Last Updated: 4 months Yellowstone National Park is the most popular national park in the United States. While Yellowstone is known primarily for its many hot springs and geysers, spectacular scenery, and wildlife, there are many other interesting things to see and do in the area. One of them is to attend an authentic Native American powwow.
Yellowstone National Park
Phone Number (307) 344-7381
Hearing Impaired (TDD) – call 307-344-2386
Yellowstone National Park covers 3,472 square miles. Even though the official address is in the state of Wyoming, Yellowstone is actually in three states. The majority of the Park (96%) is in Wyoming. A small section of the Park (3%) to the north and northwest is in Montana, and a small section of the Park (1%) to the west is in Idaho.
Towns nearest Yellowstone’s five entrances include West Yellowstone, Montana; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Cody, Wyoming; Cooke City, Montana; and Gardiner, Montana. Each town has its own character and history. These nearby towns offer convenient lodging, camping, activities, and attractions.
Yellowstone’s main roads are the five entrance roads and the 142 mile Grand Loop road.
On the Loop, you’ll find many visitor centers, museums, boardwalks, and scenic side roads. All major roads are accessible by RVs and other large vehicles, but most side roads are not. Yellowstone has no shuttle bus service. To travel around Yellowstone, you’ll need a car, motorcycle, bike, or tour transportation.
Photo by NPS Neal Herbert, Yellowstone’s East Entrance Road over Sylvan Pass.
The East Entrance to Yellowstone is in Wyoming, and is located 52 miles West of Cody, Wyoming. Enter Yellowstone National Park’s East Entrance by traveling Wyoming Highways 14/16/20.
The South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming and is accessed via Highways 191/89/287 North. Note that you must drive through part of Grand Teton National Park, a 26-mile-long national park, to get to Yellowstone’s South Entrance. Fifty-seven miles from the entrance, Jackson, Wyoming is the largest town directly south of Yellowstone.
The West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is in Montana and is accessed by Highways 287, 87 or 20. West Yellowstone, Montana, is the nearest town to the park’s West Entrance, located just a half-mile west of the West Entrance.
Enter Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance on Highway 89. The small town of Gardiner, Montana, sits right at the entrance and you can see the Roosevelt Arch from Gardiner’s streets. This is the only entrance that is open year-round with the exception of the Northeast Entrance that is open during the winter to Cooke City.
Enter Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast Entrance, in Montana, via Highways 212 (Beartooth Highway) or 291.
Cooke City, Montana, is located approximately 4 miles from the Northeast Entrance. During the winter, access to Cooke City and the NE Entrance is closed from the Beartooth Highway due to snow. The only way to get to Cooke City in winter is by entering the park at the North Entrance and driving east through the NE Entrance to town.
Yellowstone has eight main visitor areas with visitor centers, lodging, and museums. These include: Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower-Roosevelt, Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, West Thumb, Grant Village, Old Faithful, and Madison.
Pow Wows Near Yellowstone
Powwows on the Wind River Reservation Southeast of Yellowstone
There are two major powwows in Wind River Country each year. The American Bus Association named the Eastern Shoshone Indian Days one of its top 100 events. It’s held the third weekend in June in Ft. Washakie and is Wyoming’s largest powwow.
Held annually on the Wind River reservation of Wyoming, the Ethete Celebration Powwow is a gathering of family and friends, young and old, honoring traditions with drumming, singing, dancing, and beautiful regalia. Intertribal dances welcome all to the circle to dance and celebrate together. The Ethete Celebration is hosted by the Northern Arapaho tribe and is held in Ethete, Wyoming, usually in July.
For more information go to www.windriver.org/page/native-american-powwows
Riverton, Wyoming, hosts powwows and weekly Native American events throughout the summer. Go to rivertonchamber.org.
Powwows in Cody, Wyoming east of Yellowstone
Drummers and dancers from the Northern Plains, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico compete in many categories at the Plains Indian Museum Powwow in Cody in June at the Joe Robbie Powwow Garden. The Buffalo Bill’s Plains Indian museum is next door to the pow wow grounds, and well worth a look inside. Go to centerofthewest.org
Montana Powwows North of Yellowstone
Chiefs ceremonial lighting of the fire at Valley of the Chiefs Pow Wow
The Valley of the Chiefs Powwow and Rodeo is held at Lodge Grass, Montana on the Crow Reservation, over the Independence Day weekend. It includes a rodeo, parade, Indian dancing, tipi camping, and a parade & dance through the village on the last day.
Crow Fair, Crow Agency, MT
The Crow Fair and Rodeo is featured during the third week of August at Crow Agency. The Battle of the Litte Bighorn National Monument is nearby.
Over the Labor Day weekend, the Ashland Labor Day Powwow is held on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Ashland, Montana.