A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Yellowstone National Park vs. Maui for Hiking, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Yellowstone National Park or Maui? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a world-famous, popular, and immense national park. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the hiking.

Maui

Maui is a breathtaking, stunning, and idyllic island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include hiking, shopping, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Yellowstone National Park and Maui: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Old Faithful
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Haleakala National Park
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Maui. Although Yellowstone National Park and Maui are both popular with visitors, Maui has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Yellowstone National Park is popular for its iconic geysers, breathtaking waterfalls, world-class hikes, and diverse wildlife. Maui is popular for its beach-filled coastline, world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, dramatic landscapes, and paradise environment. It is also home to Haleakala National Park.

How is Yellowstone National Park different from Maui?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Maui and Yellowstone National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is a island with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Yellowstone National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

Maui offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most people prefer not to spend their time inside or at a museum, but for a rainy day you can check out the Maui Ocean Center.

Yellowstone National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Yellowstone National Park or Maui? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Both Yellowstone National Park and Maui offer decent local cuisine and restaurants.

Yellowstone National Park may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. This is a large park and there are a number of dining options available both inside and just outside of the park. Many places are seasonal so your options will be highest during the summer months. Like most national park venues, prices can be high and the quality is variable. It's recommended that you pack your own food and plan to picnic.

Maui offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Like the other Hawaiian islands, food is expensive and of varying quality here, but the food scene continues to grow and improve. There are eclectic food trucks where you can try local flavors. There's also plenty of fresh tropical produce like mangos, avocadoes, and coconuts. Seafood is common on many menus as well.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Nightlife?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is not so good for its evening party scene. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Maui. The island is not known for its nightlife, but the limited activities that do exist you'll find in Kaanapali and Lahaina.

Yellowstone National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Resorts?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Yellowstone National Park and Maui offer a relatively similar set of high quality luxury resort options.

Yellowstone National Park is known as a popular and fun resort destination. It is a large national park, and there are several impressive lodges nearby. Reservations are recommended well in advance. Within the park, Old Faithful Inn, Roosevelt Lodge, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are all nice options.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Maui. There are a number of nice resorts, but there are also VRBOs, condos, and local hotels where you can stay. High-end luxury resorts on the island include The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua and Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. There are also more reasonable priced resorts without all of the glitz and glam.


Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is well known for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Maui. The island has excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. You can really find it anywhere on the island, but some places are more crowded than others. Some of the best beaches for snorkeling include Honolua Bay, Slaughterhouse (Mokuleia Bay), DT Fleming Beach, and Kapalua Bay.

Yellowstone National Park is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Beaches?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is very popular for the beach. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a beach destination.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Maui. The island has stunning beaches and more miles of swimmable beach than any of the other Hawaiian islands. One of the best swimming beaches is Kapalua Beach, but other favorite beaches include Makena Beach State Park, Ka'anapali Beach, Baldwin Beach Park, and Wai'anapanapa State Park.

Yellowstone National Park is not a beach destination.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Hiking?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

If you're looking to go hiking, Yellowstone National Park and Maui both have first-rate trails.

People visit Yellowstone National Park specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. The park is huge, and there are countless hikes throughout. From short strolls to lengthy endeavors, there really is something for everyone. If you want to see the geysers, some of the best hikes are Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail, the Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation Point Loop, and the Lone Star Geyser Trail. For waterfalls you can check out Brink of the Lower Falls Trail, the North Rim Trail, and Fairy Falls Trail.

Many people visit Maui specifically for its hiking. There are many diverse hikes on the island that pass through different landscapes and ecosystems. Hikes range from easy to challenging and are of varying length. Some of the favorites include 'Iao Valley State Park, Haleakala's Sliding Sands Trail (in Haleakala National Park), and The Pipiwai Trail.


Is the Shopping Better in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Many visitors go to Maui to go shopping. There are many shopping centers where you'll find souvenirs, Hawaiian clothing, and even handmade crafts. If you forgot something from home, you'll also find many of the major chains that are common on the mainland.

Yellowstone National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Families?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is very popular for its family-friendly activities. Also, Yellowstone National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Maui is a very family-friendly destination. It is one of the best of the Hawaiian islands to explore with kids. There's plenty of snorkeling, outdoor adventure sports, and hiking that are great for kids of all ages. There are some kid-friendly beaches where kids can play in the water. There's also the Maui Ocean Center, Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, and 'Iao Valley State Park.

Yellowstone National Park is a very family-friendly destination. Kids who enjoy the outdoors and exploring new environments will appreciate a visit to this park. The geysers are fascinating for everyone and the waterfalls are breathtaking. There are ranger shows and other activities that are great for kids as well. Make sure you stop by the Visitor's Centers.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Couples?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is very popular for couples. Also, Yellowstone National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Maui makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Couples will enjoy the outdoor sports, excellent snorkeling and diving, and beautiful waterfalls that make for a romantic getaway. There are world-class resorts and breathtaking scenery that attract honeymooning couples from around the globe.

Yellowstone National Park is a great national park if you're traveling as a couple. This park is a beautiful and romantic destination for couples who enjoy the outdoors. There are world-renowned hikes and breathtaking views. There are also lodges in the area that make for a romantic stay.


Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit destination for backpackers. However, Maui is a island with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Yellowstone National Park. Backpackers will appreciate the campgrounds and affordable facilities that are found around the park. Reservations are recommended well in advance, particularly if you're hoping to stay inside the park.

Maui is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Like most of the Hawaiian Islands, everything is expensive here and even though there are a couple of hostels, you can still expect to pay high prices for them. Public transportation is also limited so you'll really need to rent a car if you hope to explore the island in depth.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Maui is a island with a few options for its public transit. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Maui. The island does have a bus system with 14 routes, but most visitors prefer to have their own transportation to get around.

Public transit is quite limited in Yellowstone National Park. There is no public transportation service available in the park. There are private tour options available.

Is Yellowstone National Park or Maui a more walkable city?

Yellowstone National Park
Maui

Neither Yellowstone National Park or Maui are walkable places.

Yellowstone National Park is not a walkable national park. This is among the largest national parks and a car is an absolute must if you hope to experience the different landscapes.

Maui is not a very walkable national park. The island is large enough that you'll want to have access to a car if you hope to explore it in its entirety.


For even more information, also check out Is Yellowstone National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Maui Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Maui or Yellowstone National Park?

How long in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Both Yellowstone National Park and Maui have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Maui has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Maui than Yellowstone National Park. In general, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Yellowstone National Park, and 3-7 days is enough time in Maui.

Families should spend more time in Maui than Yellowstone National Park. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Maui, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Maui than Yellowstone National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Maui that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Maui than Yellowstone National Park if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Maui.


  • How many days in Yellowstone National Park or Maui? Ideal Length of Stay
    Yellowstone National Park 5-7 
    Maui 3-7

One day in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the destination of Yellowstone National Park. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the adventure-filled island of Maui. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Yellowstone National Park is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the hiking. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the destination of Maui. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Five days in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the breathtaking destination of Yellowstone National Park. This national park offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Maui is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here. It offers something for everyone.


A week in Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the stunning national park of Yellowstone National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Maui is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Maui or Yellowstone National Park?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Yellowstone National Park is $147, while the average daily cost in Maui is $275. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Yellowstone National Park and Maui in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Yellowstone National Park $74
    Maui $141
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Yellowstone National Park $148
    Maui $282
Compare Hotels in Yellowstone National Park and Maui

Looking for a hotel in Yellowstone National Park or Maui? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Yellowstone National Park


Hotels in Maui


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Yellowstone National Park Hotel Prices and Maui Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Yellowstone National Park $37
    Maui $62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Maui

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Maui:

  • Kahului OGG Airport and Kihei Wailea Hotels Private Transfer: $43
  • Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) to Maui - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $173
  • Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) to Maui hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $87
  • Maui to Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) - Departure Private Transfer: $87
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Maui Kahului Airport OGG: $31
  • Private Transfer from Kahului Airport(OGG) to Lahaina Cruise Port: $81
  • Private Transfer from Lahaina Cruise Port to Kahului Airport(OGG): $81
  • Private Transfer from Maui City Hotels to Lahaina Cruise Port: $81
  • Private transfer: Kahului Airport (OGG) to Kahului: $101
  • Private transfer: Kahului to Kahului Airport (OGG): $101

Is it cheaper to fly into Yellowstone National Park or Maui?

Prices for flights to both Maui and Yellowstone National Park change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Yellowstone National Park $46
    Maui $94

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Maui

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Maui.

  • From Ma'alaea Harbor: Sunset Dinner Cruise Aboard the Quicksilver: $110
  • Ma'alaea Harbor: Sunset Prime Rib or Mahi Mahi Dinner Cruise : $150
  • Premium Sunset Dinner Cruise from Ka’anapali Beach: $154
  • South Gilligans' Island Luau with Dinner and Drinks: $166
  • Mystery Puzzle Food Tour in Lahaina for 2 People: $170
  • Premium Dinner Cruise: Four Course Dining Experience - Ma'alaea: $170
  • Maui Sunset Luau Dinner Cruise from Ma'alaea Harbor aboard Pride of Maui: $187
  • Haleakala's Best Sunset Tour with Dinner: $210
  • Wailele Luau Including Fire and Knife Performance plus Dinner: $219

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Yellowstone National Park $34
    Maui $38

Tours and Activities in Yellowstone National Park

Here are a few actual costs in Yellowstone National Park for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Self-Guided Grand Teton National Park Driving Tour: $8.99
  • Yellowstone's West Thumb Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Yellowstone's Old Faithful Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Yellowstone National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Early Morning Guided Kayak Tour: $125
  • Lake Yellowstone Half Day Kayak Tours Past Geothermal Features : $135
  • Small-Group Sunset Kayaking Tour on Lake Yellowstone : $150
  • Yellowstone Lake & Hot Springs / 3 Hour Morning or Twilight Tour : $150
  • 6-Mile Geyser Hiking Tour in Yellowstone with Lunch: $182
  • Lamar Valley Safari Hiking Tour with Lunch: $182

Tours and Activities in Maui

Here are a few actual costs in Maui for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • South Beach Parks Self-Guided Driving Tour: $13
  • Lahaina Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Kahului: Self-Driving Audio Tour of Road to Hana: $17
  • Sunrise at Haleakala Audio Driving Tour: $20
  • Self-Guided Audio Tours - Full Island: $20
  • Maui Adventure Bundle: 6 Epic Audio Driving Tours, Including Road to Hana: $30
  • Maui Bundle: 6 In-App Driving And Walking Audio Tours: $30
  • Aloha West Maui 2 Hour Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour: $40
  • Reefdancer Semi-Sub Boat Cruise from Lahaina Harbor: $54
  • Small-Group Ghost Walking Tour in Maui: $59
  • From Ma'alaea Harbor: Afternoon Whale Watch Cruise Aboard Calypso: $60
  • Taste of Hawaii: A Maui Farm Tour: $69

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Yellowstone National Park $19
    Maui $41

Sample the Local Flavors in Maui

Also in Maui, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Maui Farm Distillery and local craft experience Full-Day Tour: $224
  • Goat Farm, Distillery, & Glass-Blowing Tour w/ Tasting: $224


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Yellowstone National Park and Maui, we can see that Maui is more expensive. And not only is Yellowstone National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Yellowstone National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Yellowstone National Park and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Maui would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Maui than you might in Yellowstone National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Yellowstone National Park Expensive? and Is Maui Expensive?.