Our Yellowstone Vacation is one of our family’s all time favorites!
It was as if we were on an American Safari or in the movie Jurassic Park.
The wildlife…the scenery…the geothermal features -unbelievable!
It’s the kind of vacation where you’ll want to get up and go each morning and relax in the evening.
There is a lot to see and do for people of all ages and it kept our crew mesmerized and thoroughly entertained.
The park can be a bit intimidating by its sheer size. At 2.1 million acres, it is larger than the states of Delaware & Rhode Island combined! The park road system is excellent and the ranger stations and amenities (gas, food, lodging, and souvenirs) are never that far away.
The road’s loop system is often referred to as an “8” due to its shape, of which there is an “upper loop” and “lower loop”. Lake Yellowstone and Old Faithful are on the lower loop, while Roosevelt Lodge, Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon and Mammoth Hot Springs are on the Upper Loop.
We chose to stay in different lodges during our stay to experience each place – this was well worth it. Not to mention, it allowed us to see most of the park as we didn’t have to worry about backtracking all the way to the same hotel.
A Yellowstone vacation does entail a fair amount of walking. Many of the geothermal features have a boardwalk system that surrounds the bubbling pools, steaming geysers, and gurgling pits. Some of these boardwalks entail a few miles of walking!
There are also some fun hikes that the whole family can enjoy that are nether too strenuous or too backwoods, such as Uncle Tom’s trail & Observation Hill at Old Faithful.
After some research, we purchased TravelBrain’s Yellowstone Expedition Guide as our vacation planning tool of choice. This book travelled with us and has even turned into a scrap-book, of sorts, as we look back on the vacation. This book is worth checking out, if you’re planning a Yellowstone trip.
Another necessity for a Yellowstone vacation: get a good camera. Before our trip, we shopped around for a point-and-shoot camera with a good zoom lens and a high mega-pixel resolution. We ended up buying the Canon PowerShot SX130 (12x optical zoom + 12 megapixel) and we were thrilled with the 1000+ pictures and videos that we snapped in the park! (Hey, when you see grizzlies, black bear, moose, elk, bison galore, and scenery that is out of this world – you’ll find yourself taking pictures around EVERY bend!).
When we go on vacations, we usually pack breakfast and lunch foods and do something nicer for dinner. This makes eating out a treat, and in the case of our Yellowstone vacation it allowed us to eat on the go during the day and not miss a beat while relaxing and telling stories around a nice sit-down dinner. Another fun thing to do: After dinner, take an evening car ride to the wildlife “hot spots”. You’ll get an adrenaline rush at each bear jam (cars pulled off the road watching a bear) or watching elk and bison graze in the pastures. Watching bison in Hayden Valley and the stampede in Lamar Valley were some of our kids’ favorite stories to tell when they got home.
Everyone should take a Yellowstone vacation at some point in their lives. It’s a phenomenal place of wonderment. Check out this link, to see our Yellowstone itinerary. We hope you have a fun trip!