MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS –  Yellowstone National Park rangers ask visitors to arrive prepared for a safe, pleasurable, and rewarding experience on Wednesday, July 4, according to a news release.

Protect yourself and your park by following these tips:

Take the Yellowstone Pledge to dedicate yourself to protecting this national, natural treasure. Encourage your friends and family to do the same and tag your photos with #YellowstonePledge.

Pack your patience. Plan extra time when traveling from place to place. Expect limited parking, traffic congestion and delays, especially when wildlife is on or near the roadway.

Plan ahead. Campgrounds and lodges fill early; especially during summer. Finding a place to sleep at the last minute is unlikely.

Drive responsibly. Observe park speed limits, watch out for distracted drivers, and use pullouts to watch wildlife or take photos.

Protect park resources and experiences. People come to Yellowstone seeking a wild experience and a natural connection. You can safeguard your family and the park by remembering to:

  • View wildlife from a safe distance. Stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes. Stay at least 100 yards (91 meters) away from bears and wolves.
  • Stay on trails and boardwalks in thermal areas. Boardwalks take you to amazing places, but hot springs can be deadly. Pets, smoking, and eating in thermal areas are prohibited to protect these fragile basins from human impact.
  • Hike in groups. Protect your friends and family and the bears you may see by hiking in groups, making noise, and carrying and knowing how to use bear spray.

Practice fire safety. Park fire danger is low. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings in the 11 developed campgrounds and most backcountry campsites. Campfires must be extinguished and cold to the touch after use.

Do not use fireworks. They are banned in the park.