Planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park can be overwhelming, we know that from first hand experience. If you’re flying into the region from a distant part of the US or internationally, which of the many airports near Yellowstone works best for your itinerary?
We will walk you through each of the 6 most convenient airports close to Yellowstone National Park, including best airport for each park entrance, flight frequency, typical flight paths, international travel and other tips to help plan your visit.
Yellowstone is an extraordinary landscape but at 2.2 million acres in size and with 5 entrances spanning all compass directions, choosing the right airport (or airports) is crucial to saving time and money.
We want you to get off to the best possible start with your vacation to Yellowstone, so let’s get right into your most efficient and cost effective airport options!
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Your Travel Itinerary
Everyone visits Yellowstone in a different way. Some will fly in, spend a quick weekend and fly out. Whereas others might be on a 2 week road trip encompassing Wyoming and Utah.
No matter how you intend to spend your vacation, there are two important parts of planning. Firstly, which airports will you fly into and out from. Secondly, where are the best places to stay at Yellowstone.
The logical airports near Yellowstone for you to fly into and out from on this trip will depend on your exact travel plans.
What do you want to see and do? How much time do you have?
Here are some key aspects to consider:
Remember – to be most efficient, arriving into one airport, hiring a car, traveling through Yellowstone and leaving via a different airport could be the ideal solution. That way you don’t end up going back on yourself.
Please note that in Winter, the only road open into Yellowstone is North entrance (Mammoth Hot Springs, Gardiner, Bozeman MT).
Are you visiting Yellowstone in Fall? Read our 10 essential things to know about Yellowstone in October for important information.
Resources For Planning Your Yellowstone Visit
Flights: We highly recommend using Skyscanner flights search engine to find best prices for flights between your origin airport and each of the 6 airports in this list. Always compare prices between airports to find best value for your itinerary.
Hire car: If you’re flying into one of these airports, you’ll need to pick up a hire car for your trip. Search for best value vehicles using Rental Cars search engine.
Hotels: You will need to book a number of hotels in and around Yellowstone. Booking accommodation inside the park can only be done through Yellowstone National Park Lodges. Around the park, you can use Booking.com hotel search engine to find the very best deals.
6 Airports Near Yellowstone
Flying as close as possible to Yellowstone might not always be the most convenient or cost effective option for you depending on your budget and travel plans.
Before booking any flights, you should read our 15 most important tips on finding cheap flights. It’s a long read but includes practical steps you can take to save money on flights.
Our best advice here is to jump on Skyscanner and check prices for flying into each of the arrival airports near Yellowstone from your departure airport. Work out the best price vs convenience ratio, taking into account flight transfers and drive times.
The 6 airports we will cover are as follows:
1. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Montana (BZN) – North or West Entrance
Bozeman is located in Southwest Montana and ideally positioned to serve Yellowstone’s North and West entrances in under 2 hours. It also offers access to the East of Montana’s Glacier National Park in around 5 hours drive time.
As we mentioned above, North entrance via Gardiner is the only way into Yellowstone during Winter months, which makes Bozeman airport one of the more logistically important on this list.
Yellowstone North entrance is where you will find Mammoth village and Hot Springs, a hugely popular part of a typical Yellowstone vacation. Whereas West entrance enters the park half way between Old Faithful and Norris Geyser Basin, perfect for giving itinerary flexibility.
Best for: Travelers planning to visit Glacier in addition to Yellowstone / Teton.
Drive times and distances to Yellowstone from Bozeman airport
Airports Flying Into Bozeman Yellowstone
You can book direct non-stop flights from 21 US airports to Bozeman, MT:
If arriving into the US internationally, you will need to book a flight to any of the 21 airports listed above and change flights to Bozeman.
However, we would suggest instead flying into either Denver or SLC and driving up from there.
For further information, here is the Bozeman airport website.
2. Cody / Yellowstone Regional Airport, Wyoming (COD) – East or Northeast Entrance
Cody is conveniently located under 2 hours from Yellowstone east entrance but very few flight options and times exist here.
If you’re planning a road trip from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone, Cody is the perfect place to spend a day in between the two regions.
North Fork Highway begins in Cody and turns into Yellowstone East entrance as you approach the park. This is a very scenic entrance filled with wildlife and not on the typical list of best place to see wildlife in Yellowstone.
You would enter at Yellowstone Lake and either turn left to West Thumb Geyser Basin or right to Canyon once inside the park.
Note that the East entrance closes in heavy snow and we experienced this first hand. We were forced to drive North and West to Cooke City, before entering via Northeast entrance.
Cody is a convenient airport if you can find good value in flights to/from Denver or Salt Lake City.
For example, an efficient visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton would begin in Cody and end in Jackson Hole or vice versa.
Best for: Getting closer to the park if connecting flight prices are cheaper than the other smaller airports in this list.
Drive times and distances to Yellowstone from Cody / Yellowstone Regional airport
Airports Flying Into Cody Yellowstone
3. Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming (JAC) – South Entrance
Jackson Hole airport is the only airport in the US inside a National Park. But it isn’t in Yellowstone, it’s in Grand Teton National Park just South of Yellowstone.
If you’re planning to visit both parks in the same vacation (very highly recommended), Jackson Hole airport is a great place to start and/or end your trip.
The nearby town of Jackson is the perfect base to stay for a night or two between exploring, with plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose between.
It is the most popular town near Yellowstone and has the most scenic access into the park through the stunning Tetons, which is a huge bonus.
Flying into Jackson Hole airport is convenient, popular and expensive. Hiring a car at Jackson Hole means you’re already inside one of the two parks you plan to visit and gets you off to the most efficient start.
You will pay more but remember it is about price vs convenience, particularly if you’re short on time.
Best for: Those with less time to visit Teton and Yellowstone with a healthy budget.
Drive times and distances to Yellowstone from Jackson Hole airport
Airports Flying Into Jackson Hole
Many of the larger US airports fly non stop direct services into Jackson Hole but be sure to check on flight frequency depending upon season.
In Winter, fewer flights are scheduled and some airports are only connected outside of Winter months.
International travelers can fly into any of the major airports listed above and book a connection to Jackson Hole.
For a full list of flights and times, here is the Jackson Hole airport website.
4. Yellowstone Airport, Montana (WYS) – West Entrance
Yellowstone airport is located in West Yellowstone, which is like a resort town on the outer boundary of Yellowstone National Park’s West entrance.
Plenty of hotels and restaurants make West Yellowstone a great place to set up base if there is no availability (or you can’t afford) accommodation within the park.
West Yellowstone is the most convenient and closest airport with access to Yellowstone National Park. But only one route is available with Delta Airlines – Salt Lake City.
Similarly to Jackson Hole, you will pay for this convenience. In addition, with just one route available, you are forced to book flights to Salt Lake City from your origin airport.
Best for: Landing a stones throw from Yellowstone, convenience and those visiting for shorter periods.
Drive times and distances to Yellowstone from Yellowstone airport
Airports Flying Into West Yellowstone
You can only reach West Yellowstone via Salt Lake City, Utah. Flights are scheduled from late Spring until late Fall only.
International travelers must fly into Salt Lake City and book a connection to West Yellowstone.
Although this airport is near Yellowstone, it is also the most difficult to organize logistically.
5. Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah (SLC) – South or West Entrance
Salt Lake City is the most convenient major airport near Yellowstone National Park.
A handful of European, Canadian and Mexican cities fly direct non-stop flights into SLC. Domestically in the US, almost all mid to large sized airports will fly direct to Salt Lake City.
A Salt Lake City to Yellowstone and Grand Teton road trip is one of the most popular ways to visit Wyoming.
Drive time from SLC to the nearest park (Grand Teton) is under 5 hours, whereas from Denver you’re looking at 8+ hours to reach Yellowstone as the closest park.
Beginning or ending your trip in SLC means you can drive through Grand Teton National Park (similarly to Jackson Hole but SLC has far greater flight options and cheaper prices).
Salt Lake City is also the perfect place to use as a gateway for visiting both Wyoming and Utah. You can loop each state, see everything and return to SLC without driving back on yourself at all.
Remember, you can transfer flights to any of the smaller regional airports near Yellowstone listed above through SLC airport. This applies to domestic and international travelers.
As a big bonus, Salt Lake City is a lovely place to spend at least one day in between flights and / or road trip destinations.
Best for: International travelers who can find good value into SLC and those planning to road trip both Wyoming and Utah.
Drive times and distances to Yellowstone from Salt Lake City airport
Airports Flying Into Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City airport is a major hub for US and international travelers who want to visit the American Southwest.
Salt Lake City to Yellowstone road trips are incredibly popular, driving through Grand Teton on the way.
However, for those with no interest in Grand Teton, West Yellowstone entrance is under 5 hours drive directly from SLC airport.
London, Paris and Amsterdam all have cheap airlines / airports to fly into from other parts of the world, before making a connection to fly into Salt Lake City.
See more information about flight schedules to SLC here.
6. Denver International Airport, Colorado (DEN) – South or East Entrance
Denver is the biggest major airport near Yellowstone National Park, offering far more domestic and international services but at the expense of a much longer drive time when compared to Salt Lake City.
If you plan to visit spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park in the same vacation as Grand Teton and Yellowstone, you should begin and / or end your trip in Denver.
Denver is also a fantastic place to begin a longer Western US road trip with Utah to the West and Wyoming to the Northwest.
Visiting the mile high city of Denver itself is reason enough to consider Denver airport as your start / end point for your visit to Yellowstone.
However, the winning formula could rest with cheaper flights being available for arrivals into Denver when flying with domestic US budget airlines.
Best for: Cheaper and more frequent flight options domestically and internationally, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and Denver city.
Update: Norwegian Air had an incredible value long haul deal from London to Denver but they are no longer flying this service as a result of covid-19. Let’s hope they can pick those long haul routes back up soon.
Drive times and distances to Yellowstone from Denver airport
Airports Flying Into Denver
Denver is the likely to be the best bet for most international travelers to pick up a great deal on flights.
The 8+ hour drive to Yellowstone East entrance could be long enough to justify paying for an expensive connecting flight to one of the smaller regional airports near Yellowstone.
You can of course hire a car at Denver and take a slower journey up through Grand Teton National Park but only if you have the time.
See more information about flight schedules to Denver here.
Useful Guides For Your Visit To Yellowstone
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We hope this travel planning guide helps you decide which airport near Yellowstone is best for your plans!
Have you been to Yellowstone? Which airport did you fly into or did you find a road trip easier to organize?
Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help planning your visit.
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