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Hello all,
I was just wondering what kind of scrutiny will a vehicle undergo entering Yellowstone?

I was thinking of picking up a beater in Bozeman or Helena just before I start and may not have the registration/title/insurance documentation in order when I arrive. Does the park or Xanterra check this stuff out?

Also are the parking lots right outside the dorms?


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When I drove up to Yellowstone I just had to show the ranger at the enterance station I came in at my contract for employment and they let me in without paying the fee. When I got to Gardner to check in they gave me an enterance pass which I then had to register with the Park Service to get an employee sticker(didn't cost anything--just had to do it) to come in and out of the park for free. Not for sure what documentation I needed for it, but proof of insurance I'am sure was one of them.
got to show proof of insurance. or........ write me at
Hey Cisco,

I worked at the Old Faithful location in YNP during the Summer & Fall of 2007 so I will only speak to that location. Parking your car is not much of an issue, yes in most cases the employee parking is adjacent to the dorms. Everything is so close together at Old Faithful that even if they are working on some part of it and that prevents you from parking right outside your dorm alternate parking is going to be close by. I used a mountain bike to get around on location and was really glad I had one. You don't need it but having one is fun and in a lot of ways its easier to get around location on bike than with a car. I don't know if you have been to YNP before but I would caution you that driving in YNP is a whole new ball game. My advice, try not to drive through the park at night and if you do, reduce your speed. Hitting a bison, elk, bear, hell anything, even at only 20-30 mph is going to ruin your summer. Wait till you see your first bison on the road at night. It is hard to see them, it is like looking at a black hole, what you notice is that the background has been obliterated by this dark black mass. Hard to describe but remember this description the first time you see one at night and you will understand. I would also not want to break down in YNP, it can be a long walk to get help, depending of course on what time of day and at what point in the season it happens. We actually lost 2 Xanterra employees working at Old Faithful, due to auto accidents, during the time I was there. Also, be careful on 191 between West Yellowstone and Bozeman, I read that it is one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the country. Anyways, sorry for the "Mr. Mom" attitude, but I lost a younger brother to an auto accident in Dallas in 1999, it left an impression.

Congrats on getting the job. I am sure you will have a great time. Just keep your head up and your eyes open. :-)
you covered it pretty well, another thing about driving at nite is that the rangers dont have as much to do and they tend to set along the side of the road and watch traffic. 2 mph over is reason to pull you over. experience speaking here. it's expensive.
thanks for the great info guys. I haven't had a vehicle in a couple of years and have been fine without one. My main reasons for wanting to bring one up this summer would be to visit areas around/just outside the park, and to make it more convenient to pack more gear up.

Some of the cautionary advice has already crossed my mind and should play into my decision. Especially breaking down which is a very real possibility with a used car and also probably very expensive. Tickets and other associated costs with driving are why I haven't been in a hurry to own a vehicle recently so it sounds like YNP will be no exception there.

I'm glad you shed the light on the mountain bike situation Robert, I thought I had read somewhere not to bring your bike, but this sounds like a great way to get around the park, with safety in mind of course.

I guess I'll have to play it by ear, my plan was to travel out east for a spell before the season, then pick up a vehicle off of craigslist in Bozeman. I won't be able to bring my bike with me for my trip out east so I can look for a one then too. The timing is gonna get a little tight but everything has been falling into place so well, I have faith that my needs will be provided for.
a bike is very useful for getting to work and back, but as far as I know you can't use them off road in the park.


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