Results 11-20of 29 Reviews
East Berlin, Pennsylvania
October 8, 2006
You've driven (or flown) for miles to get here and seen some of the most rural areas the US has, yet, despite its ruralness, this park is such a gem that it always has a crowd in summer and fall. So many people want to see it - after seeing it yourself, you can't blame them. The sights are simply incomparable.
Note, it's also mostly about 7500 feet in elevation, so expect a chill at night - even in the dead of summer, yet it's very hot during the day. Prepare for 30's to 90's.
So, where to start? To best see Yellowstone, first, do some research. Seeing it all in one or two days isn't going to happen, so a minimum of a couple nights lodging is recommended. We stayed 4 nights and could have used at least one more. Decide if you want to camp or stay in a lodge/cabin - you'll most likely need reservations well in advance. (Some camping is first come, first served, but you still generally need to get there early.)
If you're on time constraints, you'll have to decide what's most important to you to see. Simply driving from one end of the park to the other will take you 2-3 hours (one way) - without stopping - and if you don't stop, did you see anything? Some stopping (for critter jams) may be required. "Critters" can be anything from buffalo/bison, elk, bears, moose, or anything else others consider worth stopping for.
For quick advice, for thermal features, the south western part of the park is best - for critter watching, the mid-eastern tends to be better (though critters can be seen anywhere, so keep your camera ready!) Waterfalls are (mostly) in the east/northeast. Mountains are everywhere as are hikes.
To allow some space to actually write, all of our Yellowstone experiences are in separate journal entries. This is mainly an overview to "warn" you not to underestimate the time for this park - especially if you want to hike. (This is our second time there after underestimating it the first time...) There are more geysers than Old Faithful, so even that's not a "short stop just to see it" for most folks. The pools are so incredibly beautiful that they too take longer than most anticipate. Then there's the animals and "critter watching" - a whole fun aspect in itself. Read on to see what might interest you!
There's food, gas, and lodging in this park, but expect to pay extra for all of the above... though the cost for camp sites was quite reasonable.
From journal 2006 Trip Pt 2 - WY - Devil's Tower to Yellowstone
Red Bluff, California
August 30, 2006
From journal Yellowstone in August
Manderson, South Dakota
April 14, 2006
From journal The Summer I Stayed in Yellowstone Nat'l Park
February 3, 2006
From journal 3,600 Miles of USA
Holly Grove, Arkansas
September 13, 2005
Our trip started out by them picking us up at our condo and taking us to a restaurant where we were offered a breakfast buffet that was already included in the price of the trip. Next we were fitted with our outerwear clothing and boots. Then we got back on the bus and they took us up to the entrance of the park. At this time we were given the option of going in for a bathroom break and then got on our snowmobiles and started the tour. It was a guided tour, and we had a very good guide who worked well with everyone and was very knowledgeable about the park.
During our trip, we made several stops seeing different things. We saw lakes, waterfalls, wild life, geysers, and Old Faithful. The views were the ones that will always be stuck in your head. We also saw where the fire had come though the park, and vegetation was growing back. We got to walk on trails to see sights up closer and take pictures. We were not rushed and had a wonderful experience.
We ate a packed lunch at Old Faithful and then went back seeing more sights. It was a day trip and wonderful. I was worried about getting cold, but they gave you warm outer suites, helmets, boots, and gloves that keep you very warm. I prefer riding alone, but you also have the option of riding doubles. It is cheaper to ride doubles but harder to steer the machine, and it can be pretty rough at times for the back person. The trail we were on was actually the road during the summer, so it was a nice wide trail, but got rough toward the end of the day because of all the snowmobile traffic. You also were given lessons on driving the machines and hand signals for stopping, slowing down, and turning. You do have to be a licensed driver to be allowed to drive. The machines are very easy to drive.
This is a trip I hope to be able to make again one day!
From journal Honeymoon in Jackson Hole
September 12, 2005
The tour to Old Faithful leaves early in the morning. Be prepared for pickup at your hotel around 6:30am. An expanded continental breakfast of rolls, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, and coffee is served at the office. After breakfast you are suited up for the trip: snowsuit, boots, helmet, and gloves. Bring your own gator to keep your neck warm or wear a good turtleneck. Sunglasses may also be needed.
It is still dark when your group leaves on the hour ride to the south entrance of Yellowstone by van. In the Flagg Ranch area the snowmobiles are unloaded, and you have one last chance to go to the restroom and buy a snack at the little shop.
Then it is off into the winter wonderland of Yellowstone for a 100-mile trip. This day is cloudy and cold, but not bitter. The grips on the snowmobile (even the ones on the back for a passenger) are warmed, so your hands stay pretty warm. The wind, though, does bite at your face and neck.
Lots of stops are made to view wildlife and take pictures. We see waterfalls and snow-studded rivers and walk on frozen Lake Lewis. The guide is knowledgeable, and we learned some things about Yellowstone we didn't know, even though we have made many visits there in winter and summer.
We arrive at Old Faithful at lunchtime. We watch it erupt against a gray sky and head for the Geyser Cafe for lunch. We are allowed to order anything on the menu as part of our fee. It serves fairly typical fast food and is quite good. After lunch, we walk the boardwalks in the Old Faithful Basin together, seeing some buffalo, wild geese, and a coyote. There is not enough snow in the park this time to continue on to Biscuit Basin, where usually more wildlife is seen. Snow machines are not allowed beyond Old Faithful.
The return trip has several more stops. The guide shows a place where the water from a small lake flows in two different directions at the Continental Divide at Craig Pass.
It is getting dark again as we pull into the Flagg Ranch area gas station. Hot chocolate sold in the shop is a big hit! We pile back in the van for the return trip to Jackson tired and happy. Once everyone has turned in the snow clothes and picked up their belongings, the guide returns us all to our respective lodgings in the van about 6pm.
FYI--Drivers must have a driver's license because this trip is on the roads of Yellowstone.
For information and reservations, call 1-800-647-2561 or log on to the website Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Tours.
From journal Christmas in Jackson
by LA guy
Los Angeles, California
September 8, 2005
Our second stop began at the Grand Yellowstone Lodge, a ruggedly designed resort that also houses a restaurant and gift shop. Touring the hotel was more like a time-killer though, because it was located just yards away from Old Faithful, making this a perfect place to wait for the geyser to go off. As the time approached, we rushed to the rim to get a close up. We were barely able to contain our excitement when a loud boom thundered across the vicinity as the geyser shot its thick column of steam hundreds of feet up into the air.
For our third leg of the tour, we arrived at the bank of the Yellowstone Lake, where we embarked on a small hike along the lake as we enjoyed beautiful scenery, gazing out into the horizon from the "thumb" side of the lake.
Afterwards, we drove to visit the Yellowstone Falls, where we not only saw it from afar, but also viewed it from the top of the fall, then hiked down the 500-step steel ladder to the bottom, seeing it and feeling the rush of thundering water just yards away from me. But the best view of the falls was definitely the Artists Point, where we got a panoramic view towards the beautiful upper Yellowstone Falls and its valley.
Then we proceeded to our last stop, Mammoth Springs. As we drove towards it, it was to our delight that a buffalo ran up along side of our tour bus, allowing us to view it up close and personal. Amazing. After a brief lunch/tour at the Mammoth Springs Village, we took a hike from the top of the spring to the bottom. It was during this time that we learned that most of the springs have sadly gone dry around 1996. However, there were a few sections of the spring that were still alive, enough so we weren't just seeing a huge, dead, spring. We were able to finish this trail in about 1 hour, frequently stopping to take pictures along the way where springs are still active.
As we finished our tour of the Yellowstone, I walked away with a renewed sense of what Yellowstone is about. It was one of the most memorable national parks I have visited.
From journal Yellowstone
September 5, 2005
We visited Yellowstone for four days, and we’ll visit again when we have more time. It was wonderful to drive through the park every day and see the wildlife. It was fun driving around the park and noticing cars stopped ahead and wondering what we’d see next. We’d grab our binoculars and cameras for the next adventure. During our visit we saw: black bears, eagles, coyotes, trumpeter swans, ospreys, elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, foxes, marmots, and bison.
We enjoyed learning about the hydrothermal features: geysers, mud pots, hot springs, and fumaroles.
We visited the park in August, and the park didn’t seem overly crowded. The only time it felt like there were a lot of people is when we visited Old Faithful. There were many picnic areas and we took advantage of them for lunch on two of our days. It was so peaceful enjoying our lunch next to the river enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
We loved Yellowstone National Park and we’ll visit it again!
From journal Summer week in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota
September 9, 2004
From journal Wild, Wild West Road Trip!
January 16, 2004
From journal A view from the hill