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I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

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I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

We are going to Yellowstone in August and our first night will be in Glendive then we were going to stay 4 nights in Gardiner, 1 night in Cody and then our last night will be in Glendive before we drive home

I was reading that Gardiner isn't the best place to stay as it is far away from things but being there for 4 days are we just going to be wasting time driving back and forth. We thought each day we would take a different route but nothing is in concrete yet.

Birmingham, United...
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1. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

If your not staying in the National Park lodging, and to some extent even then, you are going to be driving back and forth to some degree whatever, to see it all......its huge!

We always stay in Gardiner now, (as we mainly concentrate on the wildlife in the north) although West Yellowstone I would say is better for a general trip to the park and has a larger and better choice of facilities and attractions.

If your interests lie in the more 'touristy' aspects eg. the main thermal features, them you might find West Yellowstone easier, but you'll still want to visit Mammoth, Lamar Valley, Tower falls etc. so even if you stay in Gardiner, I'm sure you can get a plan to work out and the DEs on this forum will help you.

Billings, Montana
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2. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

The roads in Yellowstone Park basically form a figure 8. If you're not lodging inside the park, Gardiner is a good base for the upper loop of the figure 8. West Yellowstone is a better base for the bottom loop of the figure 8.

If you can, I would suggest staying the first two nights in Gardiner and the second two nights in West Yellowstone. That would cut down on the long drives quite a bit. West Yellowstone also has more amenities available which is nice especially if you have kids with you.

I was born and raised in Glendive- I started taking trips to Yellowstone Park 30 years ago from Glendive when my daughter was 2 years old. If you don't have it in your plans yet, please go over Beartooth Pass on your way home. You won't regret it.

If you decide you want to try the 2 days in each area and can get reservations that will change itinerary suggestions on how to break up the touring so I won't give suggestions until you decide what to do.


Edited: 13 June 2011, 16:57
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3. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

Thank you for your advice, we pulled out the maps and we were able to change our reservations so we will stay two nights in Gardiner and two nights in West Yellowstone.

Kettering, United...
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4. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

I know its a bit late now but Gardiner is an excellent location. I stopped there for 2 nighs and accessed everything I wanted to in Yellowstone (and want to go back!!) I think anywhere is Yellowstone is going to be a drive but wow is it worth it!

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

We stayed in Gardiner for almost 2 weeks last summer. It was a superb location! The entrance through the Roosevelt Arch each day was stunning and the lines there were practically non-existent. We had no trouble reaching any part of the park from this location.

On the flip side, we took a day trip to West Yellowstone and spent HOURS getting through the gate in BOTH directions. Once we got there, we were so disappointed that it was full of chain restaurants and motels.

IMO, I'd avoid West Yellowstone completely. Gardiner was lovely and, while the choices were more limited, it felt less crowded and more like a getaway vacation is supposed to feel. And the Food Farm grocery store has everything you need to stock up on supplies. But beware: there is limited cel phone reception in Gardiner...

Edited: 17 June 2011, 17:39
N. Idaho
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6. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

I know the PP doesn't like West, but I do. I like the choice of restaurants and lodging in West over Gardiner and I have stayed at both. There are not that many chain restaurants, a McD's, a DQ and a Subway that I can recall. There are also the locals... Gusher Pizza, Bullwinkles, Three Bear and many others.

I have never been in an hours long backup getting in or out of the gate there. I have stayed there probably 10 or 12 times. The longest I ever waited was during a winter visit years ago when you could go into the park unescorted on snowmobiles. It took longer because it was harder to get your passes out and restow them with big gloves on and everyone was trying to get in at 8AM to get the most daylight.

The geyser basins are more accessible from West, giving you about an hour's drive as opposed to probably 2 hours from Gardiner to Old Faithful. I love the West entrance road which follows the Madison River with opportunities for Trumpeter Swan, bald eagle, elk and bison. It is more heavily treed than the North entrance road out to Gardiner which has more areas of sagebrush. The N entrance does have the cliff area where you can watch the bighorn sheep.

So I think you have made a good decision to split your stay between the 2.


7. Re: I have been reading this fourm and need a little help

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