Yellowstone is a huge park with more things to do than you'll have time for. Think about what you want to do ahead of time so you'll have the proper gear with you. Popular activities include hiking, camping, bicycling, boating, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, viewing wildlife, natural and historical points of interest.
Because Yellowstone is at high altitude (7000+ ft), tempratures are cooler. Nights can get into the 30s year round. Bringing the right outwear and gear can make the difference between a fun vacation and a battle for survival.
A vacation in Yellowstone National Park will include a lot of hiking and driving. The park is huge: 63 miles north to south and 54 miles west to east covering over 3,472 square miles. Yellowstone has over 1,000 miles of backcountry trails. You'll need a good pair of hiking boots and a couple of water bottles and maybe a backpack to carry a fleece jacket for the chilly evenings.
During late summer and early autumn it gets cold quickly after the sun sets. The park is very dark at night with the clearest view of the milky way you will see in your lifetime. Bring a headlamp to get around your campsite at night and so your hands are free to make s'mores.
The park is so big that there are very few radio stations that come in. For your scenic drives from one landmark to another within the park, you'll want an MP3 player full of your favorite music.
Depending on where you stay overnight in the park, there might be noise from neighboring campsites or early morning tour buses. We found ear plugs to be an absolute necessity.
This packing list contains stuff we bring on just about every trip.
A carry-on shoulder bag contains:
Toiletry bag from LL Bean contains:
Electronic Gear (all in a gallon ziplock)
First Aid & Miscellaneous Items (all in a gallon ziplock)