Yellowstone Map & Guide

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The park brochure is available in a variety of formats: Braille, audio description or text-only. Email us to request a printed copy in Braille, otherwise download a copy in Braille Ready Format (BRF).

Audio-Described Version

Download a folder of audio files. Open the files in your preferred mp3 player to listen to each section of the brochure.

Text-Only Version

Overall Brochure Description

This brochure provides a detailed map of Yellowstone, its geographic features, and services. The first side of the brochure is composed of a large map with five small inset maps of Mammoth Hot Springs; Old Faithful; Canyon Village; West Thumb and Grant Village; and Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay. The opposite side of the brochure presents an overview of the natural and cultural resources of Yellowstone, a guide to hydrothermal features found in the park, suggested areas to visit, wildlife watching suggestions, and the regulatory information you need to have for a safe and enjoyable trip through Yellowstone.

The Restless Giant

This photograph shows a close-up of Old Faithful Geyser in the central section of the park. This geological feature is a gently sloping, rounded dome, with a large amount of water erupting near the center and volumes of steam rising from around the formation. The outside of the formation is pale white rock. The sun is setting in the background giving a slight purple hue to the light filtering through the steam and water.
Source: © Patrick Leitz

At the heart of Yellowstone’s past, present, and future lies a SUPERVOLCANO. Huge volcanic eruptions occurred here, the latest about 631,000 years ago. The center of what is now the park collapsed, forming a 30- by 45-mile caldera, or basin. The heat powering those eruptions still fuels the park’s geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mudpots.

The park’s ECOSYSTEMS range from near-desert vegetation at the North Entrance to subalpine meadow and forest on Mount Washburn. They support a variety of habitats that sustain diversenwildlife like bison (buffalo), elk, grizzly and black bears, wolves, trumpeter swans, and Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

PEOPLE also have been part of Yellowstone for more than 13,000 years. Many Native American tribes still have deep connections here. Discover your own connections to the park as you explore its wonders.

The supervolcano feeds the world’s largest group of Hydrothermal Features.

 

Hot Springs

This photo shows a blue and green pool with steam rising above the surface. The edges of the pool are scalloped with a whitish mineral. There is a forest of dark green trees in the background.

Source: © Fiona Donald.

HOT SPRINGS are the most common hydrothermal features in the park. They vary from frothing mocha-like boiling water to clear and calm pools of tremendous depth. Surface water seeps underground, is heated by a deep source of magma, and rises to the surface as superheated water. Hot springs have no constrictions, so water rises, cools, and sinks freely.

Geysers

Photo: This color photo shows a river with a steam rising from a geyser on its bank. One part of the steam is a dense white cloud and the other is a narrow white column. There is white snow on the river bank and a dark forest behind the steam. A group of dark green trees grows on the river bank.

Source: NPS / Neal Herbert.

Geysers erupt with steaming hot water. They are hot springs with narrow spaces in their plumbing, usually near the surface. The constrictions prevent water from circulating easily to the surface where heat would escape. The deepest circulating water can exceed the surface boiling point (199°F/93°C). The Old Faithful area has the most famous geysers; some eruptions can be predicted.

Travertine Terraces

This photo shows hundreds of stone rock formations in the shape of fountains or shallow pools terraced and stepped over a steep incline. They form a gigantic rock staircase. Each formation is a ledge that has rock sculpted and dripped over its side. The rock sides are orange, brown, and a brilliant chalky white which contrasts against a blue sky with wispy white clouds. The formations are barren of vegetation.

Source: © Craig Voth.

TRAVERTINE TERRACES are found at Mammoth Hot Springs, where the interactions of water and limestone create chalk-white travertine. These terraces are among the fastest changing features in the park, emerging quickly and drying up just as fast.

Fumaroles

This photo shows an area of rough and uneven ground on the side of a hill. Dark brown rocks are scattered on the lighter brown soil. There is steam rising from the ground and on the horizon there are the silhouettes of trees.

Source: © Patty Pickett.

FUMAROLES (steam vents) are the hottest hydrothermal features in the park. The small amount of water in fumaroles flashes into steam before it reaches the surface. Fumaroles hiss, whistle, or thump if the steam pathway is restricted at the surface. They are easiest to see in cool weather. Look for fumaroles in the major hydrothermal areas.

Mudpots

Photo shows a muddy piece of ground with at least four concentric circles of mud in the middle. One of the circles has a bubble rising from the center. The mud is brown with rusted mineral tint scattered across it.

Source: © Mark Wiltrakis.

MUDPOTS are acidic hot springs with a limited water supply. Acid from volcanic gases and microorganisms decompose the surrounding rock into clay and mud. Mudpot consistency and activity varies with the seasons and precipitation. You can see mudpots at Artists Paintpots, Norris Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pots, West Thumb Geyser Basin, and Mud Volcano.

 

EVERY CORNER of Yellowstone reveals the park’s rich array of nature and history.

This small map shows the primary roads and lakes of the park.There are eight small red circle numbered 1 through 8 that correspond (in order) with Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, Old Faithful, West Thumb, Lake Village, Canyon, and Lamar Valley.

Mammoth Hot Springs

This photograph shows a cottage-type house in a row of houses. The house is beige with a red roof that has a windowed dormer. It has a large covered porch with steps descending into a green-mowed lawn. There is a red circle with a number one that corresponds to the Mammoth area on the map.

Source: NPS / Neal Herbert.

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS features ever-changing travertine terraces and historic FORT YELLOWSTONE. A self-guiding tour explores the US Army’s role in protecting the park in its first decades.

Norris Geyser Basin

This color photo shows a landscape with steam rising above several blue pools. The ground around the pools is mostly barren of vegetation except a few dark green triangle-shaped coniferous trees tinged with white snow that are scattered around the pools. There is a dark green forest in the background. A red circle with a number 2 in the center coordinates with Norris Geyser Basin on the small map.
Source: NPS / Jim Peaco.

NORRIS GEYSER BASIN is the park’s hottest, most dynamic geyser basin. It includes Steamboat, the world’s tallest geyser. The nearby Museum of the National Park Ranger showcases the history of these iconic public servants.

Midway Geyser Basin

This photo is an aerial view of a bright blue round pool with steam rising from its surface. Extending from the edge of the pool there are concentric rings in a rainbow of orange and yellow and brown. Some of the colors extend far more then others creating an uneven flange. The ground is barren of vegetation. There is a red circle with a number three that corresponds to the Midway Geyser area on the map.

Source: NPS / Jim Peaco.

MIDWAY GEYSER BASIN hosts the world’s largest geyser, Excelsior, and the world’s largest hot spring, Grand Prismatic. Boardwalks take you past these features, and a nearby trail leads you to an elevated view.

Old Faithful

Photo: Large deposits of white and gray-colored minerals form several large shaped deposits and create arched formations rounded at the top and arranged in the form a half circle. In the center of the shapes is a projecting mound shaped-pillar. Steam rises from the center. There is a red circle with a number four that corresponds to the Old Faithful area on the map.

Source: NPS / Jim Peaco.

OLD FAITHFUL is more than its namesake world famous geyser. You can view hundreds of other geysers and hot springs. Take a self-guiding tour of the historic district, which includes Old Faithful Inn.

West Thumb

This photo shows a wooden boardwalk with a partial railing. The boardwalk crosses above ground that appears white and orange and and has a small, shallow stream of water running over it. The boardwalk's direction is toward a large blue lake. In the background there is a dark green forest. There is a red circle with a number five that corresponds to the West Thumb area on the map.

Source: © Peter Dutton.

WEST THUMB includes mudpots, boiling springs, and geysers that discharge into the chilly waters of Yellowstone Lake. At the GRANT VILLAGE Visitor Center, enjoy the scenery while you learn about the role of fire in Yellowstone.

Lake Village

This photo shows a very large blue lake. In the foreground in a very shallow part of the lake is a large pair of white elk antlers with many sharp pointed tines attached to a skull. The antlers are lying on some vegetation in the water. In the distance is a dark green forest against the shoreline and a blue sky with long linear white clouds. There is a red circle with a number six that corresponds to the Lake area on the map.

Source: NPS / Neal Herbert.

LAKE VILLAGE offers vistas of Yellowstone Lake from the comfort of historic Lake Hotel. The lake is the largest high-elevation lake (above 7,000 feet) in North America. It is more than 400 feet deep with 141 miles of shoreline.

Canyon Area

This photo shows the very steep, light-beige walls of a canyon with a large white waterfall in the center. The walls of the canyon are mostly barren of vegetation with some small green trees scattered along some of the less steep areas. There is a red circle with a number seven that corresponds to the Canyon area on the map.

Source: © John Strother.

CANYON AREA features the colorful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and the Upper and Lower falls from overlooks and walkways. Away from the rim, trails take you through meadows and grasslands.

Lamar Valley

This photo shows a blue stream with white clouds reflected in the water. The stream makes a gentle curve toward a long green meadow. In the distance are steep triangular peaks that are a purple hue from the sunset. There is a red circle with a number eight that corresponds to the Lamar Valley area on the map.

Source: NPS / Jacob W. Frank.

The LAMAR VALLEY has been a wolf watching destination since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995. It is also home to herds of bison and elk, and many black and grizzly bears.

 

The Wonder of Yellowstone's Wildlife

This photo shows a profile of large gray wolf facing the camera. The wolf is standing on white snow and there are dark green coniferous trees in the background. A piece of smooth, dead, gray timber rests nearby the wolf's head.The wolf's coat is mottled gray on the top and a lighter coat that fades almost to white under its underside.

Source: © Edd Martinez.

You have the rare opportunity to view animals that are wild. They behave like their ancient ancestors. They eat the same foods, they migrate along the same routes, and they breed on the same cycles. When you watch animals in Yellowstone, you glimpse the world as it was before humans.

Animals are seldom seen in the dense, dark forest that covers most of the park. They are more easily seen in open areas, like meadows, where vegetation is shorter and more light is available.

Other tips

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Look at dawn and dusk when many animals are most active. Be quiet and listen for a few minutes; you might hear animals before you see them. Use binoculars or spotting scopes to observe animals while staying at a safe distance.

Stay Safe While Watching Wildlife

This color photo shows a herd of about seventeen bison facing and walking toward the camera. The herd of cows and calves is split slightly with a smaller group to the left and slightly behind the larger group. The bison cows are dark brown and have horns and their calves are light red and close by their sides. The landscape behind the herd is a dusty green sagebrush and the bison are walking through a meadow of light green grass.

Source: NPS / Neal Herbert.

The animals living in Yellowstone are not tame. All of them are wild. Some seem to tolerate humans, but that can change without warning. We jeopardize their survival if we threaten their safety, the safety of their young, or interrupt their ability to get food. Yellowstone has rules to keep both wildlife and humans safe. Never feed animals, not even small ones like chipmunks.

Store all food properly. Keep food, cooking tools, coolers, and trash in a bear resistant container unless in immediate use. Animals who find food at picnic areas and campsites will come back, and can be dangerous.

Do not approach wildlife. You must stay at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from bison, elk, and other animals. Pay attention. Move away if an animal moves closer to you or changes its behavior due to your presence. Be respectful. Do not surround, crowd, or disrupt an animal’s path of movement.

Stay Safe in Thermal Areas

This photo show a large colorful fish in water with a red patch on the gills and a red stripe down the center of it's side. Its skin has black spots sprinkled across its orange and tan skin. The fish is swimming above many small stones in a stream.

Source: NPS / Jay Fleming.

Yellowstone National Park also has rules to keep you safe as you visit its hydrothermal areas: Stay on boardwalks and designated trails. Do not push or shove other people. Keep your children close to you. Keep hands and feet out of the water.

Enjoy Watching Yellowstone’s Animals but STAY SAFE. They are WILD and DANGEROUS.

This illustration shows eight buses. Seven are black and one is a very light gray. Running along the top of the buses are arrows. The first arrow runs the length of two of the black buses and in the center of the arrow are the words "25 yards (23m)" and at the head of the two buses is a stick figure kneeling and photographing a silhouette of a bison that is in front of the third (grayed out) bus. The second arrow runs along the rest of the top five buses and in the center of the arrow are the words "100 yards (91 m)." The first arrow begins at the front of the first bus and the second arrow ends at the end of the final bus. At the end of the final bus there is a black silhouette of a bear.

KNOW YOUR DISTANCE. Use this guide to visualize the safe and legal distance you need to be from Yellowstone’s animals.

 

Exploring Yellowstone

The backside of the brochure consists primarily of a large map of the entire park. A map legend indicates amenities and services within the park. They are, ranger stations, campgrounds, lodging, food service, picnic areas, stores, gas stations (some of which have auto repair), recycling, self-guiding trails and boardwalks, horseback riding and boat launches. Medical clinics are located at Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful and Lake Village.

Five smaller inset maps detail the amenities close-up in these areas. They are: 1. Mammoth Hot Springs, 2. Old Faithful, 3. Canyon Village, 4. West Thumb and Grant Village and 5. Fishing Bridge, Lake Village and Bridge Bay. All of these and other areas within the park have a visitor center, educational center, museum and/or an information station. Information stations are also at the south and west entrances of the park and in the Mammoth Hot Springs area at the Albright Visitor Center, which is not far from the north entrance to the park.

Map of Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park comprises 3,500 square miles. The majority of the park’s territory is part of the northwestern corner of Wyoming, with portions of the park boundary crossing through Idaho and Montana. Four national forests surround the park and Grand Teton National Park is south. Each of the eight developed areas in Yellowstone is located near a major point of interest, including Old Faithful Geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

The park can be accessed from all sides and its five entrances feed into the park’s primary access route. The Grand Loop Road looks like the numeral eight and connects each of the eight developed areas of the park. Tracing the outline of the numeral eight, the developed area in the upper left section is Mammoth Hot Springs. Norris Geyser Basin is in the center of the left side. In the lower left section of the eight are Madison and Old Faithful. Along the lower right part of the eight are West Thumb, Grant Village, Bridge Bay, Lake Village and Fishing Bridge. Canyon Village is at the center of the right side of the eight. Tower-Roosevelt is in the upper right section. The five entrance roads link to the Grand Loop Road like spokes on a wheel, running from each of the park’s five entrances. Campgrounds, restrooms and other services can be accessed from Grand Loop Road; however, not all services are available year-round. Road construction and seasonal road conditions require closure of certain roads.

The map also includes an outline approximating the crater left by the last major eruption of the Yellowstone Volcano, called the Yellowstone Caldera. This crater is over 42 miles at its widest point. It is an irregular circular shape and is southwest of center in relation to the park as a whole. It encompasses all of the Central Plateau, most of the hydro-thermal areas in the park, and a substantial portion of Yellowstone Lake. It also encompasses the entire lower half of the numeral eight shape that makes up the Grand Loop Road

Yellowstone Lake occupies 132 square miles of the southeastern part of the park. Grant Village, West Thumb, Bridge Bay, Lake Village and Fishing Bridge are located along the lake. The Yellowstone River flows from headwaters outside the southeast boundary, through Yellowstone Lake, and eventually out at the north entrance. The river continues on until it reaches the Missouri River in North Dakota. The headwaters of the Snake and Madison rivers are also within the park.

The Absaroka Mountain Range is along the eastern border of the park. The Gallatin Range is in the northwestern portion of the park. The Madison, Pitchstone and Two Ocean plateaus are within the southwest and south sections of the park.

Map Legend

The six legend boxes on this map indicate in the first box in different shades of green for forest or meadow land cover; the second box indicates unpaved roads with a straight double line; the third box is a distance indication with sample that shows an arrow that designates 5 mi or 8 km; the fourth box is a straight short line with an arrow at the right end to indicate a one-way road; the fifth box has a small purplish red dot to indicate a geothermal feature; the sixth box has a dashed line to indicate a trail or boardwalk; the seventh box has a dashed line with a stick figure of a biyclist on top of the line to indicate day-use hiking or bicycling trail with a parenthesis to ask for more information.

Services and Facilities

Service and facilty dates listed in park newspaper and on www.nps.gov/yell.

Accessibility

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We strive to make facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. Ask for the free guide to wheel-chair negotiable facilities. Other details on park website.

Emergencies

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Emergencies call 911.

Visiting Yellowstone National Park

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Highlights are here; details available at visitor centers, in the park newspaper, on the park website, or by calling the park. Also contact Yellowstone Forever, the park’s official partner.

Driving in Yellowstone

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Driving in Yellowstone. Road construction is underway on park roads; check ahead for delays and closures. Speed limit is 45 mph unless otherwise posted. Drive slowly and cautiously to protect yourself and wildlife. Park roads close early November to mid-April, except the road between the North and Northeast entrances. Oversnow vehicles are allowed only during the official winter season and only on certain roads. Off-road travel is illegal.

Boating

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Most park waters are closed to watercraft. All watercraft must have boat permits and Aquatic Invasive Species inspections.

Backcountry Use

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Do not use this map. Trail maps available in the park. Permits are required for backcountry camping.

Fishing

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You must have a Yellowstone National Park fishing permit and follow park regulations.

Firearms

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For firearms regulations, check the park website.

More Information

This section is mostly text but includes the logo for the National Park Foundation (a white arrowhead in a black square).

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone, WY 82190
307-344-7381
www.nps.gov/yell

Yellowstone Forever
www.yellowstone.org

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National Park Foundation
Join the park community.
www.nationalparks.org

Last updated: July 15, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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