The first step in planning any visit to Yellowstone National Park is deciding how you are going to get there. Very few people are lucky enough to live within a four-hour drive of Yellowstone National Park. This makes it hard but not impossible to take a weekend trip to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone isn’t the easiest of the National Parks to visit. But we are going to breakdown all your options for how to get to Yellowstone National Park.
Best way to get to Yellowstone National Park
Flying to Yellowstone
Flying to Yellowstone National Park and then renting a car is the best way to visit the Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone’s location is a little remote but there is a range of regional airports located near the park. All the airports have rental cars available and make access to the park easy and time-efficient.
Airports Near Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Airport (WYS) is a seasonal airport one mile from downtown West Yellowstone, Montana. The airport is open from June to September. Delta Airlines and its partner SkyWest Airlines operates flights from Salt Lake City. Yellowstone Airport is the closest airport to Yellowstone National Park.
Distance from West Entrance – 3 miles
Drive time from West Entrance – 7 mins
Yellowstone Regional Airport
Yellowstone Airport (COD) is not to be confused with the Yellowstone Airport in West Yellowstone. Yellowstone Regional Airport is located in Cody, Wyoming on the west side of the park. The airport is the closest airport to Yellowstone that is open year-round. That being said, the east entrances of the park are closed during winter. So this airport only provides access to the park from late spring to mid-fall. Delta and United offer daily flights from their regional hubs.
Distance from East Entrance – 55 miles
Drive time from East Entrance – 1 hour
Jackson Hole Airport
Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is located near Jackson, Wyoming. The airport is open year-round. The airport is serviced by Delta, American Airlines, and United. During the summer flights arrive from all over the United States. During the rest of the year, flights arrive from Salt Lake City, Denver, and Dallas/Fort Worth. The Jackson Hole Airport is the only airport located in a national park.
Distance from South Entrance – 71 miles
Drive time from South Entrance – 1 hour
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) is located near Bozeman, Montana. The airport is open year-round and is the busiest airport in Montana. The airport is serviced by Delta, American Airlines, United, Frontier, Allegiant, and Alaska Airlines. JetBlue offers flights during the summer. Direct flights are available from much of the United States all year long.
Distance from North Entrance – 91 miles
Drive time from North Entrance – 1.5 hours
Bert Mooney Airport
Bert Mooney Airport (BTM) is located in Butte, Montana. The airport is open year-round. It is serviced by Delta via Salt Lake City. The airport is named for Bert Mooney, the first pilot to fly mail into Yellowstone National Park.
Distance from West or North Entrance – 146 miles
Drive time from West or North Entrance – 2.5 hours
Billings Logan International Airport
Billings Logan International Airport (BIL) is located in Billings, Montana. The airport is open year-round. Billings is the second largest airport in Montana. The airport serviced by Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta, Frontier, and United.
Distance from Northeast Entrance – 129 miles
Drive time from Northeast Entrance – 1.5 hours
Major Airports within a one day drive of Yellowstone National Park
Salt Lake City International Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The airport is open year-round and is the fourth-largest hub for Delta Airlines. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier, JetBlue, KLM, Southwest, and United all offer flights to Salt Lake City. The Airport
Distance from West Entrance – 323 miles
Drive time from West Entrance – 5 hours
Boise International Airport
Boise International Airport (BOI) is located in Boise Idaho. The airport is called an international airport but there are no scheduled international flights. Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Gem Air, Southwest, and United all operate flights out of this airport.
Distance from West Entrance – 386 miles
Drive time from West Entrance – 8 hours
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport (DEN) is located in Denver, Colorado. Denver is the second largest airport in the world. The airport is a hub for Frontier and United and a main operating base for Southwest Airlines. Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Air Canada, Boutique Air, British Airways, California Pacific, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Icelandair, Lufthansa, Spirit, and Delta all operate flights out of this airport.
Distance from East Entrance – 515 miles
Drive time from East Entrance – 8.5 hours
Public Transport to Yellowstone
There is no public transport to Yellowstone or around Yellowstone National Park. This is a serious flaw in visiting the park and a contributing factor to overcrowding and traffic issues in the park.
The closest train station is in Amtrak station is Salt Lake City. From there several companies offer 5-day tours of the park with all transportation and accommodations included.
Greyhound Bus Lines can get you to Bozeman, Montana but there is no public transport from Bozeman to the park.
During the winter, Xanterra offers shuttles from Bozeman to the Mammoth Hot Spring Hotel and Cabins.
Yellowstone National Park Tours
Driving to Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is kind of in a black hole of interstates. It is located just off-center in a square between I-90, I-25, I-80, and I-15. None of the interstates are located near a boundary of the park. I-15 and I-90 come close but they are still about an hour away from any of the park entrances.
Unless you are taking a tour, it is impossible to explore Yellowstone National Park without a vehicle. Yellowstone National Park has 5 entrances.
- North Entrance – Gardiner, Montana – U.S. 89
- Northeast Entrance – Cooke City, Montana – U.S. 212
- South Entrance – Jackson, Wyoming – U.S. 191
- East Entrance – Cody, Wyoming – U.S. 20
- West Entrance – West Yellowstone, Montana – U.S. 20 and U.S. 191
During the winter only the North entrance is open year-round. You can drive into Mammoth Hot Springs area. All other entrances are closed to vehicle traffic.
The West Entrance and South Entrances are closed to car traffic but is open to guided snowcoach or snowmobiles tours. The South and East Entrances offer guided snowmobile tours.
Driving Distances to Yellowstone National Park
|Bozeman, MT||78.6 mi||126 km||1.5 hours|
|Jackson, WY||128 mi||206 km||2.5 hours|
|Billings, MT||172 mi||277 km||2.75 hours|
|Salt Lake City, UT||321 mi||517 km||4.75 hours|
|Boise, ID||388 mi||624 km||5.75 hours|
|Denver, CO||510 mi||821 km||8.25 hours|
|Las Vegas, NV||739 mi||1189 km||10.5 hours|
|Seattle, WA||740 mi||1191 km||11.5 hours|
|Portland, OR||814 mi||1310 km||12.5 hours|
|Los Angeles, CA||1,007 mi||1621 km||15.25 hours|
|Omaha, Ne||1,007 mi||1621 km||15.25 hours|
|Chicago, IL||1,395 mi||2245 km||21.25 hours|
|Houston, TX||1544 mi||2485 km||24 hours|
|Atlanta, GA||1,989 mi||3201 km||29 hours|
|Washington, D.C.||2,100 mi||3380 km||33 hours|
|New York City, NY||2,190 mi||3524 km||33 hours|
|Orlando, FL||2,426 mi||3904 km||36 hours|
This post was first published on January 30, 2019. It was updated on July 12, 2019.