Is Backpacking in Yellowstone Safe?

By Alice Nichols

Backpacking in Yellowstone National Park is one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences you can have. It’s a great way to explore the park’s stunning landscape and see wildlife up close. But is backpacking in Yellowstone safe?

The short answer is: Yes, backpacking in Yellowstone is generally safe. The park has excellent safety protocols in place to protect visitors from both wildlife and natural dangers like flash floods. However, there are some important safety considerations and precautions that visitors should take when backpacking in Yellowstone.

Wildlife Safety: Yellowstone is home to a wide range of wildlife, from bears and moose to bison and bald eagles. Backpackers should always be aware of their surroundings and take appropriate precautions to avoid potential conflicts with wildlife. This includes making noise while hiking, avoiding areas with fresh bear signs, carrying bear spray for defense, and never approaching or feeding wild animals.

Natural Hazards: Backpackers should also be aware of potential natural hazards like flash floods, lightning strikes, falling trees or rocks, and extreme temperatures. Visitors should always check the weather forecast before they go backpacking and be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. They should also be familiar with the park’s regulations regarding campfires and food storage.

Other Safety Tips: It’s also important to let someone know where you’re going before you set out on your trip, so that if something happens they will know where to look for you. Bring plenty of water and snacks as well as a first-aid kit in case of an emergency. And lastly, always follow Leave No Trace principles, which help ensure that everyone can enjoy a safe experience while exploring this amazing national park.


Backpacking in Yellowstone National Park can be an incredibly rewarding experience for those willing to take the proper safety precautions. With the right preparation and understanding of potential risks, it can be a safe and enjoyable adventure for everyone involved.