This is Phase 1 and parts of Phase 2. Access to more areas and services will reopen in Phases 2 and 3, down the road.
Find out what’s currently open and closed, fun things to do with kids, tips for where to stay, children’s and guide books about the parks.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is a remarkable landscape – the most geysers anywhere in the world, brilliant turquoise hot springs, bubbling mud, steaming creeks, powerful waterfalls, steep canyons, a huge lake and abundant wildlife.
All entrances to the park are open
Trails and boardwalks
Takeout food service
Some lodging inside the park (June)
Bike rentals at Old Faithful
Boat rental & fishing
Visitor Centers, ranger programs
Some lodges, hotels, cabins
Yellow Bus tours
Here are fun things to do with kids in areas open now, and travel tips.
Old Faithful & Around
Mammoth Hot Spring & Gardiner
Lake Village – West Thumb
Tips for Yellowstone with kids
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton has spectacular scenery, snow covered peaks and wildflower covered meadows, kids can hike to high mountain waterfalls and lakes, bike for miles, float down the Snake River, and spot amazing wildlife in their natural habitat.
Day use hiking trails
Fishing in lakes and rivers
Teton Park Road, Moose-Wilson Road and North Park Road
Lodges inside the national park
Visitor Centers, ranger programs
For the best wildlife spotting, head to Antelope Flats and Gros Ventre Rd. in the early evening. Our favorite hike is Cascade Canyon, and we did see a moose at Moose Junction.
Grand Teton Wildlife
Jenny Lake – Cascade Canyon
At this time, there is no overall timetable for restored access and services in the parks.
Please check the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national park websites and social media (Twitter and Facebook) for updates:
Also for updated information about hotels and cabins inside the park,
And read our blog post: “National Parks Update: Tips for safely visiting”
Where to stay and when to go
On Travel for Kids, we recommend family friendly hotels, lodges, cabins, vacation rentals convenient for visiting for Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
Visiting Grand Teton, our favorite place to stay is Jackson Hole area, including town of Jackson and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Check out Travel for Kids selected list of Jackson Hole family vacation rentals and Jackson Hole family hotels. Condos, log homes, cabins, hotels are open for reservations right now.
Yellowstone family hotels are available in West Yellowstone or Gardiner outside the park, some hotels and cabins inside Yellowstone National Park are open, others are closed.
Check out Yellowstone National Park Lodges for information about lodging as it opens inside the park.
Summer season in Grand Teton is June – Labor Day.
To allow for more services and access to open in Yellowstone, consider scheduling a trip in July or August, but it may be more crowded also.
Children’s and Guide Books
- What I Saw in Yellowstone by Durrae Johanek, Christopher Cauble.
- Kid’s guide to geysers and wildlife in Yellowstone, and also keep track of different animals you’ll see. Info and photos about bison, elk, deer, coyote, gray wolf, grizzly bear, chipmunk, raven, osprey, bald eagle, white pelican, and where to locate the wildlife – very handy. (Picture – Activity book)
- Yellowstone (True Books: National Parks)by Audra Wallace.
- Explore Yellowstone National Park – geysers, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs, petrified forests, lakes and waterfalls, wildlife, Native Americans and explorers, conservation and protecting the park. (Easy reader)
- Also picture book for younger kids: Yellowstone National Park
- What I Saw in Grand Teton by Julie Gillum Lue, Christopher Cauble.
- Kid’s guide to wildlife, peaks, lakes, rivers, flowers, trees in Grand Teton. Info, photos and where to see moose, bison, pronghorn, elk, mule deer, beaver, black bear, bald eagle, osprey, red squirrel, white pelicans. (Picture – Activity book)
- Grand Teton National Park by Jodie Shepherd.
- Explore Grand Teton with Ranger Red Fox – how the mountains were formed, Snake River, over 100 lakes, amazing animals, mini-field guide, wildflower tracker, map. Fun for younger kids. (Picture book)
- Also, easy reader for older kids: Grand Teton (A True Book: National Parks)
- Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple.
- Our favorite guidebook to Yellowstone National Park – detailed descriptions of the five main roads through the park, nature trails, geyser basin walking tours, driving distances, geological history, animals to look for, photos, color maps, campgrounds. (Guidebook)
- Watching Yellowstone & Grand Teton Wildlife by Todd Wilkinson, Michael H. Francis.
- We had a general idea where to find different animals, but this guidebook is very helpful. Each entry has a big photo, detailed information about the animal, and specifically where to locate bison, moose, pronghorn, white pelicans, bald eagles, mule deer, pika, and more. (Guidebook)
- A Field Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks by Kurt F. Johnson.
- A super field guide for Yellowstone and Grand Teton – it includes mammals (bison, elk, pronghorn), birds, fish, reptiles, insects, plants, tracks & scat. Illustrations for each entry, and clearly organized. (Guidebook)