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“Yellowstone Alpen Guides/Tours”
Review of West Yellowstone

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TN
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
40 helpful votes
“Yellowstone Alpen Guides/Tours”
Reviewed 20 July 2010

I scheduled a trip to Montana for a conference, and thought I needed to add on a few days to see some of Yellowstone. I knew a guided tour would get me to see the most in the little bit of time I had. I used Yellowstone Alpen Guides/Tours out of West Yellowstone, MT. I did 3 tours in 2 days!
My first tour was the morning mist kayak tour. Turns out, I was the only person scheduled that day! It was a spectacular morning.
My 2nd tour was the evening wildlife tour, essentially driving the upper loop. Connie, our guide that day, was amazing! She was very knowledgeable and great fun. And, with her being the local science teacher for the last 30 years, we got some great science history lessons too.
My 3rd tour was the lower loop, to see all the usual things you would expect to see at Yellowstone, such as the geysers. The weather was perfect. The tour was well-organized, and gave us just enough time to experience the biggest and most popular sites without feeling rushed. Brenda was a great guide, full of information. I particularly loved our stop for lunch at Yellowstone lake; we were the only people there, eating our lunches overlooking the lake and mountains.
When I go back sometime in the winter, I definitely will use them as my guide(s).

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3 Thank TNAnia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bothell, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
56 helpful votes
“Gateway to Yellowstone Park”
Reviewed 16 July 2010

Ours was a summertime visit to YNP and West Yellowstone serves as a good "base camp" if you don't want a pricey stay at one of the park's lodges. Prices for accommodations in town run the gamut, but we have found that advance planning helps secure the best rates. The main street is definitely geared to the tourist trade, with numerous shops and restaurants--AND the higher prices associated with heavy summer traffic. Although we have not lingered in town much (the park IS the attraction!), we did enjoy the museum housed in the old Union Pacific depot on our most recent visit.
Easy accessibility to Yellowstone's west entrance is definitely a plus! And it truly is another world once you go through the gate to one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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1 Thank WestofSomewhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
97 reviews
64 helpful votes
“disappointing”
Reviewed 14 July 2010

It's well-located at the West entrance to Yellowstone, but the town itself is surprisingly boring and un-scenic. Consists of a few blocks featuring lots of overpriced souvenir shops, interspersed among restaurants. Unexpectedly, there are two theatres, though after a whole day in Yellowstone, the idea of rushing to a 7:30 performance held no appeal.
We didn't visit the museum or Imax theater because all the visitor centers inside the Park have good-to-excellent exhibits, and after wonderful sightseeing all day long, we had no need for anything else.
Even the nearest attraction, Old Faithful, is a minimum 45-minute drive. The town isn't terrible but we couldn't find any reason to be there. Next time, we'll definitely stay inside the park, even if it's a little more expensive.
Carly5

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1 Thank carly5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
39 helpful votes
“Loved this winter wonderland!!!”
Reviewed 4 February 2010

What a wonderful place to be in the winter time! Quaint little town like something out of a movie, all covered with snow. Not much traffic except people going about their business on snow mobiles. Right on the edge of Yellowstone Park. We stayed at the WorldMark West Yellowstone in a timeshare with a third floor balcony overlooking the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center with the mountains and forests all around. Beautiful!! January is the slowest time and we loved being there then. The week before it had been really cold (way below zero) but this week it was between zero and thirty above, cold at night and warming up in the day. Because you are dressed for it, the cold is no problem.

We took the Karst Stage shuttle from the Bozeman airport and enjoyed the ride with the driver narrating the trip and didn't have to worry about icy roads. A week later they picked us up and brought us back. Comfortable buses, good drivers, clean and pleasant. Way to travel! Paid $188 instead of $540 for a 4 wheel drive vehicle. In West Yellowstone, we walked wherever we wanted to go or rode snowmobiles when we had them. The trips into the park and everything else originate close by in town.

YAK TRAKS! A necessity, for sure. I fell the first day out and the owner of FreeHeels and Wheels, local ski and bike outfitter, picked me up off the ice and told us how to take care of the problem. She fitted us with some YakTraks ($45 for both pair) which strap on the bottom of your shoes and give you traction. Could have ruined the whole vacation and Melissa was soooo nice! We would have rented some snow shoes from her later in the week if we hadn't spent all our time snow mobiling.

We took two trips by snow coach into the park and rode snow mobiles into the surrounding mountains for three days, visited the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and saw the IMAX on Yellowstone and walked around the town on the remaining day. We loved everything we did!

We took the Buffalo Bus tours into the park and rented the snow mobiles from the same outfitter, tho under the name Rendezvous Snowmobiles. This company is owned and run by a family who are third generation Yellowstoners. Heather and Scott helped us so much! Her grandfather used to run one of the buses into the park long ago; there is a picture of him driving on the wall. The two trips, to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and to Old Faithful and the geysers are very different and each wonderful. You are gone all day and see so much. We took our lunch both days, tho it is possible to buy lunch at Old Faithful. I felt like I was in the middle of a Discovery Channel documentary... Elk, bison, coyotes, bald eagles, history, and the beauty of the park in the winter. Both drivers, Jay and Doug, were excellent and gave us a running commentary on what we were seeing. The buses were comfortable warm and the drivers willing to stop for pictures or whatever.

We fell in love with snow mobiling. This was the first time and I asked that someone ride around with me for a few minutes until I was confident. Ricky did so and before long I felt right at home. We got the "cadillac" models for $20 a day extra, quieter and smoother, and were glad we did. We followed the trails Heather suggested, ate lunch at the lodge you can only reach by snow mobiles, Meadow something, and just had a wonderful experience each of the three days we went. If you go two days in a row you can keep the sleds overnight and ride to dinner or around town after dark - extra fun! The last day we crossed the Continental Divide on Black Bear Cutoff and were alone on the top in another world. What an experience... We had the Karst Stage people pick us up at Buffalo Bus and our luggage from the hotel so we could stay out till the last minute.

The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center was great. We got to see them feeding the bears and wolves and wished we could have stayed longer. The gift shop in the IMAX and the little museum area there are both really worthwhile as is the movie. We would have included the one on bears, too, if we'd had time.

The Gusher is a great place to eat! That's a moose hide on the wall not a bear skin. Feel how long the fur is - surprising!! Their hot turkey sandwiches and soup are $7.50 and super! We ate several places and thought this was the best. Three Bears has a great salad bar and we took that to our room one night.

We flew into Bozeman about 3:00 p.m. on Sat and caught the 5:00 o'clock Karst Stage to West Yellowstone, stayed 7 nights, caught the Stage back to the Holiday Inn for the night and left for home very early Sunday morning. Wanted to spend the night in Bozeman rather than flying out Sat in case the weather was bad and slowed us down getting back to Bozeman. Worked perfectly for us!!

The gift shop at Old Faithful has some really good books and such on the history of the area. We are enjoying a CD we got there with short narrations of the history and events surrounding the park - 30 snippets of interesting facts. I enjoyed the geysers at Norris Basin we saw on the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone tour as much as the ones on the geyser tour. In the snow everything gives off steam and is so beautiful. You also can see the wild animals more easily since they contrast with the snow.

We rode the snow mobiles to Big Spring and fed the muskrats and ducks off the bridge there (some Wheat Thins from our lunch) and it was an enchanting spot, only available in winter via snow mobile.

You rent the snowsuit, helmet, gloves and boots from Rendezvous for $15/day and you're set to go! I wore my own gloves much of the time, sometimes under the mittens, since I wanted to be able to operate my camera. A muffler around my neck helped, too, at times. Silk underwear, jeans, fleece pants, nylon rain pants, and then the snowsuit - likewise on top. Warm all day... Oh, and we bought the nylon mask for $6 they sell there and wore it always. Very important...

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1 Thank GomomgoTennessee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Freeburg, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
119 helpful votes
“Expensive Little Town”
Reviewed 13 November 2009

This town is convenient for a place to stay close but yet outside of Yellowstone Park; however, beware that because of the location, everything in town is expensive. Especially beware of the McDonald's, it has to be the most expensive in the US. The prices are pretty much double and it seems to be busy just because of who they are. Try to find a better place to take the kids, but remember this is a small town so you don't have many choices.

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Thank Janice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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