Best Airport for Yellowstone National Park: A Guide for Family Travelers
We’re here to help you navigate the vast expanses of one of the United States’ most treasured national parks to find the best airport for Yellowstone National Park.
Best Airport for Yellowstone: Choosing the Right Airport
There are a few things to factor in, mainly where you’re staying and whether or not you’re also visiting Grand Teton National Park (Tip: you definitely should!)
Our Top Pick
The best option for Yellowstone for most people is Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. Its direct flights, family-friendly amenities, and closeness to both of Yellowstone’s northern entrances usually make it the best option.
We give it the top choice over Jackson (and the south entrance) for one main reason: the northern entrances to Yellowstone both have towns near the entrances where you can find lodging and other supplies. If you’re staying at one of the hotels that are actually inside Yellowstone, this may not be as much of a factor.
Mapping the Journey: Navigating from Airport to Park
Getting from the airport to Yellowstone National Park’s entrances. We’ll cover the best way to travel from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and Jackson Hole Airport to Yellowstone’s entrances.
Bozeman to Yellowstone
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, also known as Bozeman International Airport, is ideally located for reaching the park’s northern entrances.
To the West Entrance (West Yellowstone):
This trip is about 1 hour and 50 minutes via US-191 S. This route has some even better mountain and river views and is the way you’ll take if you’re staying in West Yellowstone. Click here to see more pictures and info on this drive. We found the scenery to be even better on this drive than to Gardiner. Note this entrance is closed from November to April.
Jackson Hole to Yellowstone
Jackson Hole Airport offers an excellent gateway to the park’s South Entrance.
To the South Entrance:
A scenic drive of approximately 1 hour via US 191 will get you to the south entrance of Yellowstone. The advantage of this drive is that it’s through Grand Teton National Park, providing some of the best views of the whole trip. However, you’d need to continue further into Yellowstone to find lodging.
Driving Time Summary
Here’s a quick snapshot of the driving times from our top three airports to the closest park entrances:
- Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport to North Entrance (Gardiner): ~1.5 hours
- Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport to West Entrance (West Yellowstone): ~2 hours
- Jackson Hole Airport to South Entrance: ~1.0 hour
Other Entrance: The Northeast Entrance leads you to the stunning Lamar Valley and Cody Wyoming, but it’s further from major airports and usually better suited for driving to Yellowstone from the East Coast and the Midwest. Its location makes it a great stop for Mount Rushmore too.
While Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is our top choice, we’d be remiss not to give a shout-out to these other worthy airports. You’ll likely want an airport with direct flights or non-stop flights from your hometown. Here’s an overview of the different airports
Jackson Hole Airport also provides non-stop flights to major cities across the United States, courtesy of airlines like United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines. It’s the closest airport to Yellowstone’s south entrance, and with its location inside Grand Teton National Park, it offers a unique and scenic arrival experience. If you have your sights or even Mount Rushmore along the way! on visiting multiple national parks, it’s a winning pick.
Salt Lake City International Airport: A good option for families on a budget. It’s one of the largest airports in the region, offering a variety of flight options, often at lower costs. Salt Lake offers a myriad of direct flights to major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. The longer drive to Yellowstone can be turned into an epic family road trip.
Idaho Falls Regional Airport is a small but good option. It’s a scenic two-hour drive to Yellowstone’s South Entrance. This small airport is a hidden gem, with fewer crowds, and a peaceful atmosphere, it’s perfect for those seeking a more relaxed start to their adventure. Plus, it’s the closest regional airport to Yellowstone’s South Entrance.
West Yellowstone Airport is the closest airport, but it’s small and very seasonal, being only open from June through September. Situated in West Yellowstone, Montana, it’s a stone’s throw away from the park’s West entrance, Island Park, and Big Sky. Only two airlines serve this airport, with regional jet flights to Salt Lake City and Denver.
Salt Lake City International Airport, the largest airport in the region, is well-connected with daily flights to a broad spectrum of destinations. Salt Lake City is also a major hub for Delta Airlines. Yes, it’s a bit of a trek (approximately a five-hour drive), but it can be a fantastic choice for families planning a road trip. You get to marvel at some beautiful landscapes along the way. Plus, car rentals are abundant and affordable. Salt Lake City also offers easy access to nearby Park City, a great summer and winter destination for things like snow tubing and snowmobiling.
Denver International Airport might be a lengthy drive away, but it’s the closest major airport to Yellowstone that offers non-stop flights from almost all major cities because of its hub with Southwest and United. Denver also offers many international flights.
Renting a car is a great option, offering flexibility and convenience. Alternatively, if you’d rather someone else do the driving, consider a shuttle service available from major airports. However, this will require you to get scheduled tours for your entire trip, making a rental car the sensible choice.
Exploring Beyond Airports: The Best Things to See
Yellowstone National Park is a cornucopia of stunning landscapes and natural phenomena. Be sure to visit the bubbling hot springs and the park’s many entrances.
While you’re at it, consider visiting other national parks like Rocky Mountain National Park, easily accessible from major airports like Denver International.
Tips for a Successful Trip
Remember, choosing the most convenient airport for your family depends on several factors, including your home city, budget, and travel plans. Here’s a quick checklist to guide your decision:
- Use Google Flights, it’s our favorite travel tool, and it’s free! Google Flights will automatically add suggestions to find you better deals, like changing your date by a day, and alternate airports.
- Check which major airlines fly to your chosen airport
- Consider the nearest airport to your desired park entrance
- Look for airports offering nonstop flights, car rentals, and shuttle services
- Factor in extra perks like gift shops and family-friendly amenities
With these tips in your arsenal, you’re set for a fantastic journey. So go on, start planning that unforgettable family adventure today!
Q: Are there other regional airports suitable for Yellowstone? A: Yes, Idaho Falls Airport and Billings Logan International Airport are solid options too.
Q: What’s the cheapest airport to fly into for Yellowstone? A: This largely depends on where you’re flying from. Salt Lake City Airport can often offer cost-effective flights.
Q: Can I fly from Fort Worth or St. Paul to these airports? A: Sure thing! Major airlines offer services from these cities to Bozeman and Jackson Hole airports.
Q: Are there any other airports near Yellowstone National Park? A: Billings Logan International Airport, Bert Mooney Airport, and Yellowstone Regional Airport are also nearby airports worth considering.
Q: What’s the drive time from Bozeman Airport to Yellowstone National Park? A: From Bozeman Airport, the drive to the park’s west entrance is a scenic 90-minute ride.
Q: Can I get a rental car from these airports? A: Yes, most of the airports we’ve mentioned offer car rental services,, but make sure to book early as summer inventory can be an issue.
Q: What’s the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park? A: Well, it’s subjective. Many folks love the late spring and late fall, as the park isn’t overly crowded. But be wary of heavy snow in the winter months!
Q: Are there nonstop flights to these airports? A: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Jackson Hole Airport, and Salt Lake City International Airport all offer non-stop flights from major cities.
Q: Which airlines fly to these airports? A: United Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Connection, United Express, and even Allegiant Air for those hunting for cheap flights.
Q: Can I fly from major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Las Vegas to these airports? A: Yes, all the airports we’ve discussed have flights from major cities, making them a convenient choice regardless of where you’re flying from.
Services and Amenities
The best airport should offer a family-friendly environment. This includes amenities like car rentals, shuttle services, and gift shops. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Jackson Hole Airport, and Denver International Airport are renowned for their comprehensive services and amenities.
Surroundings and Additional Attractions
If you’re planning to visit other national parks like Grand Teton National Park or Glacier National Park, consider airports that serve as convenient gateways to these attractions. For instance, Jackson Hole Airport is superbly situated within Grand Teton National Park, offering splendid mountain views right from the tarmac!
We hope this guide has been a great way to get you geared up for your Yellowstone adventure. Remember, the best place to start your trip is an airport that ticks all your boxes: location,
Yellowstone National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and your adventure begins the moment your plane lands. Be it Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Jackson Hole Airport, or even Salt Lake City International Airport, the right airport can set the tone for your epic family adventure. Whichever airport you pick, we’re sure you’ll have a grand old time!
Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Whether it’s a scenic drive from a further airport or the convenience of a closer one, your trip to Yellowstone National Park will undoubtedly be one for the memory books. So get packing, safe travels, and most importantly – enjoy every moment!