HomeOutdoorsYellowstone National Park: Here Are the Best Ways To Avoid the Crowds

Yellowstone National Park: Here Are the Best Ways To Avoid the Crowds

by Amanda Glover
(Photo by: Nano Calvo/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

If you’re looking to avoid crowds in Yellowstone National Park, we’re here to give you a few tips. But lets start off by educating everyone on this wilderness recreation spot with a volcanic hot spot.

On March 1, 1872, the park made history by becoming the world’s first national park. This 2.2 million-acre includes active geysers, boiling pools, and sightings of bears and bison.

Since then, the park has become a popular tourist destination. In 2021, Yellowstone set raised its record to 4.8 million visitors, up from 4 million in 2019. This included over 1 million guests in July alone. The park’s record earned it the title of the most-visited park in history. However, park employees suspected the area will gain even more popularity this year. Why? Well, because Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary just passed!

If you’re looking to avoid crowds in Yellowstone National Park, planning ahead will likely help. Some visitors enter the park’s east or northeast entrances, where traffic is often low and wait times are shorter. Visitors arriving in May, September, and October often avoid summertime crowds. Visits in the midweek are often less popular than those on weekends. This is mostly due to most visitors having the weekends off work and children being out of school.

As much as many wish to avoid crowds in the park, hiding out in the parking lot doesn’t sound that exciting. Due to the park’s popularity, you’ll likely run into at least a few visitors. But luckily, heading out onto the park’s trails will likely give you some peace. The mud pots, geysers, and waterfalls are all accessible by walking. Therefore, you might be able to avoid crowds at Yellowstone National Park this way.

Hiking Trails in Yellowstone National Park For Visitors Hoping to Avoid Crowds

If you’re planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park but hope to avoid crowds, remember, this is one of the world’s most popular tourist sites. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find places at the park without large crowds.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Trail is a five-mile loop around the park. This lesser-known trail features waterfalls and backcountry mud pots. It also has a view of the Upper Falls, the Lower Falls, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone itself. If you continue the trail, visitors might also see the resident elk herd! But beware, Outsiders. Keep your distance from the wildlife.

Now the four-mile round-trip Petrified Forest is a bit more strenuous. It’s one of the world’s largest forests and leads from Yellowstone’s northeast entrance road near the Lamar River. If you walk through a meadow of thigh-high flat grass, you’re likely to come across a shy pronghorn. If you continue, you’ll reach a rock outcropping that shows what is left of Yellowstone’s ancient trees.

With the temperature slowly rising, several families are looking forward to planning their next big trip. Yours can be Yellowstone National Park!