Yellowstone National Park – Five Tips to Travel to Yellowstone by Amtrak and Bus Year-Round

Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 as the first national park in the United States. uniqueness of the park comes from the numbers and varieties of geysers and other hydrothermal features in the park. In fact, Yellowstone contains about half of the world’s hydrothermal characteristics.

Unfortunately, Yellowstone National Park lost its nearby Amtrak service in 1979. The only low-fare airlines to the area fly directly to Denver and the southwest. Therefore the use of a combination of Amtrak trains and buses are the cheapest way for many people to travel to the Yellowstone area. Here are five tips / hints for effectively traveling to / from Yellowstone Country

One: You need to know the park entrances available to you at the time of the year you are traveling. During the peak travel months, from mid-May to early November, all five entrances are open: North near Gardiner, MT; West near West Yellowstone, MT; South near Jackson, WY; East near Cody, WY and northeast near Silver Gate, MT. From mid-November, only the north entrance is open until spring

Two :. If you are traveling via Amtrak to Yellowstone when all inputs are open, the California Zephyr drive to Salt Lake City is the train line choice. If you come from San Francisco or anywhere in the west, the train arrives in Salt Lake City at 04:05. You can catch the Salt Lake Express bus to Jackson, WY at 07:30. You want to get off at the Jackson airport at 14:15, so you can take advantage of the airport car rental. To go back to the west, you can catch the 11:30 Salt Lake Express bus to the 23:30 Amtrak departure.

If you are from Chicago or somewhere in the east, the California Zephyr is in Salt Lake City at 11:00. You may want to rent a hotel room for the night because the Salt Lake Express bus does not leave until 7:30 (as mentioned above.) To return to the east, you should take the same bus 11:30 described above. As it arrives at 18:15 in Salt Lake City and your train departure is not until 4:30, you might want a hotel room for the night books

Three :. In the winter, you should use the Empire Builder to get to Yellowstone National Park north entrance. The best way to connect with the Empire Builder is through Spokane, Washington. Greyhound has a convenient schedule that works well with Amtrak’s. Part of the beauty of connecting through Spokane is that the trains arrive and depart in the early morning from both directions. So, if you go to Yellowstone, your train will arrive no later than 2:00 in Spokane. To the 5:05 Greyhound bus and arrive in Bozeman, MT at 12:50 pm. From Bozeman, there is a 16:50 bus arriving in Spokane at 00:35. The earliest train leaves Spokane 01:15. Connecting in Spokane is easy because Greyhound uses the Spokane train station and depot. Since the connections are made in the middle of the night, this is very convenient. Also this connection works well all year round if you come from Seattle, Portland or anywhere in the northwest

Four :. If you plan to drive to Yellowstone from Bozeman, you should use one of the rental car facilities at the airport. While there are a number of rental offices in the city, they have limited hours, especially on weekends. Some of the rental car airport facilities will pick you up at the Bozeman Amtrak station at no extra cost for extra convenience

Five :. Both the Empire Builder and California Zephyr are all reserved trains. Whether you are experiencing Amtrak bus or Superliner sleeping accommodations, you must make advanced reservations. By buying your tickets in advance for both Amtrak and bus services, you may be able to discounted advance purchase fares and receive special rates for students and seniors.

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