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3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

Grapevine, Texas
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3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

In August, we will be roadtripping and stopping by in yellowstone.

We will probably spend 3 full days in yellowstone, do you think it's enough? Also, should we stay in west yellowstone or gardiner?

Day 1: (morning will be leaving grand teton and driving towards yellowstone)

west thumb geyser basin (abyss pool, fishing cone)

shoshone lake

upper geyser basin (old faithful, and others)

midway geyser basin (Grand Prismatic Spring, Excelsior Geyser)

Lower Geyser Basin (Great Fountain Geyser)

Fountain paint pots

Day 2:

Madison River

Firehole Canyon Drive and Firehole Falls.

Gibbon Falls

Norris Geyser Basin (Steamboat Geyser, the world's largest geyser)

Roaring Mountain

Virginia Cascades

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone

Hayden Valley

Yellowstone Lake

Mud Volcano, Dragon's Mouth Spring, Sulphur Cauldron

Natural Bridge

Day 3:

mammoth hot springs

fort yellowstone

Boiling River.

Specimen Ridge.

Petrified Forest.

Tower Fall.

Calcite Springs

How is the itinerary? Are we missing something we must do in the park? Any recommendations? Thanks!

Edited: 29 May 2010, 18:14
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

You have covered most of the main attractions and sights in YS. You may not be able to do everything, driving can be interrupted by wildlife jams on the roads. Pick your must see's and then fill in from there. I think day 1 may be a bit ambitious especially driving in from Tetons.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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2. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

And do stop at viewpoints over the valleys, especially if you see people with spotting scopes; inquire - if they have something in their scope, it'll be worth it.

Bring, if possible, good binoculars.

Edited: 29 May 2010, 22:42
Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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3. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

You ask if 3 days is enough for touring Yellowstone. IMHO, no, unfortunately it's not. As Casa said, your Day 1 is quite ambitious. We have visited Yellowstone twice, and the Geyser basins around Old Faithful (not including West Thumb) are a full day themselves.

Your day 2 is also pretty ambitious. The Canyon area takes quite a bit of time. We have spent an entire day there quite easily. Norris Geyser takes a bit of time as well--2-3 hours, depending on how quickly you walk the boardwalks.

You might consider adding the Canyon area to your less ambitious day 3. You can see Mammoth pretty quickly,along with Tower Fall and the other things on your list. I noticed that you don't have the Lamar Valley on your activity list, which is well worth a look. The abundant wildlife is amazing. Some go strictly for the wildlife viewing alone.

I personally would add an additional day to your time in Yellowstone to allow yourself a bit more time to see the sights. You also ask where to stay. For staying outside the park, you will find the best amenities in West Yellowstone, although it is not an ideal base for seeing Mammoth/Lamar Valley. You could possibly divide your time betweeen West & Gardiner. (3 nights West & 1 night Gardiner). You could also consider in-park lodging at a central location such as Canyon.

Enjoy your road trip!

Grapevine, Texas
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4. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

if 4 days, would this be better?

day 1-

grand village

west thumb

old faithful

upper, mideway, lower geyser basins

day 2-

Madison River

Firehole Canyon Drive and Firehole Falls.

Gibbon Falls

Norris Geyser Basin (Steamboat Geyser, the world's largest geyser)

Roaring Mountain

Virginia Cascades

Day 3-

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone

Hayden Valley

Yellowstone Lake

Mud Volcano, Dragon's Mouth Spring, Sulphur Cauldron

Natural Bridge

Day 4-

mammoth hot springs

fort yellowstone

Boiling River

Specimen Ridge.

Petrified Forest.

Tower Fall.

Calcite Springs

Lamar Valley

Forestville...
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for Sonoma
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5. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

Still an incredibly jammed agenda for such a short time period. I had 5+ full days, was going from sun up till sundown and barely managed to take in what you've listed for 4 days. I would prioritize the sites based on your personal desires, making certain you have time to see what you feel can't be missed on this trip--and then be prepared to let the others go.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

We'll be in YNP for three days (four nights) in August, staying in a cabin at nearby Hebgen Lake. We've never been to the area. We have two boys, 8 and 11, so we don't want to overplan. Our loose plan is to tour around the lower loop of the Grand Loop one day and the upper portion another. We have a few things on the 'must see' list, but mostly we plan to play it pretty loose and, with the third day, maybe hit some places on the West side of the park that we might not get to on day 1 and 2.

I read over and over not to plan too much because 1) You never know how long it will take you to get around and 2) you don't know what's going to capture your interest (especially with our boys!). So, with that in mind, does this sound like a pretty sensible approach?

Wyoming & Sanibel
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7. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

Callicles - Do you know where by the lake you will be staying? The lake is large and depending on your location it could add considerable time to your journeys in and out of the park. We were on a ranger walk at Lake Yellowstone one morning and about halfway through the talk/walk a couple charged up to join us saying "we had no idea West Yellowstone was that far away and would take that long."

Generally you are best off starting a new thread with your questions, as many who post here may not look at an old thread.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

We are staying at the Yellowstone Holiday RV Park. According to the person I spoke t5o at the park, it's about 15 minutes to the West gate of Yellowstone and, according to Google Maps, about 45 miles from Old Faithful. There will definitely be some time spent getting in and out of the park, especially considering that a lot of others will be doing the same! My boys insist on waking up pretty early, so hopefully we can get a jump on things.

Thanks for the tip on the thread. I'm never sure - I've posted on other forums where starting a redundant thread is high treason!

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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9. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

Sheis,

Your 4 day itinerary looks a lot better, but as others have said, just be prepared to drop some activities if needed. It is good not to overplan. You may find you have time for most of this as long as you aren't caught it many wildlife jams and also if you do quick stops at various places. Some of the things on your list could take as little as 15 minutes. I think you will find the biggest challenges to be seeing the Old Faithful geyser area and its surrounding basins, along with Canyon. I found these 2 areas to be the most time consuming, and the ones I really didn't want to leave...

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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10. Re: 3 day itinerary for yellowstone?

Callicles, yep, it's better to start a new thread, especially since you have chosen a different location.

I wonder why you are staying at an RV park distant from the park, rather than inside the park. Especially if your boys like to get an early start (having 3 boys myself, I find this startling, but great news!).