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The 21 Essentials You Need for a Trip to Yellowstone in 2021

With its majestic geysers, technicolor thermal springs, bison-filled forests and fields, craggy canyons, and roaring waterfalls, Yellowstone National Park is undoubtedly one of the crown jewels of America’s national parks. Stretching nearly 3,500 square miles across northwest Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, Yellowstone attracts millions of visitors seeking to revel in the beauty of its most spectacular landscapes.

Indeed, it’s an absolute bucket list-worthy destination for adventure-minded individuals who want to visit beautiful national parks this year. If the idea of visiting its picturesque landscapes in 2021 gets you excited, here’s a list of the essentials you need to stay safe and comfortable so you can enjoy everything the park has to offer.

When’s the Best Time to Go?

Yellowstone is most popular during the summer, which means that, if you want to experience the park during fair weather but with fewer crowds, you should aim to visit during the shoulder season months of April to May and September to October. Visiting outside of the peak season has many benefits besides reduced crowds: In spring, the foliage starts blooming and the bison are in calving season, and in autumn, you get to see spectacular fall colors.

The park is still open during the winter, but many of the roads, lodges, and other park infrastructure and amenities are closed, so access is significantly limited. It’s still possible to get around by snowmobile, snow coach, snowshoeing, or skiing, but unless you’re an experienced outdoorsman, it’s recommended that you explore Yellowstone in winter with a guide or as part of a tour. If you are planning to visit Yellowstone during the winter months, you’ll need to plan and pack accordingly for frigid temperatures, heavy snowfall, and other difficult weather conditions.

What to Pack

Whether you’re planning on visiting Yellowstone in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, there’s a whole host of items you’ll need to take along with you to ensure comfort and safety.

Explore more information on essentials needed for a trip to Yellowstone written by Zoe Baillargeon.

LAST UPDATED

October 20, 2023

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