- Trevor Perkes
Are There Discount Deals Along the Way to Yellowstone National Park Entrances?
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
Yellowstone National Park is a premier destination for many people’s summer vacations. Somewhere between 4 and 6 million people visit the park each year. For many visitors the trek to Yellowstone involves a long-distance expedition with some flying into nearby airports and others by vehicle with many stops along the way. Such a trip can be quite an undertaking and the expenses for the vacation can add up and possibly put a strain of the budget.
Many park visitors plan ahead and look for discount deals along the way to Yellowstone and when in the park itself. There are a variety businesses and entities that offer a variety of “deals”. These deals come in the form of membership discounts such as golden age passes, AAA, or military, coupon offerings, combination packages of hotel and excursions, special events reduced rates, activities pass, and discount cards that contain a variety of discounts from a variety of vendors.
Many of the discount offerings are for activities, services and experiences inside the park and others are for activities, services, experiences and products outside the park in the gateway communities leading to the park entrances. The gateway communities or towns leading up to the park entrances include:
· West Entrance: West Yellowstone, MT, Island Park, ID, Rexburg, ID, and Idaho Falls, ID.
· North Entrance: Gardiner, MT, Livingston, MT, Bozeman, MT
· Northeast Entrance: Silvergate and Cooke City, MT, Red Lodge, Laurel, MT, MT, Billings, MT
· East Entrance: Cody, WY, Powell, WY
· South Entrance: Jackson, WY
What are some of the kinds of activities, services, and products for which discounts are available at these gateway communities?
Some various opportunities and products for which discounts are available include:
· Lodging: Motel, Bed & Breakfast, and bedroll camping
· Outdoor Adventures & Guide Services (Zipline Rides, Float Trips, White Water Rafting, Western Cookouts, Animal Watching Tours, Aerial Tours, Horseback Trail Rides
· Online Products (Hammocks, Fly Fishing Flies and Lanyards)
· Dining – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Treats
· Rentals (bike, skies, floats)
· Clothing and Apparel
· Fishing Gear
· Firearm Shooting Packages
What are specific discounted passes for park entrance?
· The Annual Pass to Yellowstone that covers everyone in your vehicle as you enter the park will cost $70 and be good for a full year from time of purchase.
· The America the Beautiful Annual Senior Pass costs $20 for a full year of entrance from the month of purchase through the last day of that month.
· The America the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass costs $80 and is available to those who have reached the age of 62. This pass provides access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites including national parks and national wildlife refuges.
· The Access Pass is a lifelong admission pass or discount pass (e.g., camping) exclusively available, free of charge, for US citizens or permanent residents who have a documented permanent disability. The Access Pass provides access to recreation areas managed by five Federal agencies – the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation. The pass admits the pass owner (with photo identification to verify ownership) and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas. If the location is a per-person charge area, the Access Pass will admit the pass owner and up to 3 additional adult passengers.
Active US Military members (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as most members of the US Reserves and National Guard) and their dependents can also obtain a free Annual Pass when in the park that also provides access to all National Parks. Disabled veterans are eligible for a free lifetime pass.
The pass does not cover expanded amenity fees such as boat launch, camping, parking, special tours or ferries.
Qualifying permanent disabilities include physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
To qualify for an Access Pass, the permanent disability must be documented by an acceptable source such as 1) statement by a licensed physician, 2) document issued by a Federal agency such as the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Disability Income, or Supplemental Security Income, or 3) document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.
The pass must be obtained in person to allow the issuing official to review the documentation of the disability and verify the applicant’s residency.
Planning a trip to Yellowstone? Click HERE for the Yellowstone Interactive Map to help customize your own Yellowstone experience. It provides detailed information of things to do and see specific to each of Yellowstone’s 14 road sections.