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Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

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  • Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

    My parents have finally agreed on going from our home here in Chicago out to Yellowstone National Park this summer (right now it might be early August). They want to drive there, lodge there, and site see without paid tour guides.

    Now, I have never been there myself and I don't know anyone close (or even half-close) who has gone by themselves. So I guess, I'll ask around here to see about any advice, tips, suggested places to see, things to do, ecetera from those who have gone.

    I list here what we're looking at and then follow up with things we haven't looked at...

    Entrance Fee
    This is covered already, unless I'm amiss. We plan on driving a non-commercial Econoline 150 out there (we can only fit 8 in the van). According to the NPS, we need to pay $50 for a year-round pass.

    Lodging / Camping
    According to my dad, he plans on entering through the East Gate and we wanted to stay in lodging within the park. So we went to Travel Yellowstone to look at reservations for Lake Lodging for 4 nights. We figured we'd need about two rooms since they don't seem to offer double double bedding within one room. We figured it'll run us about $580.

    I've talked to my parents at length in regards to camping and the general consensus is that we want a comfy hotel/lodge setting instead of being with the wild.

    Sightseeing
    I'm basically lost at this juncture. I have no real clue where to start other then driving out there, buying the pass, entering through the East entrance, finding the lodge, unpacking, and...well...I'm lost from there. :row__577:

    Suggestions? Must-sees?

    Travel Route to the Park
    Most likely major highways. My dad usually doesn't plan this until about a week or two beforehand.

    Any suggestions?

    Travel Route in the Park
    We were just planning on sticking to the main road that goes around the lake and just stopping along when we feel like it.

    Suggestions?

    Equipment, Gear, Clothing, etc.
    I have not talked with my parents about this at all. I'm thinking: a few flashlights, some blankets and sweaters (just in case), some umbrellas (in case), hiking boots maybe? (don't know, and we don't have any), gym shoes, light clothing, cash (of course), pens, paper, and that's about all I can come up with.

    Any advice in this area?


    And whatever experiences you guys feel like sharing, because it's almost information overload for me right now.
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  • #2
    Re: Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

    I have spent many a summer in and around the park; I have family in West Yellowstone and Red lodge.
    bring lots of gas money and patience. The Park is huge and if you are not staying in the park you will do a lot of driving and looking for a place to park. DO NOT let this get you down!

    Any YS park guide will give you lots of options and Ideas. The USFS travel guides are pretty good and online sellers like amazon.com offer plenty more books to read. I recommend you get at least 2 from different authors.

    Plan ahead as best you can. YS is like Disney world you can NOT do it in a day or 2, or 3…
    I recommend at least one overnight hike to get away from the crowds that never leave their cars.

    Bring a decent digital camera and the largest memory stick/s you can afford.

    If you can get to the Bear tooth Highway (to/from Red lodge) do it. Its one hell of a drive…up and up…and up somemore..up a little higher…a bit more.

    Camp if you can for as long as you can in our out of the park. Will make the trip much cheaper and IMO fun.

    GET out of your CAR.

    Too much more to put into a post.

    Sarcoma
    Sarcoma.

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    • #3
      Re: Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

      Originally posted by Sarcoma View Post
      I have spent many a summer in and around the park; I have family in West Yellowstone and Red lodge.
      bring lots of gas money and patience. The Park is huge and if you are not staying in the park you will do a lot of driving and looking for a place to park. DO NOT let this get you down!

      Any YS park guide will give you lots of options and Ideas. The USFS travel guides are pretty good and online sellers like amazon.com offer plenty more books to read. I recommend you get at least 2 from different authors.

      Plan ahead as best you can. YS is like Disney world you can NOT do it in a day or 2, or 3…
      I recommend at least one overnight hike to get away from the crowds that never leave their cars.

      Bring a decent digital camera and the largest memory stick/s you can afford.

      If you can get to the Bear tooth Highway (to/from Red lodge) do it. Its one hell of a drive…up and up…and up somemore..up a little higher…a bit more.

      Camp if you can for as long as you can in our out of the park. Will make the trip much cheaper and IMO fun.

      GET out of your CAR.

      Too much more to put into a post.

      Sarcoma
      I thought the Red Lodge offered a trolly type servive up and down the mountian?
      Perhaps I am getting my lodges confused. This could also be a result of watching the Travel Channel at 3am.

      But if I am correct the Vistas that you can take in from the trolly. Seemed to be quite breath taking especially since you aren't doing the driving and can take in the sights to a greater extent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

        It's been 15 years since I've been (twice in the early nineties), and both times I spent around a week just touring around inside the park. Both trips I camped most nights, back then it was only around $18 for a camp site, but I did spend a couple nights at the lodge at Old Faithful. The lodge is amazing, and well worth visiting while seeing the geyser. My advice would be to do as Sarcoma said and ask the park guides, they'll know the best spots for what your group is interested in and capable of. I do remember it snowing one morning, and being in the high 70's in the afternoon (was July), so be prepared for the weather shifts. My favorite memory was a small river (creek), with natural hot springs feeding into it, that was open for swimming. One side was 40 degree water, the other 90. Lots to see and do, it's a great trip, and everyone should go once.
        |TG-6th|FYAH29
        "So Far, So Good................So What"

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        • #5
          Re: Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

          Don't feed the bears.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

            Personally, not a big fan of trudging around on a super-volcano, but hey, if that momma goes we're all in trouble.
            I am the one, I am the zero, I am your low resolution hero.

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            • #7
              Re: Yellowstone National Park...Advice, Tips, To Do?

              Originally posted by FPS_Douglas View Post
              Don't feed the bears.
              A guy's going on a hiking vacation through the mountains out west. Before
              setting off into the boonies, he stops into a small general store to get
              some supplies.

              After picking out the rest of his provisions, he asks the old store owner,
              "Say mister, I'm going hiking up in the mountains, and I was wondering;
              do you have any bears around here?"

              "Yup," replies the owner.

              "What kind?" asks the hiker.

              "Well, we got black bears and we got grizzlies," he replies.

              "I see," says the hiker. "Do you have any of those bear bells?"

              "What do you mean?" asks the store owner.

              "You know," replies the hiker, "those little tinkle-bells that people wear
              in bear country to warn the bears that they are coming, so they don't
              surprise the bears and get attacked."

              "Oh yeah," replies the owner. "They're over there," he says, pointing to
              a shelf on the other side of the store. The hiker selects a couple of
              the bells and and takes them to the counter to pay for them.

              "Tell me something, mister," the hiker inquires, "how can you tell when
              you're in bear territory, anyway?"

              "By the scat," the old fellow replies, ringing up the hiker's purchases.

              "Well, um, how can I tell if it's grizzly territory or black bear territory?"
              the hiker asks.

              "By the scat," the store owner replies.

              "Well, what's the difference?" asks the hiker. "I mean, what's different
              between grizzly scat and black bear scat?"

              "The stuff that's in it," replies the store owner.

              Getting a little frustrated, the hiker asks, "OK, so what's in grizzly bear
              scat that isn't in black bear scat?" he asks, an impatient tone in his voice.


              "Bear bells," replies the old man as he hands the hiker his purchases.
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