.
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 to and cold to the touch before abandoning. Soak, stir, feel, repeat.
3. 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.
4. 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 on the road. When pulling over, be sure to park with all four tires fully to the right of the white line.
5. Plan ahead:
6. Wildlife is 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.
7. Stay on boardwalks. People have been severely injured or killed by breaking through the thin ground in thermal basins or falling into hot springs.
8. 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.
9. Enhance your experience. Download the free NPS Yellowstone or National Park Service app (and offline content) before you arrive.
10. 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!
- Related: VIDEO: Hundreds Turned Out for Annual Tradition of Skiing Fourth of July Bowl, Breckenridge, CO on 4th July