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Yellowstone help!

Hartford...
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Yellowstone help!

We usualy do all inclusive beach resorts and want to try something differant next vacation. Would a couple in their 50s enjoy a trip to yellowstone or is more for young people and families? What is the best month to visit? Any info is greatly appreciated...thank you

N. Idaho
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1. Re: Yellowstone help!

Oh no! I'm over 60 and I love, love, love Yellowstone. If you are not particularly active and don't enjoy hiking, there is still plenty to do. Wildlife viewing from the road is spectacular, in fact, most wildlife is seen from the road, not from hiking trails. I don't hike much as I travel solo, but get in plenty of activity on the boardwalks in the gesyer basins.

You would need to drive in the park to get the most out of it.

July and August are the biggest visitor months. I love September, but weather can turn cold toward the end of the month. June is great for baby animals, but early June can also be iffy weather-wise as it is sometimes still winter in the Park!! Many also come in May, same caveats as June.

The park opens for the summer season in Mid-April, but that is too early to recommend for a first timer. Also, it closes the first week of Nov, but I don't recommend Oct or Nov for first timers either, weather can be too unpredictable.

There is of course the winter season, but you may not enjoy that!

Are you thinking about 2013 or trying to fit something in this year? Lodging does fill up early, then also some park facilities start to close after Labor Day, but there are things available in the gateway cities (West Yellowstone and Gardiner are my favorites.).

I can talk ALL day about Yellowstone! What are you interested in?

Pam

N. Idaho
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2. Re: Yellowstone help!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to add...if I were in the planning stages, I would plan for 4 full days in Yellowstone (not counting the days you fly in and fly out) plus 2 or 3 for Grand Tetons and one day each for Cody and Beartooth Pass (which is weather dependent so you might miss that if you come real early or late season).

www.beartoothhighway.com/roadMaps/index.html

http://www.bbhc.org/

Pam

Hartford...
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3. Re: Yellowstone help!

Thank you so much for all the info! We live on the east coast and would love to visit this park for the natural beauty and mostly the animals. Hiking a little would be ok....maybe guided tours? Summer crowds are NOT for us...would you recommend a spring or fall trip? We are planning on 2013...we just got back from an all inclusive vacation in the Carribean. Do you know of any resources where we can get visitor info? I have been googling the park and there is way too many to chose from! You think 8 days in the park is good? Do you stay at the same place your entire stay or do you travel to a different lodging? Are all the places you mentioned close to each other? I could ask a million questions, but I'll stop here. How many times have you. Insisted the park/area? Thank you again.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Yellowstone help!

I think you might enjoy either early June for wildlife babies or early to mid September for less crowds.

If going to the park then buy the book Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple and use this forum- the DE's have been multiple times. We've been 3 times in the past 5 years and planning on coming back again next year.

It is best to split your time between Old Faithful and either the Canyon or Lake area- once you get your reservations in place then Pam is great at giving detailed daily trip plans. I would suggest spending at least 5 days in Yellowstone.

If coming to the park then I would also suggest spending 2-3 days in the Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole area which is adjacent to Yellowstone.

Here is a link to the must sees for Yellowstone-

http://yellowstone.net/intro/top-10/

We've never used a tour but there are those available thru the Yellowstone Association and Xanterra. You might do that one or two days and then let Pam help you map out your other daily trip plans. It is very easy to drive around and see the sites, wildlife, etc.

Don't mind asking questions- that is what this forum is for!!

Good luck!!

N. Idaho
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5. Re: Yellowstone help!

The best resource is the www.nps.gov/yell site. If you find something interesting bookmark it because I swear I have come across things on there and have never found them again!

The travel guide most of us recommend is Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple. It is good for planning and a must-have in the park.

I imagine this will require a different mind-set than your all -inclusive resort. ( am guessing, I have never done an all-inclusive). You have already started research, which is great. We can help you with itineraries here, but you will need to drive yourselves.

There are some tours, thru Xanterra the lodging concessionaire (always book thru them, not a 3rd party booker) as well as Yellowstone Association (www.yellowstoneassociation.org/institute/) and some private tour guides.

There are some wonderful ranger-led hikes and talks. You can also do a lot on your own. PeachBelle may pop in with her link to the Top 10 which will help you narrow things down. The main park road is in a figure 8, with entrances in the West, North, Northeast, East and South with all of the main sights on the loop road. As far as hiking, you will get quite a bit of walking on boardwalks like through the geyser basins. On one trip report recently LisaPunk took a picture of her pedometer after her geyser day, and it was 9+ miles.

Here are some links to get you started.

The main map:

nps.gov/common/…

Ranger-led tours for this year

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/rangerprog.htm

Eight days would be fine, altho that would be pushing it as far as I am concerned if Day 1 and Day8 are your flying days. Most of us always think longer is better, lol.

I, personally, have been been a couple dozen times. I have lost count! I come from N. Idaho and for the last few years have only been able to come for long weekends, so I usually stay in West Yellowstone ( I can sometimes use frequent flier miles!) This is not the best for seeing the whole park, and for a first timer, I would recommend staying at 2 different spots, perhaps Canyon or Lake and Old Faithful. When I get to the point I don't have obligations which tie me down, I want to spend several days at Roosevelt in the NE section of the loop road. Some of these cabins have no bathrooms, using a communal bath area, but there are some bathroom units you can book if you call Xanterra.

As far as how close things are, look at the map link. In Yellowstone to figure travel time, double your miles. So from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful it is 30 miles, so it takes about an hour drive time. That does not add time for wildlife jams or other stops!

For time to visit, either mid to late June or early to mid Sept. Each has it's pluses and minuses. June- Plus -baby animals, all the services are open in the park. Minus - still could have some snowy weather (can snow in any month) Sept - Plus - elk are in rut, warm days Minus - some services close after Labor Day, quite chilly in AM or late evening (might not bother you as much as if you were from Florida) could have some snowy weather.

Pam

N. Idaho
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6. Re: Yellowstone help!

Laughing so hard...Peach I was hoping you would pop in! Where is thbergs?

Pam

Spery, Iowa
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7. Re: Yellowstone help!

HERE! LOL!

I was trying to figure out how to transmit Yellowstone Fever :D I wanted that to infect them, before I asked how many amenities are required? If you can live without TV and 24/7 technologies, you can have an amazing vacation, staying inside the park, enjoying the park with fewer people. It will be like nothing you have done in an all inclusive. I love fall- Labor day or after really cuts crowds. But I have not been in spring- animals are not the big draw for us, besides the fact that farmers usually can't take vacation in the spring. If you must have constant contact with the outside world, then you will want to stay in West Yellowstone and/or Gardiner. Nice places, but will be a different trip. If you say "none!" to the amenities question, you are my kind of traveler! Even if you don't we are all happy to help plan and answer any questions- we love all things Yellowstone! And let me be the first to say you should "include" a Huckleberry Ice Cream break at the Old Faithful Inn!

New York
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8. Re: Yellowstone help!

The Forum (and the regulars) are a great source of information but just wanted to respond to your 50's from the NE Comments. We are the same basic age and from Upstate NY. We made one trip to Yellowstone a few years ago and are returning this Fall. If you are still working, then you are probably limited like we are on the length of our vacations. First trip was 8 days total and second one will be 7 days total. The reason we are going back is there is no way to see all the park in a week (and I don't think we will be done after this trip either :-) ). If you can afford to fly into one of the smaller cities (Jacskon, Bozeman or Billings), the drive from SLC is approx 6 hours and though not a bad trip, you lose 2 days-this is what we did the first trip. When pricing be sure to check out car rentals, they do vary depending on which airport you use. We also like the Fall, though it would be kind of cool to see the baby animals, but we don't like crowds. Also we don't like hot weather so prefer the temperatures of the Early Fall. In the shoulder season, it is cooler at night so you will have the need to dress more warmly but the days can be warm (shorts and T-shirt). This does require more packing than a beach vacation. Have fun researching!

Marlborough...
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9. Re: Yellowstone help!

people in their 50s would absolutely enjoy yellowstone.

the first thing i did when my husband and i got back is tell my parents (in their 60s) how much they would love it there.

there is so much to see/do for all ages and all activity levels. if you not really into hikes there are still tons of boardwalks to explore.

if you want to do smaller hikes there are tons of those!!!

you should definitely go! :-D

i dont think i can give any advice better than the experts but if you dont like crowds i would go early. we did mid June this year and the park was great, the only place it was crowded was the Old Faithful Inn.

lots of babies at that time of the year.

Yellowstone Nat...
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10. Re: Yellowstone help!

<< Would a couple in their 50s enjoy a trip to yellowstone ... >>

Darn right, enough to give up all inclusive beach resorts!