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riverparish
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
379 posts

Yellowstone
Thinking about going this summer to Yellowstone for 5 days. Has anyone here done that and can provide any info? Like where to fly into, where to stay, what all to do (besides the obvious). We didn’t know about getting a hotel or trying one of those “rent an RV” place. Any advice will be appreciated.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
25282 posts

re: Yellowstone
It's been several years since I've been, so my recs are likely dated, but I will say if you're thinking about it now, book very soon. It wouldn't surprise me if all the hotels in the park are already booked for the summer. Yellowstone is VERY popular and a lot of people book up to a year in advance. RV spots may be even more difficult.

There are a lot outside the park though, including a lot of VRBO's. People fly into either Salt Lake City or Jackson Hole. Jcakson is closer, but flights are pricier. I think SLC is about a 3-4 hour drive.


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30
RogerTheShrubber
LSU Fan
Juneau, AK
Member since Jan 2009
176249 posts

re: Yellowstone
Terribly crowded during the tourist season. Best to visit in the shoulder season.


8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
3900 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

Terribly crowded during the tourist season


meh. We have driven up from Denver the last two 4th of Julys and haven't had any issue with finding camping spots in the parks(Yellowstone and Tetons) nor really any issue with crowds.

Five days will really be pushing it to see most stuff. You'll have to be humping it. The short list of what you should see is everything. Stop at every pull out, drive on every road, stop every chance there is to get out and see something, go on every hike you're capable of. I like the North, North East and East entrances the best and think you should definitely drive out and back in through each. The northeast can take you over Bear Tooth Pass which you should do. The east side can take you to Cody which is also a great drive.

My advice is stay in the park if you can and get up early. People are lazy, if you get 50 yards away from a parking lot most places will seem empty.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
25282 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

if you get 50 yards away from a parking lot most places will seem empty.



Yeah, this has been my experience at every National Park. Blows my mind how unadventurous and lazy most Americans are. Most pull offs/parking lots have a trailhead fairly close by and a short hike often takes you to a different outcrop or view of whatever the pull off is there for. Yellowstone especially because it's so big people feel rushed to see it all.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10207 posts

re: Yellowstone
Idaho falls, Idaho, Jackson, Wyoming, and Bozeman, Montana are the 3 places to fly into. All are small airports and similar in price and distance to Yellowstone. None of them are close, all around 1.5 hours away. Its slow moving out there, so if you are spending 5 nights that's going to be 4 days in the park which is honestly plenty. But I wouldn't plan to do much on the day of your arrival and departure as everything is slow.

You need to book your hotels asap as the best stuff sells out fast. There won't be much available inside the park even now. Expect to pay $200-250 for a Motel 8 type of room anywhere within 50 miles of the park. Its just how it is.

The towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner are both worth a couple of hours. Most of the towns out there are. Its a great place to just take your time, road trip, and enjoy nature.

As said, expect all the big stuff in the park to be packed especially mid day. The best thing to do is to wake up early with a breakfast to go, then take a nap by a creek or great view somewhere and chill mid day, then enjoy the evening again.




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30
cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
18011 posts

re: Yellowstone
Stay in the park
hit the roadside stuff early am before the Asian tour busses get there
pick out a 1/2 day hike each day
catch the valley wildlife viewing late afternoon

we were there 7/4 holiday week and once you got off the road it was fine


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50
cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
18011 posts

re: Yellowstone
a good example is grand prismatic
forget the boardwalk and take the short hike up to the hill behind it

the view from above is mind bending

from there you can take a hike to fairy falls

another good example is the canyon south rim
take the south rim hike and you’ll see way more than at the viewing areas

also do not skimp time at Yellowstone lake, it’s amazing


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30
Tigris
Montana Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
9852 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

We have driven up from Denver the last two 4th of Julys and haven't had any issue with finding camping spots in the parks(Yellowstone and Tetons) nor really any issue with crowds.


Your experience is very different from mine. We camped there 3 years ago in late July and every campground was full by mid morning. Lots of frustrated people who simply could not find a spot in the park and had to leave and try again the next day. And quite a few parking lots were full with people circling around waiting for a spot to open. Glacier was similar for the camping. I'll be back to both, but not at peak season.


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20
Tridentds
Texas A&M Fan
Sugar Land
Member since Aug 2011
10642 posts

re: Yellowstone
Fly into Jackson. Stay a couple of nights in Jackson and hit the Teton National Park. Wildlife viewing here is fantastic and it is only 25 minutes from Jackson. Go on in to Yellowstone for a few days.

Yellowstone in the summer can be a grind. Lots of traffic, RVs, rubber necking, etc... makes for a long drive if you aren't on the roads very early. Staying in the park can be pricey if you don't book well in advance. Check into this pretty quick. If you stay outside just outside the park then you are dealing with the same drive in/out every day.

Don't know if there are any rent an RV places in Jackson but renting an SUV is super expensive.
This post was edited on 2/3 at 3:28 pm


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riverparish
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
379 posts

re: Yellowstone
Thanks for all the advice. It’s greatly appreciated.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10207 posts

re: Yellowstone
Yeah jackson hole and Grand Teton National Park is somewhat under sold when it comes to Yellowstone trips. Yellowstone is beautiful but it’s rugged long days. It’s not easy, it’s the rugged Rocky Mountains. It’s a lot easier to have an adventure and then get back to civilization in the Grand Tetons.

But eastern Idaho and South Montana are also beautiful. That whole area is fantastic, so no matter where you fly into I would plan to take your time and enjoy some of the smaller towns and areas. There’s some amazing mountain passes, hikes, and views everywhere.


zou_keeper
Missouri Fan
St Louis
Member since Jan 2012
1559 posts

re: Yellowstone
I personally enjoy Grand Teton national park more than Yellowstone. That being said, going to Yellowstone at least once in your life is worth it. You want to stay in Yellowstone for the best experience. Cabins book up fast, not too sure about the camp sites.

There is a lot of driving in Yellowstone. Speed limits are slow and roads are crowded.

Bring a decent pair of binoculars. I forgot mine last summer and ended up buying an overpriced set in Jackson Hole.

Also, be prepared to walk a lot. That is the only way it is really worth it. At Ol' Faithful there is a trail that I think is about 2.5 miles one direction. So many people don't do this, but they really should. Not only do you get to see so much more, these areas are going to be less crowded.


cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
18011 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

Yeah jackson hole and Grand Teton National Park is somewhat under sold when it comes to Yellowstone trips.

jackson (the town) is an overpriced gatlinburg.
GTNP is flat-out awesome and should not be missed...however you cant "do" yellowstone from there efficiently. what we did is stay in YS, we went hard and saw everything we could in 4 days there, then went to GTNP for two nights to relax and decompress


CidCock
South Carolina Fan
Member since Sep 2007
Member since Feb 2011
8133 posts

re: Yellowstone
I came here to post a similar question.

My brother and I are looking to take my 65 year old father this year, maybe in the April time frame, sounds like crowds shouldn't be bad at that point?

My dad is a big fisherman, so the purpose of the trip is fly fishing, but we really only plan to do that one day. Any recommendations on where to stay where we can get some cool scenery in but be close enough to catch a few trout?


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
25282 posts

re: Yellowstone
A lot of the park roads are still closed for most of April as there is usually still a lot of snow on the ground. I think it's the last weekend of April when they start re-opening roads. Pushing it to mid May would probably be better.


The lodge at Yellowstone Lake(I may have the name wrong) seemed to be where a lot of the fishermen stayed when I was there last(2003). I don't know if that was due to proximity to fishing(other than the lake obviously) or just coincidence.



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20
baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10207 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

My dad is a big fisherman, so the purpose of the trip is fly fishing, but we really only plan to do that one day. Any recommendations on where to stay where we can get some cool scenery in but be close enough to catch a few trout?


You don't want to fish there in April, unless you want to midge fish and I'm not even sure how possible that will be. Late april and May are mud season when the snow melts, the rivers get very high and dirty. Dry fly fishing is really June through October and if you want to guarantee it to be good really july as late snow can make them dirty through a good part of june.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10207 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:


jackson (the town) is an overpriced gatlinburg.


Lol. First off I said Jackson Hole not Jackson. Its expensive absolutely, its a billionaire playground. Pretty much any hotel within 50 miles of Yellowstone is going to be $200/ night and most are $250. So nothing is cheap out there. Gatlinburg is a tourist trap. Jackson is busy due to legit travelers, I'm not sure you can really compare them like that.

Furthermore, there's a ton to do in the Jackson Hole area outside of the town of Jackson and outside of GTNP. White water rafting, rafting, fishing, horse back riding, dude ranches, etc. Most of which are neither in town or in the park.

I agree though, its a great place to spend 7-10 days between the two places but you can't do them from the same spot easily. Its about 1.5 hours from the Visitors center of GTNP and the south entrance of Yellowstone.

Given that, I'd highly recommend someone not stay in the same hotel their entire Yellowstone trip anyway. Its like a 2 hour drive from Mammouth to Ole Faithful. Its best to stay in 2 or even 3 different places or more to cut down your driving.


cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
18011 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

Given that, I'd highly recommend someone not stay in the same hotel their entire Yellowstone trip anyway. Its like a 2 hour drive from Mammouth to Ole Faithful. Its best to stay in 2 or even 3 different places or more to cut down your driving.

correct

we stayed one night in mammoth, 2 nites at canyon lodge and one nite at grant village


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CidCock
South Carolina Fan
Member since Sep 2007
Member since Feb 2011
8133 posts

re: Yellowstone
quote:

You don't want to fish there in April, unless you want to midge fish and I'm not even sure how possible that will be. Late april and May are mud season when the snow melts, the rivers get very high and dirty. Dry fly fishing is really June through October and if you want to guarantee it to be good really july as late snow can make them dirty through a good part of june.


This is great information, thanks


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