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Are any days of the week less busy?

Lake Oswego, Oregon
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Are any days of the week less busy?

I know a 1 day trip to Yellowstone is kind of a ridiculous idea, but... We are having a family reunion in Felt, Idaho, about 95 miles from the West Entrance to Yellowstone. Several family members have never been to Yellowstone and would like to devote a day of the reunion to visiting the park. We could either visit on Monday July 29th or Tuesday July 30th. Is there any difference in the number of park visitors on a Monday versus a Tuesday? Any other tips for day trippers? Thanks!

Green Valley...
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1. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

Just go! :) Really, it won't make a difference.

I found this, but it's by month, not day of week. https:/…

It's more a function of getting all those bodies out of bed very early to get to the park and to plan on many miles of driving while there. Given the distances, but more importantly the time required between points, you might have your folks make some choices among the Grand Canyon, particular geyser areas (almost certainly, Old Faithful which is a large area with lots of fascinating walking on the trails/boardwalks), and Hayden and Lamar Valleys. You know that you cannot do it all.

Hope you have a car(s) large enough for your group including a cooler in each, so you can keep moving.

Here's the official and interactive park map. Take the miles shown between points and, in general, multiply by 1.5 to 2.0 to estimate the number of minutes needed for that drive. http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Edited: 06 July 2013, 01:26
Green Valley...
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2. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

Given that you'll use the west entrance, I'd try for the Grand Canyon and a short drive south into Hayden Valley and skip Lamar Valley.

I just Google Mapped from Felt, ID to Canyon Village; 121 mi, 2 hours 32 mins. I'd bet on more time than that, so you'll be driving at least five hours RT just getting to CV and return to Felt. Makes for a long day, and you do not want to drive in the park after dark, for the safety of you and the wildlife.

Edited: 06 July 2013, 01:31
Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

You would be hard pressed to notice any difference in the number of visitors between any two days of the week.

1 day trip. You won't be able to see the whole park. You'd spend most of your time in the car driving.

Felt is about 1.5 hour from West Yellowstone and 1 hour from Jackson. Another 1-1.5 hour to Old Faithful from West Yellowstone or 3-3.5hr to Old Faithful from Jackson.

Generally recommended 1 day for upper loop, 1 day for lower loop, 1 day for the geyser basins. You will have to chose between doing the geyser basins or a long day doing the lower loop with limited stops.

1 possible itinerary would be a loop to West Yellowstone-sw corner of loop/geyser basins/Old Faithful-south through Grand Teton-Jackson and back to Felt. Still that's about 6.5-7 hours of driving without any stops.

Green Valley...
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4. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

Alternatively, visit the town of Jackson then drive into Grand Teton National Park. As you know, blow your mind beauty plus you'll probably see wildlife. According to GM, it's about a 1 hour drive to Jackson from Felt.

Edited: 06 July 2013, 01:45
N. Idaho
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5. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

I don't think it makes any difference. It's not like there are any big population centers nearby!

I would probably try to get an early start from Felt to West Yellowstone. Enter the West gate, head in to Madison, thru right to Old Faithful Visitor Center. Check the board behind the desk to see if any of the predictable geysers are set to go. If so, have the Ranger help direct your walk thru the geyser basin. When you are done, return to your car. Retrace your steps to Madison and go to Canyon. Make a potty stop at the Canyon Visitor Center. Head to the South Rim. See the overlooks (Artist Point and the Upper Falls one which is in the first parking lot to the left of the bathrooms. I don't think you all have time for Uncle Toms stairs, but that is up to you. Load back in to the car. Head south thru Hayden Valley looking for wildlife. Do Mud Volcano if you have time and walk across Fishing Bridge looking for wildlife. Depending on your time, start heading back to Felts. You can go either via Old Faithful or return via Canyon. The Canyon route to the West entrance is shorter. It will take you about 1.5 hours from the Canyon VC to the West gate. We recommend you do not drive after dark in Yellowstone due to the presence of big dark shaped animals who wander at will across the road. Same applies to the National Forest between West Yellowstone and Felt. If you elect to drive after dark, keep your speed down and your awareness up.

I would pack coolers with drinks, snacks and lunch so you don't have to take time to get everyone fed.

On your way back to Felts, plan your next trip to Yellowstone when you can spend a week to 10 days in the area!

Holy cow!! A lot of people were busy posting while I was typing!! lol

Pam

Edited: 06 July 2013, 01:47
Lake Oswego, Oregon
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6. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

Wow! Thank you all for the great comments! Voyaging, we are making an airport run to Jackson on Thursday, so we will visit GTNP that day. For our Yellowstone day, we are planning a 6:00 am start, but only those that want to go will have to go, and we don't have any young children. So hopefully, all travelers will be willing participants! We will take coolers with lunch, snacks, etc. and plan to do just the lower loop. Thanks, D0bby -- I think you're outlined itinerary is exactly what we will shoot for!

Spery, Iowa
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7. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

www.sunrisesunset.com

get as early start as possible. reports from this summer have the west gate road backed up for miles every day, and while the view is pretty sitting in traffic, not how you want to spend your limited time.

Be prepared for Yellowstone Fever: it gets you even with a whirlwind tour :)

Lake Oswego, Oregon
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8. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

We are only 4 days away from Yellowstone! So excited!! I've been pouring over "Yellowstone Treasures". She mentions that the Madison Picnic Area has toilets and an info station with predictions on geysers. I'm thinking that might be a good bathroom stop for us, given that at that point we will have been in the car a couple of hours. And then if the predictions look like we won't make the next OF eruption, we might stop at Fountain Paint Pot for a quick loop walk. Is this a reasonable plan? Is the info at the Madison Picnic area kept up to date?

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

Before you leave check the Old Faithful webcam. It has the predicted time. Figure 90 minute intervals to predict ahead of time. If someone has a smartphone they could check the webcam from that when they pass through West Yellowstone.

N. Idaho
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10. Re: Are any days of the week less busy?

Madison does have flush toilets so is a good place to stop coming and going. There is also an Android app at http://geysers.blogspot.com/ which I found to have very accurate information when I was in the Geyser basin. You will likely not have service at Madison, I usually lose it coming in from the West gate before mile 7, then don't pick it up to near Biscuit Basin. I would stop where you want. OF goes every 90 minutes or less so hopefully you will be in the Upper Geyser Basin long enough to see it go a time or 2.

I am not sure where the geyser info is posted at Madison. I have never noticed it by the bathrooms. Maybe it is by the small Ranger station?

Pam