Yellowstone National Park is situated between 44 and 45 degrees north latitude and 109.5 and 111 degrees west longitude. Most of the park lies in the state of Wyoming, but a small portion in the north is in Montana and a strip on the west side is in Idaho. The park covers an area of 3467 square miles (8980 sq km), most of which is undeveloped mountain and forest land. In spite of this huge size, almost all of the most interesting sights are available to visitors along or close to the more than 300 miles (483 km) of roads. Because there’s so much to see and do and so many people who want to use the limited housing and camping facilities, advance planning is essential. Your first decision will be which way to enter.
The approach roads to the five entrances are shown on the map on 24 and described below, along with a general idea of the scenery you’ll encounter and the available activities and facilities. Arriving by Air If you plan to start your trip by commercial airplane, consider flying to Billings, Montana, the largest city in the vicinity of the park, with the most connecting flights. You can rent a car there to drive conveniently to any entrance except the South Entrance. Closest airport options other than Billings are: Jackson, Wyoming, the closest commercial airport to the South Entrance; Cody, Wyoming, for the East Entrance; Bozeman, Montana, for the north or west; and West Yellowstone, Montana, for the West Entrance. These are also good options for private planes, and all have car rentals available. Additional general aviation airports are at Gardiner, Livingston, and Red Lodge, Montana, as well as Dubois, Wyoming. If you want to begin in Idaho Falls, Idaho, several airlines can serve you. Many people begin a western trip from Salt Lake City, Utah, which is a much longer drive but is especially well served by airlines and is relatively convenient to Grand Teton National Park and the South Entrance of Yellowstone.