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Old 12-05-2015, 12:37 PM   #15
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YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or less for 1/4 mile or more, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 4-5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 4-5 month long road construction season and a 45 mph radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! I don't mean to scare you but to inform you of reality. (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line.)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft, Old Faithful- 7365 ft, up to 7734 ft at Canyon and Grant to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge. Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking. And again I don't mean to scare you but rather to inform you, after all there is normally 3.5 million visitors annually.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid June to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until shortly before 10 PM.

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have a hour and 10-20 minutes wait for the next one. Tour the O/F geyser basin while waiting for the next eruption. Old Faithful INN is a must see (meals are "OK" also)

We have lived about 110 miles (4739' elevation) from W. Yellowstone, MT for 51 years, go there 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all of it yet and at 80 years young pace myself when walking/hiking.

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle contest twice". We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

Bar J Chuckwagon
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:46 PM   #16
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Since we wanted to see the scenery of the park without worrying about driving a Class C through the park and finding parking, we took the Buffalo Yellowstone Tour Co.'s Upper Loop and Lower Loop tours (each are a day long) and didn't regret it. We had a great time.

We drove from West Yellowstone (we stayed at the West Entrance/Yellowstone KOA) into the park and breakfasted at the Old Faithful Inn on our way home to L.A. From there, we drove out the south entrance through Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, WY.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:18 PM   #17
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I'm thinking that in only 2 or 3 days you may not be able to see everything and should probably concentrate on the high spots this trip, then if you come back again do the hikes, but as J Birder says, concentrate on whatever it is that YOU like.


It is all beautiful, including the trip in through the Tetons.


Just my 2c.


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Old 12-05-2015, 01:36 PM   #18
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I realize there is no way to see it all in three days, which is why I started this thread. We really want to see the thermal stuff, and aren't all that interested in the animals, even though we would love to see some wildlife, we arent going to go out of our way to view them.

We will have our dog with us, so that might limit hiking options, as I have no idea if pets are allowed on the hikes, due to bears and wildlife. We will have plenty of places to hike on the second half of our trip along the west coast.

That said, I have heard several places mentioned here by multiple people, so those will be the things we try to see on this trip.
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:49 PM   #19
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No dogs allowed on the trails, just like most/all other National Parks. Can the dog stay in the RV while you drive the park? Even at the elevation and latitude of YNP it would get too hot to leave the dog in a car while you hike.
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Old 12-05-2015, 06:53 PM   #20
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No dogs allowed on the trails, just like most/all other National Parks. Can the dog stay in the RV while you drive the park? Even at the elevation and latitude of YNP it would get too hot to leave the dog in a car while you hike.
Nope. If the dog can't hike, we won't either.

But, like I said, we are heading to Seattle and the coast of Oregon and Northern California after Yellowstone, so we will have TONS of chances to hike.

But with that said, we probably won't be able to bring the dog to the geysers, either, will we...
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:22 PM   #21
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Here is Yellowstone's policy on pets in the park:

Pets - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:50 PM   #22
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See Yellowstone River and Lehigh Rapids especially in June to see fish going upstream.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:25 AM   #23
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All are very good suggestions as we 'did' Yellowstone a few weeks ago. To do a bare bones visit, three days are needed, IMO, with more if you have the time. There are actually two main loops with Old Faithful being a part of one. And to that, it has been about 30 years since my last visit and the number of people there was overwhelming in early September. We never did see Old Faithful spew but others are probably as good. If you can get there early - then you might not spend as much time. One thing that totally amazed me were the vast numbers of foreign visitors, with all, mostly Asians in busloads, having a great time. Just a few photos from there to whet your appetite:









As far as traveling with dogs, we did it with two mid size poodlepups and while it did limit us from much hiking, they were fine waiting in the truck while we went to view the sights as long as it wasn't too warm. If it was hot, one of us waited while the other did a tour.

The distances between some points can be measured in many miles so every day is a long day.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:26 AM   #24
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IC2, since you missed Old Faithful's eruption, here you go:
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:37 AM   #25
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IC2, since you missed Old Faithful's eruption, here you go:
Thanks I could probably dig out my photo/negative from 30+ years ago but yours is probably better.

(Dang but there were hordes of people there vs last time)
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:43 AM   #26
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Thanks I could probably dig out my photo/negative from 30+ years ago but yours is probably better.

(Dang but there were hordes of people there vs last time)
I like that one shot of yours with the MH in the background. I brought 2 cameras with me.

We went in June, there were still a lot of people, but not as many as you'd find in July and August.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:57 AM   #27
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I like that one shot of yours with the MH in the background. I brought 2 cameras with me.
That MH looks like it almost could be yours. I included it as a way to give some scale to the photo.

As far as cameras, we had my DSLR and a couple P&S

I did make one discovery - my Nikon 'street sweeper' 24-120 often wasn't enough either way with their later 18-300 sure looking like a winner for touristy things (except in the left rear pocket of my jeans).
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:21 AM   #28
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That MH looks like it almost could be yours. I included it as a way to give some scale to the photo.
Almost. I was thinking the same, but the MH is bigger and the graphics are different. Those kinds of shots are great to show "the uninitiated" what RVing is all about. That's why I like this one:
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