What to Bring on a Yellowstone National Park Vacation

What to Bring on a Yellowstone National Park Vacation

After you've booked your Yellowstone National Park vacation with Lodging at Yellowstone, there are a few things you should start to think about before your visit. We encourage you to write out a list of notable destinations you'll want to check out, Yellowstone tours that interest you, and of course, what you should bring! Luckily, we've prepared a quick list of five essential items that are a must when you visit during the summer season. Whether you're on the 1,300 miles of Yellowstone hiking trails or are driving through the park, you'll feel more ready than ever when you check all these items off your to bring list!

1. Durable Hiking Boots

The boardwalks tend to get pretty slippery with the steam from the geothermal features in the park, rain, and other reasons. Durable boots or shoes are perfect for the Yellowstone hiking trails, so be sure that they're waterproof and breathable, which will provide the utmost comfort during your daily treks.

2. Binoculars and Camera

A great pair of binoculars and a quality camera will go a long way on your upcoming Yellowstone National Park vacation. Since there are specific safety guidelines when it comes to viewing the Yellowstone wildlife, having a reliable pair of binoculars will offer the best sight opportunities. Since Yellowstone tends to be a once in a lifetime trip for some, having a quality camera with extra batteries will help you capture pictures to share with your loved ones back home.

3. Extra Clothing and Different Types

The weather is subject to change frequently on your daily adventures in and around the park. The morning could bring snow, the intense afternoon heat, and temperatures could drop again after the sunsets. Prepare yourself with removable layers, a raincoat, synthetic or wool socks (to keep your feet dry), and clothing meant for hot temperatures. The smell around the hydrothermal features will leave a less than pleasant scent on your clothing, so changing is necessary throughout the day.

4. A Table Cloth, Snacks, and Water

You may find yourself spending plenty of time in your car, which is why we suggest packing a cooler with some snacks and water. While there are many gas stations around the park to stop at on your Yellowstone National Park vacation, you may find yourself spending a pretty penny on items within the park. Packing a variety of snacks and having water on hand will keep you happy in the car. A table cloth or blanket will also be a great option to pull out and have a picnic throughout your journey.

5. Safety Essentials

Several items will keep you happy and healthy on a Yellowstone National Park vacation, and you won't want to leave home without them. Since you will be spending the majority of your time outdoors, a few items are vital to put on your packing list! Bear spray may sound silly, but the Yellowstone wildlife includes over 700 grizzlies along with brown bears as well. Having it on hand while on the Yellowstone hiking trails is a must! Here are a few other essentials to throw in a daypack (which is also on the list).  

Plastic bags
Park maps
Bug spray
Water shoes
Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat

East and West Yellowstone Accommodations

We are excited for you to join Lodging at Yellowstone on your upcoming Yellowstone National Park vacation. Please take a moment to look through our West and East Yellowstone accommodations and lodging options to see what location will best suit your needs. The Kelly Inn, ClubHouse Inn, and Yellowstone West Gate hotels are all located in West Yellowstone while The Cody Hotel is located just 50 miles from the East entrance. You can book all locations through our website or give us a call at 1-800-259-4672.
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Yellowstone Wildlife and Landscapes

Yellowstone Wildlife and Landscapes in Winter | A Photographers Dream

Winter in Yellowstone National Park becomes a little slice of heaven that is just waiting to be explored by snowmobile or snowcoach as you’re Lodging at Yellowstone. With the chilly winter temperatures, you’ll find thermal features billowing plumes of steam towards the sky, majestic Yellowstone wildlife, and pristine mountain vistas covered in snow. If you love the park during the summertime, you’ll find it hard not to fall in love all over again in the winter. Please keep reading to learn more about why planning a winter vacation to our Yellowstone accommodations should be a must on your list of things to do!
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Yellowstsone National Park Winter Animals

Popular Winter Yellowstone National Park Animals

One thing that makes the winter season so special is the Yellowstone wildlife that can be easily spotted against the snowy landscapes. While many come to Yellowstone in winter to take advantage of the outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing or snowmobiling, we suggest setting aside time to observe the wildlife. There are fewer crowds during the colder season, which will allow you the opportunity to take your time while capturing photographs and watching the Yellowstone National Park animals. While bears hibernate and some birds migrate, you’ll still find a vast number of animals roaming the grounds. Keep reading to learn about the most popular winter Yellowstone wildlife animals.  


The rutting season for moose peaks in fall, which is usually the only time you’ll spot these up to 1,000 pound Yellowstone National Park animals in larger groups. Moose tend to wander alone or in small groups during winter and roam near lake shores, rivers and streams, forested areas, as well as in the marshy meadows. Moose shed their antlers during the end of the year to retain energy for Yellowstone in winter and grow new ones each April.  


One of the most photographed mammals you’ll find in Yellowstone in winter is the elk, and most migrate to the northern range near Gardiner, Montana, during the colder season. A healthy male’s antlers can reach an average of 55-60 inches in length and weigh in at around 30 pounds. This is perhaps the main reason they are the most photographed Yellowstone National Park animals out of all of the Yellowstone wildlife. Most bulls shed their antlers nearing the end of march and grow new ones shortly after.  


Year-round you’ll find a vast number of bison roaming around the Hayden and Lamar valleys, but during the winter, they tend to migrate to hydrothermal spots around the Madison River. A male (bull) can weigh a massive 2,000 pounds and can run-up to an incredible 30 mph! The Yellowstone National Park animals tend to travel in groups sizes of around 20 in winter, 200 in summer, and a max number of 1,000 during the breeding season, which happens mid-July.

Wolf, Coyote, Fox, Oh my!

Yellowstone National Park animals that often get mistaken for one another are wolves and coyotes. The main distinction between the two is their size, as coyotes are 1/3rd the size of an average wolf. Coyotes in Yellowstone tend to have a brown or rusty hue while wolves appear in a mix of white, grey, or black colors. Wolves will run coyotes away from their territory as they both compete for the same prey. While the coyote is smaller than the wolf, they are larger than the fox, which is the smallest of the dog family in the park.

East and West Yellowstone Accommodations

During winter, you’ll notice that the beautiful species linger around lower elevations and closer to the roads. You’ll find many of the Yellowstone National Park animals listed above, but you’ll also spot pronghorns, birds, bobcats, cougars, river otters, and many other critters during winter. No matter where you stay while Lodging at Yellowstone, we remind you to use precaution when observing the Yellowstone wildlife. Keeping the recommended distance and reading over the safety guidelines on how to handle wildlife encounters will ensure you have the best wildlife viewing experience.


Throughout winter, enjoy a stay in East Yellowstone at The Cody Hotel or in West Yellowstone at the Kelly Inn. Head to our Find Lodging page to select the area that’s perfect your trip, along with our hotel amenities! Please give us a call to learn more at 1-800-259-4672.
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Best Photography Opportunities in Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is a photographers dream with the breathtaking landscapes, rivers, geysers, hot springs, and opportune moments to view wildlife in their natural element. When Lodging at Yellowstone, we want to ensure your safety and give you a few pointers along the way! Even if you’re new to photography, taking pictures will be a top priority on your list of things to do in Yellowstone!

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Best Yellowstone Tours

Things to do in Yellowstone come in a mass variety – how does one even know where to begin? When vacationing for the first time in the West Yellowstone area, the best way to experience all the sights is by taking a guided tour. Yellowstone tours give you the best access to gorgeous photo opportunities to bring home to friends. There are many sights, attractions, and wild animals to see in Yellowstone National Park, here are some of the best Yellowstone tours located within minutes of Lodging at Yellowstone.

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Best Hiking Trails in Yellowstone

Yellowstone tours, a day out rafting, viewing wildlife up close— there’s an overwhelming amount of things to do in Yellowstone. Lucky for you, Lodging at Yellowstone is located in the heart of it all! Summer is quickly approaching, and as you plan your Yellowstone vacation, we know that your itinerary will be jam-packed. We’ll make the planning a little easier as we talk about the best hiking trails in Yellowstone to add to your trip!

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Grizzly Building 61 Room Addition NOW OPEN

When you’re wondering where to stay in West Yellowstone during your family vacations during the summertime, we are pleased to announce our 61 room addition to our Lodging at Yellowstone! Our brand new Yellowstone accommodations are located in the Grizzly Building adjacent to the Canyon Building in West Yellowstone. Each room features beautiful new furniture and unique animal-themed fixtures providing a deluxe rustic atmosphere upon entering each room. We offer stays for both large and small groups so no matter if you’re traveling for a weekend getaway with your spouse or are planning your family summer vacations— we’ve got you covered!

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