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When to visit?

Kissimmee Florida
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When to visit?

Other than the peak summer and the winter ski season, when is the best time for two birding enthusiast / amateur photographers to visit?

We are not really into hiking more than a mile or two, but we don't mind a walk in the woods to chase down a photo opportunity.

Thanks in advance.

CTR

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: When to visit?

Mid September is a good time for a visit. Less crowds, see wildlife and usually good weather.

Green Valley...
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2. Re: When to visit?

Are you going to visit Yellowstone NP as well as GTNP? I suggest 3 full days for the former, 2 for the latter. Don't underestimate the size of YNP.

Late May through June provides great wildlife watching, lots of young. The weather can be "iffy", but the benefits are worth it (if you dress in layers - the weather can be quite changeable).

We, too, are birders and enjoy stopping at lakes, rivers, etc. to view wildlife, often at pull overs where few stop as they move on to the "highlights" of each park. Watch for the scopes and park.

I'd not be overly concerned about crowds except in July/August.

You might find this article helpful. It's applicable anywhere, particularly in YNP and GTNP.

Wildlife Viewing and Photography: http://tinyurl.com/7dt5xe2

You might Google "birding in (name of national park)" or go to the parks' websites.

Edited: 25 February 2013, 05:53
Kissimmee Florida
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3. Re: When to visit?

Voyaging,

Thanks. Yes, Yellowstone was part of the plan. we are looking at a week in a time share in that area. so, while bird pictures are the primary "focus" general scenics and foliage are also of interest.

We live in Florida and any time we see people with scopes it is an automatic sign to investigate.

CTR

Spery, Iowa
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4. Re: When to visit?

just be aware that the two places are close, but not close enough that one lodging works well for both. so if you are time sharing- know that you will have a ton of windshield time to see both parks. And be cautious of those claiming to be "near" YNP- often that is just not the case, except it is more "near" than say, Iowa or Florida.

Kissimmee Florida
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5. Re: When to visit?

Peachbelle,

Thanks. We're looking at 2014 so we have time to make the decision.

CTR

Kissimmee Florida
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6. Re: When to visit?

thbergs,

Sounds like I will spend a lot of time with Google Earth before we go.

We did that with our Bryce Canyon trip and found it very helpful.

CTR

Burlington, Iowa...
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7. Re: When to visit?

If you want certain lodging in YNP, they start taking reservations for 2014 on May 1st of 2013.

Spery, Iowa
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8. Re: When to visit?

good plan Cruising- well informed is the best thing for visiting the parks. Many go into the unknown and are surprised that they can't see it all in a day, or that it takes hours every day to get in and out of the park to their lodging. You also don't want to drive in the dark- big animals that live their use the roads. Travel time in Yellowstone is miles x 2, not including animals jams. If you go in the fall, don't expect fall foliage colors- most of the trees are pines. But there are certainly fewer people, and tons of scenic views. Happy planning!

Edited: 25 February 2013, 18:59
Houston, Texas
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9. Re: When to visit?

I favor mid to late June. All of the migratory birds will be resident and many baby animals. Everything green. Late summer and early fall there is more consistently better weather and you can find juvenile hawks and eagles learning the way. But later in the year there is frequently haze from wildfires (even hundreds of miles away) that make getting that one particular landscape photo a disappointment.

Green Valley...
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10. Re: When to visit?

Add juvenile Ospreys as well, at Tower and at Canyon viewpoints. We saw Sandhill Crane chicks at Floating Island Lake, and nesting pairs on the Yellowstone R. from viewpoints in Hayden Valley. And terrific wildlife observations in both valleys, especially Hayden.