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Old 04-22-2017, 12:42 PM   #15
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I would have definitely stayed at Fishing Bridge if we could have gotten a spot. But between Bridge Bay and Grizzly I think we will most likely end up at Grizzly.
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
I fail to understand what folks have against Fishing Bridge. I've seen worse RV parks everywhere than this. No, you can't get internet from your site unless you have your own hotspot and then, not 100%. However, it's a very short walk to where you can get it. Ask when you arrive. It would do the whole family some good to get away from the internet for a couple days though. Get to know each other! There are also showers available. This is a national park and you're lucky to have hookups. This is supposed to be a different 'experience' based on nature so they're not going to pamper you with 'resort' amenities. I'd highly recommend staying in the park itself for those experiences. Here are some photos of 'the parking lot'.

Fishing Bridge RV Park | Yellowstone National Park Lodges

Also, someone asked if it's o.k. to drive a 40' MH through the park. Yes it is very doable as a drive through but don't count on finding many parking spaces.
"Driving through Yellowstone" is the catch phrase; "no stopping anywhere" is the end phrase. I had trouble finding a place to park my double cab, long bed dually most places.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:33 PM   #17
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Like everything, you have a choice in what you want or do. We reserved a week in YNP for August a few weeks back. At that time, we had a choice between Fishing Bridge and Bridge Bay. To me, Fishing Bridge is too crowded, to close to one another, and too noisy, so we opted for Bridge Bay which has a bit more seclusion. Tradeoff is not having full hookups. No big deal - self contained and have to hit the dump once in a while. For me, I'd rather have a bit more peace and quiet and have to deal with the occasional emptying of tanks than put up with a crowded parking lot on vacation.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:09 PM   #18
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May back in Jan / Feb we made 2 reservations for YS at Bridge Bay and Madison for sites just after Memorial Day. Both dry sites. Solar will be the only issue.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:19 PM   #19
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Camped for 170+days last year from VA to Fairbanks AK. Fishing Bridge was the worst by far. Thankfully YNP was awesome. We are from the east coast... more used to genteel accommodations.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:29 AM   #20
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Concerning the drive on 191 through the park driving a 40' dp and towing a jeep; is it really tight?
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:53 PM   #21
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Question about Yellowstone reservations

Edited: 191 goes basically outside the park from Bozeman to West Yellowstone. Then enters the west entrance with 20, goes down past Old Faithful and West Thumb and turns south to Jackson. The whole length as per above is very passable by big rig- after the snow clears. Should be no problem.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:59 PM   #22
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Thanks firedoc.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:24 PM   #23
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I think one of the advantages of Fishing Bridge is that you can walk over to the lake and catch nice cutthroat from shore. The visitors center is pretty interesting and you are centrally located to get anywhere. Not sure driving from Canyon to Tower would be much fun with that rig but once there park and take the Jeep.

You are scheduling far enough out that you might want to adjust the date. If you want to see bears look between Mammoth and Tower. Also from the Roosevelt Lodge out the road to the north entrance. Late May you will see lots of bears. Also there is a grizzly sow, often with cubs that frequents the large sage brush flat just south of Mammoth. I've seen her the last 3 yrs. multiple times. There is a wolf den where you can watch them in the wild out in the Lamar valley. Make friends with the rangers and they will tell you where to turn off the main road. It's a mile off but have good binoculars and you can watch them. There is usually a ranger there providing insights. It's a nice dirt road. Any car can get there. RV would be problematic because you would block others view.

What do you and the kids want to focus on? Critters - go early. geysers, scenery - anytime. Long hikes, Not spring for many hikes. Some nasty surprises await as the bears come out of hibernation. Some of my favorite fishing spots are absolute no go's till a bit later in the season.

If you do stay in West Yellowstone they have a very nice wolf and grizzly exhibit. You can observe behind a fence. The giant screen theater has great introductory shows. Also at the campgrounds like Fishing Bridge they have a ranger show on different topics each night. Not at Bridge Bay though.

Great fun. I've been going at least once per year for over 60 years.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:10 AM   #24
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These days (without kids) we prefer to stay outside the park. However there are huge reasons to stay inside the park with kids. The entire experience is different. Make sure you go to "ranger talks", both day and evening ones. If the kids are early teens, they can do the Junior Ranger program. Look at the Yellowstone websites to find links to educational activities held in the park. Nothing wrong with letting older teens go off on a planned activity for a day. Another reason to stay inside the park is you miss the horrid long lines at the entry gates that start during the summer by 8:30 or 9:00 am.

However getting around the park in an RV is a big parking issue. I would really recommend renting a car in West Yellowstone and having a second driver follow your RV to the campsite. Yellowstone is far too beautiful to just drive through! You will want to stop many times to just walk the paths, and there just isn't enough parking for a big vehicle. Like a PP said, we have enough problems parking a big pickup. Even with a car, you will want to get out early.
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Old 04-29-2017, 02:05 PM   #25
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Question? Can I use my Ohio licensed kayaks inside YS? I'll have them (2 inflatables) with us for use after our 3 weeks in the Teton's and YS.

Mammoth Caves KY (Nolan Lake State park), Zilpo Forest Service campground KY. and Stonelick State Park (Cincinnati OH.)
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:30 PM   #26
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Question? Can I use my Ohio licensed kayaks inside YS? I'll have them (2 inflatables) with us for use after our 3 weeks in the Teton's and YS.
https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/boating.htm
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:24 PM   #27
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You even have to get a permit for a float tube so you just pick one up at a ranger station. Grant Village or Bridge Bay would be convenient.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:42 PM   #28
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I was the original poster on this thread. Just to tie a ribbon around this thread and my original questions.......

Reservations open on May 1st at 8AM Yellowstone time. This is both for the Yellowstone camping reservations website AND the phone. Neither will take reservations before 8AM on May 1st. If you try to do the website before 8AM on May 1, it will say the sites are sold out, but they really aren't.

My friend and I both made reservations for Fishing Bridge for 5 days in August 2018. On May 1, 2017, the website was pretty much useless. There are too many people trying to make reservations all at once and the website just keeps crashing. I got lucky and actually got through to the reservations web page after trying/refreshing for about 1/2 hour, but when it came to enter payment, the website just crashed. My advice: don't bother with the website on May 1. It won't work. I just checked it again at 4PM Yellowstone time on May 1 and it still doesn't work.

The phones are almost as bad. Fortunately, we both have auto-redial on our home phones. It took about 1 1/2 hours to get through to a reservations agent. The phone lines were either continually busy or it would ring about 10 times and then hang up. Anyway, we both finally got through. They will not allow you to make more than one reservation per call. They will let you pair your reservation with a friend so that you can attempt to get sites together. Apparently you can't choose your site in advance. They let you know a few days before arrival.

As a side note, we're planning on going to the Tetons for a few days after Yellowstone, staying at either Colter Bay or Headwaters. With these Tetons parks, the policy is that you can make reservations 11 months in advance. Since we're trying to make reservations in mid-August 2018, reservations for all of August 2018 open on September 1, 2017. So if you're planning on doing the Tetons as well, hopefully that info helps you.

Thanks to everyone above who provided me advice.
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