Many Montanans are looking at a three-day weekend for Independence Day. Some companies are offering Monday as a company holiday since the 4th falls on a Sunday, and locals may be tempted to take advantage of the long weekend and zip down to Yellowstone National Park for a day or two. You may want to think twice.

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

The park has issued Ten Tips for Visiting on the 4th of July.

In a 6/30 press release, Yellowstone National Park announced Ten Tips for Visiting on the 4th, but it should really be titled, "Don't Come to Yellowstone on the 4th, Unless You Enjoy Frustration." Here's why:

  • There is nowhere to stay.  Most park campgrounds and lodging options are already completely booked and overnight camping is not allowed on any pull-outs or other parking areas.
  • There is a ton of construction. Traffic is always an issue in the park, but this summer it may seem worse, thanks to numerous road construction projects and other deferred maintenance.
  • No fireworks. This should be a no-brainer, as the park is extremely dry (like much of the West), but you just know some tourists will attempt to light off fireworks. It's illegal and dumb to even consider the idea.

Go somewhere else if you want to get outdoors.

Escaping crowds in Montana's outdoors seems to be getting more difficult, as tourists continue to flock to the Treasure State. Easy-to-get-to campgrounds and recreation areas are likely to be busy for the summer season. However, there are 55 State Parks you could choose to explore, instead of sitting in stalled traffic in Yellowstone. Hit the road and check them out!

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