Is Yellowstone National Park In Montana Or Wyoming?

Yellowstone national park is primarily located in wyoming, with small portions extending into montana and idaho. Established in 1872, it is widely considered the first national park in the united states and one of the most renowned natural areas in the world.

Spanning over 2. 2 million acres, yellowstone is home to an exceptional variety of wildlife, geothermal features, and picturesque landscapes. The park is famous for its geysers, including the iconic old faithful, as well as the mesmerizing grand prismatic spring.

With its diverse ecosystems, extensive hiking trails, and opportunities for camping and wildlife viewing, yellowstone national park offers visitors a unique and awe-inspiring experience of nature’s wonders.

Is Yellowstone National Park In Montana Or Wyoming?


The Historical Context

The history of yellowstone national park is rich and fascinating, with significant milestones in its exploration and establishment. Let’s delve into the historical context of this iconic park.

Early Exploration Of The Yellowstone Region

  • In the early 19th century, various explorers ventured into the yellowstone region, captivated by the tales of breathtaking landscapes and unique natural features.
  • John colter, a member of the lewis and clark expedition, is often credited as the first european american to witness the wonders of yellowstone in 1807.
  • Notable explorers like ferdinand v. hayden and the washburn-langford-doane expedition of 1870 further uncovered the region’s geological marvels, including geysers, hot springs, and mesmerizing wildlife.

Creation Of The Park And Its Boundaries

  • Recognizing the need to preserve the unparalleled beauty of yellowstone, congress passed a legislation on march 1, 1872, establishing it as the world’s first national park.
  • The boundaries of yellowstone national park initially stretched across areas in present-day montana, wyoming, and idaho, encompassing around 2.2 million acres.
  • However, in 1883, due to boundary disputes, a survey determined that only the northwestern corner of the park, primarily in the states of montana and wyoming, fell within the official boundaries recognized today.

The historical context of yellowstone national park sheds light on its remarkable journey from untamed wilderness to a protected sanctuary for generations to come. Its exploration by early adventurers and designation as a national park have shaped the park’s legacy and continue to inspire awe in visitors from around the world.

Understanding The Geographical Location

The geographical location of yellowstone national park has been a subject of confusion for many visitors. While the park is primarily located in wyoming, it also extends into montana and idaho. In this section, we will delve into the park’s vast area spanning multiple states and highlight the prominence of montana and wyoming.

Discussing The Park’S Vast Area Spanning Multiple States

  • Yellowstone national park covers an expansive area of approximately 2.2 million acres, making it one of the largest national parks in the united states.
  • Located mainly in northwestern wyoming, the park stretches into two other states, montana and idaho.
  • This tri-state location gives yellowstone its unique distinction, offering visitors diverse landscapes and natural wonders to explore.
  • The park’s boundaries extend 51 miles into montana and 5 miles into idaho, creating a border region that showcases the region’s beauty and natural diversity.

Highlighting The Prominence Of Montana And Wyoming

Montana and wyoming play a significant role in the geographical makeup of yellowstone national park, each offering its own distinct attractions and points of interest.


  • The northern part of the park, which falls within montana’s borders, is home to stunning landscapes, including the iconic lamar valley known for its abundant wildlife and picturesque vistas.
  • Visitors can explore scenic drives, such as beartooth highway, which leads to breathtaking mountain panoramas and the stunning gardner river.
  • Montana also provides access to lesser-known areas of the park, offering a quieter experience for those looking to connect with nature away from bustling tourist crowds.


  • Wyoming is home to the majority of yellowstone national park, making it the primary state associated with the park.
  • The famous old faithful geyser, located in the park’s southwestern region, captivates visitors with its regular eruptions and surrounding thermal features.
  • The grand canyon of the yellowstone, with its vibrant hues and majestic waterfalls, is another prominent attraction that showcases wyoming’s unique geological formations.
  • The state also offers a variety of visitor centers, campgrounds, and hiking trails, making it a hub for exploring the park’s wonders.

Yellowstone national park is predominantly situated in wyoming, but it also extends into the states of montana and idaho, creating a rich tapestry of natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. Whether you start your journey in montana or wyoming, or venture into the park from idaho, you are sure to be enchanted by the geological wonders and awe-inspiring landscapes that this extraordinary national park has to offer.

The Wyoming Connection

Yellowstone national park is truly a magnificent natural wonder, and its beauty spans across two states: montana and wyoming. In this section, we’ll focus on the wyoming connection to yellowstone, exploring the park’s major entry points and discussing its iconic landmarks within the state.

Describing The Park’S Major Entry Points In Wyoming

Yellowstone national park has five major entry points in wyoming, each offering unique opportunities to start your yellowstone adventure. Let’s take a closer look:

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  • West entrance: Located near the town of west yellowstone, this entry point is perfect for those traveling from idaho or western montana. As you enter the park, get ready to be captivated by the geothermal wonders and wildlife abundance.
  • North entrance: If you’re coming from the charming town of gardiner, montana, the north entrance is the gateway for you. From here, you can easily explore iconic sites like mammoth hot springs and lamar valley, known as the serengeti of north america.
  • Northeast entrance: Situated near the rustic town of cooke city, this entry point is an excellent choice for those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path experience. As you venture into the park, be prepared for stunning mountain scenery and the chance to spot elusive wildlife.
  • East entrance: Located at the gateway of cody, wyoming, the east entrance is known for its picturesque mountain vistas and the breathtaking sylvan pass. With easy access to the yellowstone lake area, it’s a popular choice for fishing enthusiasts and lake lovers.
  • South entrance: Nestled near the charming community of jackson, wyoming, this entry point offers access to the spectacular yellowstone’s grand canyon and old faithful. Travelers can also explore the neighboring grand teton national park for a double dose of natural beauty.

Discussing The Park’S Iconic Landmarks In The State

Wyoming is home to several iconic landmarks within yellowstone national park, each holding its own allure and story. Let’s delve into some of these extraordinary features:

  • Old faithful: Perhaps the most famous of yellowstone’s landmarks, old faithful is a mesmerizing geyser that erupts approximately every 90 minutes. Witnessing the powerful eruption and the subsequent billowing steam is an experience you won’t want to miss.
  • Grand prismatic spring: Located in the park’s midway geyser basin, this stunning hot spring is known for its vibrant colors created by heat-loving bacteria. The deep blue center surrounded by a gradient of ornate hues makes it one of the most photographed features in the park.
  • Yellowstone lake: As the largest high-elevation lake in north america, yellowstone lake is a breathtaking sight to behold. Its tranquil waters provide a habitat for various species of fish, and the lake’s scenic backdrop offers endless exploration opportunities.
  • Mammoth hot springs: Nestled in the park’s northern region, these terraces of cascading mineral-rich water create a surreal landscape. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalks and witness the ever-changing formations, where hot water dissolves limestone and deposits small mineral terraces.
  • Tower fall: Located near the tower-roosevelt junction, this dramatic waterfall plunges down a steep canyon, creating a picturesque scene. Its beauty and the surrounding rugged terrain make it a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Yellowstone national park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and its presence in wyoming adds to the state’s allure. From the park’s major entry points to its iconic landmarks, wyoming offers a gateway to unforgettable adventures and breathtaking vistas.

So, whether you’re seeking geothermal marvels, wildlife encounters, or stunning landscapes, yellowstone national park in wyoming will undoubtedly leave you in awe.

The Montana Connection

If you’re wondering about yellowstone national park’s location, you may have come across the debate surrounding whether it’s in montana or wyoming. While the majority of yellowstone is located in wyoming, it’s worth noting that a small section of the park spills over into montana.

In this section, we’ll highlight montana’s access points to yellowstone and discuss the unique features and attractions you can find in the montana section.

Highlighting Montana’S Access Points To Yellowstone

  • The north entrance: Located just outside the town of gardiner, montana, the north entrance serves as the main access point for visitors coming from the northern part of the state. This entrance offers convenient access to popular attractions such as mammoth hot springs and lamar valley.
  • Beartooth highway: Known as one of the most scenic drives in america, beartooth highway is a picturesque road that winds through the mountains of montana and wyoming. This highway provides access to the northeast entrance of yellowstone, allowing visitors to experience stunning views and alpine landscapes on their way to the park.

Discussing The Unique Features And Attractions In The Montana Section

  • Paradise valley: Nestled between the absaroka range and the gallatin range, paradise valley offers breathtaking views and a tranquil atmosphere. This area of montana is known for its scenic beauty and diverse wildlife, making it a must-visit location for nature enthusiasts. Additionally, the famous yellowstone river flows through paradise valley, providing ample opportunities for fishing and water-based activities.
  • The petrified forest: Located near the northeast entrance of yellowstone, the montana section is home to the fascinating petrified forest. This prehistoric site showcases ancient trees that have been transformed into vibrant, fossilized minerals over millions of years. Walking through this unique forest is akin to stepping back in time and witnessing the wonders of our planet’s ancient history.
  • Slough creek: For avid anglers looking for a prime fishing destination, slough creek in the montana section of yellowstone is a dream come true. Known for its exceptional fly fishing opportunities, this creek is teeming with wild trout. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, spending a day casting your line in slough creek is an experience you won’t soon forget.
  • The lamar valley: Considered the “serengeti of north america,” the montana section of yellowstone is home to the stunning lamar valley. This picturesque valley is known for its abundant wildlife, including herds of bison, elk, and pronghorn. It’s also a prime spot for birdwatching, with various bird species soaring through the sky. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive gray wolf, which has been successfully reintroduced to the area.
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While most of yellowstone national park is situated in wyoming, the montana section offers its own unique access points, features, and attractions that are equally worthy of exploration. Whether you’re entering through the north entrance, driving the scenic beartooth highway, or exploring the wonders of paradise valley, the montana connection to yellowstone adds an extra layer of beauty and adventure to your visit.

So, don’t miss out on the treasures that lie within the montana section of yellowstone national park.

The Shared Border

Yellowstone national park, a sprawling wilderness and natural wonder, spans the border between montana and wyoming. This unique geographic location creates a shared jurisdiction that comes with its own benefits and challenges. Let’s delve into the fascinating aspects of this shared border and how it impacts the management and experience of yellowstone national park.

Benefits Of Shared Jurisdiction:

  • Efficient collaboration: With two states involved, there is an opportunity for collaboration and shared resources in managing the park. This can lead to better preservation efforts and improved visitor experiences.
  • Diverse perspectives: Having a shared jurisdiction means that decisions regarding the park’s management are made with input from both montana and wyoming. This diversity of perspectives allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the park’s needs and ensures its long-term sustainability.
  • Greater access: The shared border between montana and wyoming makes it easier for visitors to access yellowstone national park from multiple entry points. This allows for greater flexibility in exploring the park and experiencing its diverse landscapes.
  • Economic opportunities: The shared jurisdiction of yellowstone national park brings economic benefits to both montana and wyoming. The park attracts millions of visitors each year, contributing to the local economies through tourism, hospitality, and outdoor recreation.

Challenges Of Shared Jurisdiction:

  • Regulatory differences: Montana and wyoming have their own sets of regulations and laws regarding land use, management, and conservation. Coordinating these regulations and ensuring consistency can be a challenge when managing a national park that straddles the border.
  • Funding allocation: The shared jurisdiction of yellowstone national park means that funding for its management and operations needs to be allocated fairly between montana and wyoming. This can be a complex task, as the park’s size and various responsibilities must be taken into account.
  • Wildlife migration: Wildlife does not recognize state borders, and their movements can be affected by the shared jurisdiction of yellowstone national park. Coordination between montana and wyoming is necessary to manage wildlife populations and ensure their protection as they move across the park’s boundaries.
  • Political factors: The shared jurisdiction of yellowstone national park can sometimes be influenced by political factors unique to each state. This can impact decision making and the overall management strategies employed in the park.

The shared border between montana and wyoming adds an interesting dynamic to the management and experience of yellowstone national park. While it comes with its own set of challenges, the collaboration, diverse perspectives, and economic opportunities it brings also contribute to the park’s uniqueness.

This shared jurisdiction ensures the preservation of yellowstone national park for future generations while offering visitors an unforgettable and immersive natural experience.

The Impact Of State Boundaries

Discussing The Implications Of State Boundaries On Park Management

Yellowstone national park is located primarily in wyoming, but it also extends into montana and idaho. While the park itself spans multiple states, it is important to understand the impact that state boundaries have on its management. Here, we will delve into the implications of these boundaries and how coordination efforts between montana and wyoming play a crucial role.

**key points:**

  • The state boundary between montana and wyoming runs through the northwestern part of yellowstone national park.
  • This means that different regulations and management policies may apply to the portions of the park located in each state.
  • These variations in rules and management can lead to challenges in maintaining a cohesive approach to preserving and protecting the park’s natural resources.

**- each state has its own management agency responsible for overseeing the areas within their jurisdiction:**

  • Montana’s portion of yellowstone national park falls under the jurisdiction of the montana department of fish, wildlife & parks (fwp).
  • Wyoming’s portion is managed by the wyoming game and fish department (wgfd) and the national park service (nps).

**- coordination efforts between montana and wyoming are essential to ensure effective park management:**

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  • The two states, along with the national park service, work collaboratively to address issues that may arise due to the park’s location on the state boundary.
  • Regular communication and coordination between the management agencies are vital for proper resource management, wildlife conservation, and visitor safety.
  • These efforts involve sharing information, coordinating research studies, and jointly managing challenges such as wildfires, wildlife populations, and recreational activities.

**- the coordination framework includes:**

  • Sharing scientific research findings and data related to park resources, especially those that cross state boundaries.
  • Collaborating on the monitoring and management of wildlife species that move between the states.
  • Coordinating the implementation of policies and regulations that impact the park, especially in areas where state jurisdiction overlaps.
  • Conducting joint training and emergency response exercises to ensure effective response to incidents that occur within the park.

**in conclusion**, while yellowstone national park spans state boundaries, the cooperation between montana and wyoming is essential to ensure effective management and conservation efforts. By working together, these neighboring states can address the unique challenges that arise from managing a park that straddles their jurisdictions.

Through ongoing communication and collaboration, they can preserve this natural treasure for future generations to enjoy.

The Visitor Experience

Is Yellowstone National Park In Montana Or Wyoming?

Visiting yellowstone national park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that leaves visitors in awe of its breathtaking natural beauty and diverse landscapes. With sections located in both montana and wyoming, the park offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Let’s delve into the unique visitor experiences that await in each section:

Describing The Experience Of Visiting Both The Montana And Wyoming Sections Of The Park:

Montana section:

  • The montana section of yellowstone national park is known for its tranquil and serene landscapes, providing visitors with a sense of tranquility and remoteness.
  • Here, you can witness the majestic beauty of the lamar valley, with its expansive grasslands and the chance to spot diverse wildlife such as wolves, elk, and bison.
  • Take a leisurely hike along the picturesque trails that traverse the rugged slopes of the beartooth mountains, immersing yourself in the untouched wilderness.
  • The montana section also houses the famous mammoth hot springs, featuring stunning terraces formed by mineral-rich hot water, adding a unique geological wonder to your visit.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to relax and unwind in the soothing waters of the boiling river, where hot springs converge with the gardner river, creating a natural hot tub experience.

Wyoming section:

  • The wyoming section of yellowstone national park showcases dramatic geothermal wonders that will leave you in awe.
  • Visit the iconic old faithful geyser, known for its reliably timed eruptions, shooting steaming hot water high into the air, captivating visitors with its natural spectacle.
  • Explore the otherworldly terrain of the grand prismatic spring, the largest hot spring in the united states, with its vibrant and kaleidoscopic hues emanating from the heat-loving bacteria thriving in its mineral-rich waters.
  • Discover the mystical and colorful fountain paint pot, where mud pots bubble and pop, creating an otherworldly sight that will transport you to a different realm.
  • The wyoming section also offers various hiking trails that showcase the stunning vistas of the teton range, providing a perfect backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.

Both sections:

  • Regardless of which section you choose to explore, the visitor experience is enhanced by the awe-inspiring wildlife that calls yellowstone national park home. Keep an eye out for grizzly bears, eagles, moose, and a multitude of other creatures as you traverse these vast landscapes.
  • Engage in outdoor activities like fishing, camping, horseback riding, and even boating, embracing the full range of adventures that yellowstone offers.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich geological and cultural history of the park through educational exhibits and ranger-led programs, deepening your understanding of the unique wonders that surround you.

Visiting yellowstone national park is a journey through natural wonders that will leave lasting memories. Whether you explore the montana section or the wyoming section, each offers its own distinct features, ensuring an unforgettable visitor experience.

(note: all information provided is for illustrative purposes only and should be verified for accuracy before planning a trip to yellowstone national park)


Yellowstone national park is a natural wonder that spans parts of montana, idaho, and wyoming. Its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and geothermal features make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. While the majority of the park is located in the northwestern corner of wyoming, small sections extend into montana and idaho.

The park offers a range of activities, such as hiking, wildlife spotting, camping, and geothermal exploration. Whether you’re interested in observing the majestic yellowstone falls, witnessing the famous old faithful geyser eruption, or simply immersing yourself in the park’s serene atmosphere, yellowstone has something for everyone.

So, whether you find yourself in montana or wyoming, be sure to venture into this iconic national park and experience the beauty and splendor it has to offer.

Eddie S.
Eddie S.

I'm Eddie S. Roberson, an adventurous person passionate about hiking and outdoor activities. Join me as we explore nature's wonders and create unforgettable memories together.

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