Yellowstone National Park Journals

America's First National Park - Yellowstone

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A July 2012 trip to Yellowstone National Park by MilwVon

Reflections Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming More Photos
Quote: Yellowstone National Park was the primary focus on my recent eight day road/camping trip. I spent four wonderful nights and five days exploring much of what the park has to offer visitors. This journal just scratches the surface of Yellowstone, leaving so much more for future discovery.

Yellowstone National Park

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Attraction | "One of America's Finest National Parks"

Yellowstone National Park Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Yellowstone National Park was created as our first US National Park by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Today it receives more than two million visitors annually, with July being the busiest month. Like many other National Park Service (NPS) designated parks, Yellowstone offers a plethora of tourist convenience services including hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and lots tour activities. With five entrances into the park and nine visitor center throughout, there are a lot of opportunities to meet with rangers and learn about the park's diverse features and attractions.Perhaps most famous are the geothermal areas that include geysers, boiling pots and hot springs. Old Faithful is the most well...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 23, 2012

Yellowstone National Park
Headwaters of the Yellowstone River
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190
(307) 344-7381

Camping in Yellowstone Nat'l Park

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Camping in Yellowstone Nat'l Park Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Yellowstone is the premier US destination for those interested in camping, whether in a mega RV or the simplest of tents or something in between. Even those who like to camp via van or station wagon can find comfort in knowing just how easy it can be to camp and commune with nature.Yellowstone National Park has a number of campgrounds (CG) that accept advance reservations. These are generally located at the "village" areas throughout the park and have spaces that can accommodate cars, tents and many RVs. They are currently priced at $25 (plus tax). In addition to knowing where you will be sleeping on any given night, these CGs feature flush toilets and complimentary showers to those wh...Read More

Dining Options in Yellowstone Nat'l Park

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My Breakfast View Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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While visiting Yellowstone Nat'l Park, guests have many options regarding food. While you will find lots of people doing as I did, picnicking across the park from point to point, there are others who view vacation as a time to be pampered and not camp. Personally speaking, I find camp cooking to be more work and effort than cooking at home, so I avoid that at all costs!For those willing to pack and keep a cooler filled with ice, it is easy to take perishable foods for your visit even if you are planning to camp during your stay. Most big rig RVs are equipped with wonderful refrigerators, which removes the hassle of ice. For my trip, I opted to avoid the ice challenge packing only dry, ...Read More

Yellowstone - Day 1 (part 1)

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My First Sunrise in Yellowstone Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Wednesday July 11thI went to bed last night shortly after 9:00pm and woke up cold a couple of times during the night. The first time, I put on warmer clothes and the second time, I broke out the "zero degree" sleeping bag and used it as a comforter. I woke up for the day at 5:50am to 48F outside.Since I had a shower to start the day Tuesday, I opted to by-pass using my shower pass at Grant Village in order to head out and get a early start on wildlife viewing and my planned drive around the lower loop of the Yellowstone Park Road. For those who are not familiar with Yellowstone, you can drive the entire park road in your personal vehicle. There are limitations o...Read More

Yellowstone - Day 1 (part 2)

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Firehole Spring Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Wednesday July 11th (con't)Heading out of the Norris Junction area I found a small picnic area along the Gibbon River where I fixed a sandwich and enjoyed my lunch. There were children playing in the water and a fly fisherman upstream who looked to only be in ankle deep. Several minutes later, a large bull elk was seen grazing.Mobs of people stopped and went river-side to photograph the beautiful animal. As with the other elk I had seen in the park, he appeared to be healthy.Back on the loop still heading counterclockwise, my next diversion was the Firehole Lake Drive, home to what is touted as one of the most spectacular geysers in the park - The Great Fountain ...Read More

Yellowstone - Day 2 (part 1)

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Walking the Balance Beam Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Thursday July 12thToday was a great "bear day" with lots of sightings throughout the park!It started at 5:50am with a frigid wake-up of just 36F after overnight thunder-boomers that rocked my van between 10:00pm and roughly midnight. The entire Canyon Village area was socked in with dense fog; even the bison around the junction were difficult to see.My plan for the day was to do the upper loop, again heading counterclockwise, with an added detour out the North Entrance to Gardiner, MT. Gardiner was on the agenda for two purposes: 1) to have breakfast at the Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe, and 2) to buy "cheap" gas outside of the park.This part of the p...Read More

Yellowstone - Day 2 (part 2)

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Cubs Following Mom Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Thursday July 12th (con't)From the Norris Junction, I head back towards Canyon Village so as to continue my counterclockwise loop that would eventually land me back at Roosevelt Lodge and my cabin for the night. When I arrived in the area, it was really too early to check-in and go to the cabin so I figured I'd head up towards to NE Entrance at Silver Gate. Since the Lamar Valley is one of the better known wildlife viewing areas and there had been a black bear with two cubs seen in the area, it seemed like a decent way to spend a couple of hours.I wasn't five miles from the Roosevelt Junction when I came upon a large back-up of cars complete with a couple of park ranger vehic...Read More

Yellowstone - Day 3

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Here They Come! Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Friday July 13th"Unlucky Friday the 13th" . . . HA! What another great day to be in Yellowstone National Park, enjoying nature and the beauty that surrounded me.Overnight we had quite the thunderstorm in the northern area of Yellowstone NP. At one point the crack of thunder was so loud it woke both Nanc and I up, startling us in our unfamiliar surroundings and beds. It was around 3:00am so plenty more sleep to be had. I know I rolled over and fell back asleep pretty easily. Next thing I knew, it was 5:30am and time to get moving.Nanc again offered to drive for our morning wildlife viewing and since the front seat area of my van was filled with stuff, I gladly ...Read More

Yellowstone & Grand Teton (part 1)

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My Breakfast View Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Saturday July 14thI woke up early (5:30am) and was ready to hit the road after my good-byes with Nanc. She was actually up before me and ready to get moving first, so it worked out just about perfectly. As I did my last check of our cabin, I pondered what I would do with my day. Originally, my plan was to stay in the parks through the weekend and head home Monday in order to be home Tuesday night.I felt as though I had already had several great days of wildlife viewing, even if I had not seen the illusive wolves in either Hayden or Lamar. I had also not yet seen a moose, but I had what I thought was a good lead on locating them, down in Grand Teton NP which was my initial p...Read More

Yellowstone & Grand Teton (part 2)

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Moose in GTNP Photo,
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Saturday July 14th (con't)Earlier in the week, I met a couple from Portage, Wisconsin. In talking about the wildlife we'd seen, I was envious that he had seen moose. He told me that he had been told of a marsh area just beyond Colter Bay down the Pilgrim Creek Road. Sure enough, when I made the left-hand turn, I could see a number of cars pulled to the shoulder, and several people out walking into the willows. There was also a tour company with guests watching. Their driver/guide was explaining to folks about the moose habitat and that the bull moose in this area were getting ready for rut season next month.From the vantage point that I had, I could barely see the moose th...Read More