How Much is the Yellowstone Entrance Fee? 6 Common Pass Options | Big Horn Basin Media

How Much is the Yellowstone Entrance Fee? 6 Common Pass Options

Written by on March 10, 2023

Use the Yellowstone Entrance Fee to Plan Your Trip

Like it or not, most successful trips start with some budgeting. That’s why people looking to visit Yellowstone National Park this year need to know how much the Yellowstone entrance fee is and whether they need to buy passes ahead of time.

To access certain areas of some national parks, like Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, you need to make a vehicle reservation ahead of time, and only so many reservations are available each day. Because this can complicate your travel plans, it’s wise to plan ahead when visiting any national park.

Planning a trip to Yellowstone? Don’t miss out on the city named for Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Here’s our list of the top 5 reasons to stay in Cody, Wyoming, when visiting Yellowstone National Park.

Fortunately, getting into Yellowstone is fairly simple, and the fee structure is straightforward. You can even buy digital Yellowstone passes online — this will save you some time and hassle when you arrive at the park entrance.

If you want to buy a digital park pass online before visiting Yellowstone, you can find the easy-to-use the site at this link.

Which Yellowstone Entrance Fee is Right for Me?

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of passes offered by the National Park Service. Use this information to decide which pass is the best option for you.

  • Single Private Vehicle: $35
    • This is the best option for the vast majority of visitors. The $35 Yellowstone entrance fee allows unlimited entries to the park for your vehicle and all passengers for seven consecutive days. Applies to non-commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of 15 people or less.
  • Private Buses or Vans: $20
    • This is for non-commercial groups of at least 16 people traveling together in a single vehicle. Allows unlimited entries for the vehicle and all passengers for seven consecutive days.
  • Single Motorcycle or Snowmobile: $30
    • This permit allows unlimited entry for the vehicle and single passenger for seven consecutive days.
  • Individual Person: $20
    • If you’re on foot, riding a bicycle, or skiing, this is for you. But keep in mind that visitors less than 16 years old are allowed to enter for free.

If you plan on making more than one trip to Yellowstone within a year, or visiting for more than a week, there are other pass options that would probably be a better fit.

  • Yellowstone Annual Pass: $70
    • Allows unlimited entry to Yellowstone for up to a year for the pass holder and passengers in the same vehicle. Or, in situtaions where per-person fees would normally be assessed, the annual pass covers the pass holder and up to three other people.
  • America the Beautiful Annual Pass: $80
    • If you’re visiting more than one federal fee area in the next year, such as national parks or national wildlife refuges, this is a cost-effective option.
      • Seniors age 62 and over can get this pass for just $20. Applies to US citizens and permanent residents.
      • Seniors at least 62 years of age can also get a lifetime America the Beautiful pass for $80.
      • Current US servicemembers and their dependents, as well as people who’ve volunteered with certain federal agencies for at least 250 hours, can get this pass for free.

Remember, entrance passes are non-refundable and non-transferable. Proper entry is defined on the back of each pass.

And be sure to take advantage of 2023’s five free entrance days to all National Park Service sites. These days are:

  • January 16: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 22: First day of National Park Week
  • August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 23: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

However, as far as the Yellowstone entrance fee is concerned, the August 4 date is really the only relevant day for free entry, since the park is either closed or most facilities shut down on the four other dates.

To see a complete list of operating hours and seasons for Yellowstone National Park facilities, check out this detailed page on the NPS website.

No one wants to be that tourist — you know, the comical bad examples we see in Yellowstone every year — so before you go, check out our helpful guide on how to responsibly explore Yellowstone National Park.

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