We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Family Reunion in Yellowstone

San Diego
6 posts
Save Topic
Family Reunion in Yellowstone

HELP! I've been the unofficial organizer of my very large family reunion. There are over 70+ members, but I'm thinking that only 40-50 will actually come. the dates are tentatively August 6-10 2014.

Anyway we all decided that Yellowstone National Park would be a great central location. We have families on both sides of the coast and some up in Canada.

I want to try to find something that accomodates most people. I know a set family does not "do camping" their idea of camping is maid service:/ and I have some family members that would probably do the tent or RV camping...and some in between like cabins.

I was thinking about staying within the park...HOWEVER, I have one set of family who has kids have a very stringent diet as they have a rare esophageal disease. Needless to say, their meals will need to be prepared. From what I have read so far, there doesn't seem to be any cooking allowed in any of the cabins and hotel/lodges? no microwaves or fridge? Anyone know that answer?

I also was thinking maybe outside the park would be a good option as well. I hear the WEst entrance would be the best place to go? but where? I also saw that down in south entrance looked like a good are too..what would be the closes to the YNP?

advice anyone?

Mount Washburn
National Parks, Mountains
Gibbon Falls
Waterfalls, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Geologic Formations, National Parks
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
31,491 posts
446 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

Probably your best bet would be the west entrance or north entrance for a visit to Yellowstone NP. Jackson Hole is fine for the Grand Tetons but too far from Yellowstone. My niece and her family have stayed in West Yellowstone in both summer and winter. West Yellowstone does offer some restaurants, ice cream and deli shops, a McDonald's and Grizzly center, book stores and shops.

Level Contributor
264 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

I actually think Yellowstone might not be an ideal location for a family reunion that size, unless you plan to only spend a bit of time together or rent a bus to do sightseeing. There is so much to see in Yellowstone, that most people who tour do it from early in the morning until dinner time. If you don't plan to spend most of your time sightseeing and experiencing the park, then you are paying a premium for location. Does that make sense?

Spery, Iowa
Level Contributor
8,514 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

You are correct, there is no cooking in the lodging in Yellowstone, so the cooking would have to be in the rv?

There was a wedding reception at Lake Lodge when we were there, but otherwise, I am not sure about a central gathering place for that many in the park. You would need to call Xanterra and discuss all that, as well as such a large group touring together. They may have ways to help? I know there are step on guides for organized bus tours, so that is a possibility if you get lodging in West Yellowstone as well.

I was going to say that Canyon would be the most central for cabins, better (not room service level) and camping. And while Grant Village is not the best for touring the northern loop, you might have better luck with availability?

Oh, and if you are looking at 2014, reservations for that size would need to be ASAP!

Edited: 07 June 2013, 13:51
Auburn, California
Level Contributor
190 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

Grant & Canyon have hotel rooms, cabins, & campgrounds within a reasonably close distance to each other so if you decide to have the reunion at YNP those places would at least have all your accommodations needs met. Mammoth campground is further from the hotel & cabins but could be ok, too. Grant is the only one of those 3 that actually has a group camp site. Remember that the 'villages' are pretty far apart & that travel time is twice the miles (a distance of 30 miles will take you about an hour drive-time) so accommodations spread out over different villages really wouldn't work for a reunion, IMHO. As far as the kids with special dietary needs, please check with the various food service or kitchen managers in the dining rooms. Not the Xanterra phone number, call the actual dining room & ask for the head chef or kitchen manager. The Park Service is very good about dietary restrictions and allergies, I know because I have Celiac Disease & they have accommodated me easily. It just may be that they can accommodate the kids. If not, maybe the parents can arrange to use one of the RVers' kitchens? West Yellowstone has a couple of combo hotel/RV parks. It's also a pretty compact town so even spreading out over different hotels/RV parks wouldn't be a problem. I'm not familiar with the area but Island Park ID has always looked like a nice place to relax. I know there are a few rental cabins & such. Maybe you could rent a large cabin or two or three?

We tried to organize a reunion at Yellowstone a few years back. There would have been about 20 of us, most of us in RVs, a couple in hotels. YNP is so spread out and so popular that we just couldn't get the logistics down to be able to stay near each other so we just abandoned that plan & did what we did when we were all kids. Rented houses at the beach for a month.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
4,674 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

I see family reunions almost every trip during the summer. Lots of "blahblah Family Reunion" t-shirts. Not as many as Disneyxxxxx but. Nice thing about is breaking into groups. The teens doing their thing, the smaller kids, and the adults able to get together for their interests.

You can get lodging inside the park or rent houses in West Yellowstone and/or Gardiner.

Get some FRS radios to spread around groups to reconnect when you split into groups.

Rapid City, South...
Level Contributor
54 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

We are leaving on June 23 for a week. June 28-30 is a family reunion. Not sure how many people are going but we are at the West Yellowstone KOA. They have cabins, tenting areas and plentiful rv/camper sites. Prices may be a little more expensive, but the amenities probably make it worth it. They have a pool, playground and not far from a town that will have a decent grocery store. I didn't plan anything but it seems like they have worked well with the coordinator. Just a thought.

Level Contributor
867 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

Yellowstone might work, but I think it would be a lot easier to plan one in the Rocky Mountain National Park area.

San Diego
6 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

thanks everyone! I just got a little excited. great advise. I'm going to try to stay within the park. and good call about talking to the chefs/kitchen. I'll tell me cousin about that option. My personal family is leaning towards RV, so that idea of them making some of their meals in our RV could work too.

I will also look at the West Entrance as an option as well.

Yes, I will definitely need to get something down ASAP as far as reservations is concerned. I'll keep you posted.

seriously thank you everyone!

West Yellowstone...
Destination Expert
for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
Level Contributor
2,343 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

West Yellowstone sounds like a reasonable compromise to me for all of your family's needs. The Grizzly RV Park and campground may suit everyone's needs. It is large, clean and has charming (at least from the outside view) little cabins. There are plenty of hotels nearby, as well, if that is needed for some.

San Diego
6 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Family Reunion in Yellowstone

THANK you Adventuristis!...is there a like button on this site:)