A visit to Yellowstone without a car may well turn out to be a walk in the park… literally, if not figuratively. Though visiting the park as a non-driver may require a bit more creativity than using a personal vehicle, there are ways to do it. By visiting Yellowstone without a car, you’ll be able to reduce your impact on the environment with fewer carbon emissions and have a more up-close-and-personal experience with the park. Plus, if you’re flying to the area, you’ll be able to avoid the scramble to find a rental car. Here’s what you need to know when you’re planning to visit Yellowstone without a car.
Without a car, you can arrive in Southwest Montana by bus or plane. The closest major airport to the northwestern part of the park is the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, serviced by many mainline carriers.
The Greyhound bus routes pass by Bozeman, so it’s possible to travel by road from all around the country without needing to turn a key. The bus drops passengers off at the Walmart on 7th Avenue, and from there, it’s an easy walk, bus, or Uber ride into the central part of town.
Once you’ve arrived, you have a few shuttle options to get you to the entrance of Yellowstone. Karst Stage runs an airport shuttle to the west entrance, and you can also book private charter trips through their shuttle service. There are also tours that depart from Bozeman, Gardiner, and West Yellowstone, transporting you to the park once you’ve arrived in one of those nearby cities.
Some tours that provide transportation from these cities include:
Unlike many other national parks, Yellowstone does not offer a public shuttle system. There is an automated shuttle pilot program in Canyon Village in 2021, and there could be more to come in the future. But for now, car-free visitors will have to wait on a park-wide public transit option. That means for you to get around the park, you have to be a bit creative without a car.
In warmer months, it’s possible for the truly adventurous (and prepared) to travel through the park by bicycle. But keep in mind, this wouldn’t be a gentle coasting ride. With a lot of up and down, on top of winding roads with hundreds of vehicles and ample wildlife, this isn’t for the faint of heart. If you plan to go by bike, you might be better off visiting in spring, when roads are closed to most vehicles and plow crews are at work.
If this doesn’t sound like your idea of a relaxing vacation, don’t worry. Over a hundred tour operators run trips in Yellowstone, taking the wheel, so you don’t have to drive. From guided interpretive offerings that dive into the culture and wildlife within the park to photography-oriented groups to help you get the perfect shot, you can find a guided option to interest you and help you get around. In winter, the famous snowcoaches can help you see the sights when roads are closed to most vehicles anyway.
When your adventures bring you to Yellowstone without wheels, Highline Adventures’ properties, located conveniently in Bozeman, Gardiner, and Livingston, make an ideal jumping-off point for your door-to-door guided tour. Explore town without needing a rental, and take advantage of a convenient location and comfortable amenities. We’re here when you’re ready to explore.