About Yellowstone

Best Ways to Save when Visiting Yellowstone

Visit in the offseason 

Yellowstone is a highly seasonal destination, with most visitors flooding the entrance gates during summer. By visiting in spring or fall (or even winter for a more unique experience) you experience the sights with fewer people around and save money at the same time. 

Book as early as you can 

Not everyone has the luxury of planning a trip to Yellowstone around the slower season. If that’s the case for you, book as far in advance as possible. That’s going to keep you from having to shell out more for hotels, plane tickets and rental cars just because there aren’t many options left. For properties managed by Yellowstone National Park Lodges (including some campgrounds), you can start booking 13 months out. 

Stay in gateway communities 

After your transportation costs to get to the park, most people’s biggest expense winds up being accommodation. There are a few ways to cut this cost that we’ll get into. But a big one is by opting for a hotel stay in one of the nearby towns, rather than shelling out for a room in one of the park lodges. 

Be strategic with your pass

The Yellowstone entry fee might not be the biggest expenditure you’ll need to pay on your trip, but it’s certainly an area with ways to save. The $35 entry ticket is valid for 7 days. But if you have the America the Beautiful pass or can justify the cost, you can gain entry into a ton of federal parks and monuments, including Yellowstone. Veterans, seniors and families with fourth graders qualify for this pass completely free. 

Pack your camping gear 

By far the most budget-friendly accommodation option is camping. And if you have your heart set on at least one night spent sleeping under the stars in Yellowstone, camping is the way to do it. Just keep in mind that even though the cost is lower than a hotel room, you still need to plan ahead and book in advance. 

Rent if you don’t already own 

When you visit Yellowstone, outdoor activities abound. From hiking and camping to paddling, cycling, snowshoeing and skiing, there is a lot of fun to have that uses a lot of different gear. But save yourself the money, and don’t give your credit card a workout at your nearest sporting goods store without strategizing first. Some gear shops like REI or local Bozeman outfitters even rent tents and sleeping bags, so you can save hundreds of dollars. 

Go for a budget car rental 

If you’re flying in, this one's for you. Getting a rugged jeep or big SUV might seem like an essential for your Yellowstone trip. But most of the park roads are paved, and even dirt roads in Montana and Wyoming can be well maintained. If you’re visiting in summer, it’s unlikely that 4-wheel drive will be an absolute necessity unless you’re going so far off the beaten path that you can’t find the road. So go ahead and get that fuel-efficient economy car rental if you want to save a few dollars. You can lower the rental cost and save at the pump too. 

When Yellowstone adventures call, get all your trip tips and inspiration here. Explore Yellowstone Country.


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At Yellowstone National Park Lodges, you’re invited to discover or rediscover the magic of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone. As proud stewards of the park and this truly extraordinary American wonder