With the big Fourth of July holiday upon us, Yellowstone National Park rangers say they want all park visitors to arrive in the park prepared for an experience that's safe and rewarding. Here are some tips to protect both yourselves, and the park, from a release from Yellowstone National Park:

  • Take the Yellowstone Pledge! Dedicate yourself to enjoying and protecting this national, natural treasure by taking the pledge at go.nps.gov/yellowstonepledge. Encourage your friends and family to do the same and tag your photos with #YellowstonePledge.
  • Bring Your Patience Along. Plan for extra time when traveling from place to place, and expect limited parking, traffic congestion and delays, especially when wildlife is on or near the roadway.
  • Plan ahead. Campgrounds and lodges fill up early especially during summer season. Finding a place to sleep at the last minute is unlikely.
  • Drive responsibly. Observe the park speed limits, watch out for distracted drivers, and use pullouts to watch wildlife or take photos.

Rangers also encourage visitors to protect the park resources and experiences, saying people come to Yellowstone looking for a wild experience and a natural connection. You can safeguard your family and the park by remembering to:


  • View wildlife from a safe distance. Stay at least 25 yards from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. Stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.
  • Stay on trails and boardwalks in thermal areas. Boardwalks take you to amazing places, but hot springs can be deadly. Pets, smoking, and eating in thermal areas are prohibited to protect these fragile basins from human impact.
  • Protect your friends and family and the bears you come to see by hiking in groups, making noise, carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it.

Park officials say the fire danger is currently rated at LOW, but remind visitors campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings in the 11 developed campgrounds and most backcountry campsites. In addition, campfires must be put out and cold to the touch after use.

Fireworks are NOT allowed in the park.