Here are some thoughts from my recent trip to Yellowstone for those who can spend more than a day or two a this fabulous park.
by treebud on August 30, 2006
These cabins are behind the hotel and are similar to a hotel room. The best thing about these cabins is the sun room in the hotel. Each morning we went to the sun room, drank the free coffee, and watched Lake Yellowstone. It was one of my best memories.
These cabins were basically the same as hotel rooms with front porches. Every morning we got up and watched the Uinta ground squirrels playing in the grassy courtyard we faced. The only downside was that there was one overhead light and one bedside light both of which were operated from a wall switch by the door. We had read about this beforehand and brought a clip light to attach to headboard and read by but there were NO electrical outlets by the bed.
We made reservations 8 months ago to stay in the rooms (2 queen beds) in the old section of the hotel, the ones with no bathrooms. We ended up getting put in one of the dormer rooms directly off the third floor lobby. It was FABULOUS! We had cross ventilation and views of the geyser basin. We got to see Lion Geyser go off from our room several times while we were there. Why we got into one of the dormer rooms, I can't say. Maybe because we booked early? maybe because we stayed more than one night?About the bathrooms down the hall. I was a bit nervous about this but it ended up being no big deal. They provide bathrobes and one night I needed to make that long walk down the hall at 2AM. There was no one out and about and it was actually rather peaceful.
If you want to do some serious geyser gazing, your first stop should be at the Visitor Center at Old Faithful. They predict five geysers, four of which are in the upper geyser basin. Map out your route and head out. When you get to the geyser, be prepared to wait. Most of the geysers have a window of 30-90 minutes on either side of the predicted eruption time. I took a book, water, and sunscreen but ended up spending most of my waiting time talking with others who were waiting.Next, find and get to know the "Geyser Gazers". These are people who visit Yellowstone National Park to watch the geysers. They communicate with one another via radio (which is how you can pick them out of a crowd) and are a wealth of information. They also informally predict other geysers in the basin. They were directly responsible for us seeing at least three different geysers we would not have seen otherwise. They can also tell you if a geyser you are hurrying to see has erupted yet or not. Many thanks to the gazers who helped us out during our visit!If you are able, visit some of the geysers around sunset. If you have the sun to your back when the geyser erupts, you can see a rainbow in the mist.
Every place you go in Yellowstone will have at least one gift shop. After you have been to three or four (or 25 or 30!), you will realize that they all carry about the same things. If you only have time for one or two, the biggest gift shops can be found at Fishing Bridge and Canyon.
The basin has some nice thermal features and it was an easy 1-1/2 mile walk. However, we did not walk the Porcelain Basin trail. Others who did walk it said the best views were the ones we had from the lookout at the Visitor Center.
We found that the best ways to see wildlife are to hang out in the Hayden Valley or Lamar Valley or to get up and out early in the day.In the Lamar Valley we saw bison, pronghorn, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, and coyotes. If you can do so safely, get out of your car and watch the bison for awhile. You can hear their grunts and groans from a long way away.In the Hayden Valley we saw bison, elk, wolves, and more bison. If you see people out of their cars with scopes, STOP! They are most likely looking at either wolves or grizzly bears.We also found that being out early (before 10:00 AM) was a good time to see animals. That is when we saw a fox, otters, and deer.
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