On my bucket list is a wish to travel to all the USA National Parks. I have visited a couple, but not many. This Fall I want to go with my family to Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park is located in 3 states. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Established in 1872 it is America’s oldest National Park. High in the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone has the world’s largest collection of geysers. Yellowstone is also known for its amazing wildlife. From bison, elk, moose to foxes, coyotes and even wolves! Stunning waterfalls, hot springs, meadows and mountains.
And I want to see it all! 🙂
Currently, in my research, I am trying to decide on my home base while we visit for 4 or 5 days. Right now the town of Gardiner, Montana at the north entrance to the park is having the most appeal. I am looking into lodging and leaning towards a cabin. At the time of year we want to go, I think we will be out the door early. Packing along a picnic lunch and having dinner in the cabin or in a restaurant seems like the most appealing option. I can just imagine myself sitting down to a nice sandwich overlooking Old Faithful or even a distant herd of bison!
I am researching day trips and have found one that includes a 2 hour horse ride, as well as an 8 mile whitewater rafting trip. The Flying Pig seems to fit the bill.
I also want to do some easy hikes to get off the crowded path. So I am checking out the official Yellowstone website on day hiking to plan that.
I really, really love moose. I have no logic for it. I am just amazed by them. While traveling in Alaska several years ago, the closest I managed to get was some scat, hoof prints and the back-end of a moose. (As viewed from a bus as it was going deeper into the woods. I was very sad.) So on this trip that is high on my list of “Things I Want To See.”
Also on my list is wolves, if possible, and for sure some bison and big horn sheep.
Something I am unsure that I want to see is a bear. While they are amazing and awe-inspiring I must admit to having a healthy dose of fear about them. I have been known to wake my husband up to walk me to the restroom during our camping adventures, just to make sure I was not eaten by a bear. 😉
Yellowstone is very good about being “Bear Aware”. They have all sorts of information on their website about bears, how to avoid them and what to do if you are approached by a bear. So while I am all about learning how to keep myself safe from bears, I don’t think I will cry if I don’t see one. (I might cry, however, if I don’t see a moose!)
I think my desire to see this park comes directly from my childhood when we used to visit Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. I remember vividly the Big Horn Sheep that used to just walk around. Living in the Rocky Mountains growing up has some amazing memories for me. And since digital cameras were not around, I don’t really have much other than my memories. I want to capture some wildlife and nature on digital film as well as introduce my family to the wonders of the Rocky Mountains!
Do you have recommendations of where to stay, what are must-sees, or how to increase my chances of seeing large wildlife? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
The Rockies are awesome, that’s for sure. I have such great memories (more recent than yours I think) of the Rockies. When it comes to picking a place to stay what I usually did was hostel. There is an awesome wilderness hostel (ie no running water) in Jasper that is great because there are usually deer having breakfast in the yard with you. There are trailheads from there and the people that work there are super helpful.
Another thing to keep in mind would be whether or not to stay in the park or not. In Jasper you pay per day for the car, if you stay in the park or not. But the line to get through in … it can be a bummer to wait 20 mins to get into the park every morning! For this I usually decided based on what I wanted to see. The closer to my destination the better! (like a specific set of trails, a lake to photograph, etc)
Finally, another thing to keep in mind is provisions. Think the cost/benefit of traveling to the store vs the super expensive market in the park. Gas + time = Value, Time being the limiting factor sometimes 😉
Oh yeah! You took some AWESOME nature photos! 🙂 Any tips you would like to share?
Some great things to think about! Staying in the park isn’t an option currently. The cabins are all sold out and the hotel rooms that are left are out of my budget.
By going after Labor Day (in the US) I should be able to avoid crowds. By having a cabin with a kitchen I hope to only eat out for dinner occasionally. Planning to stock up on groceries in Bozeman where the airport is, because you are right, I don’t want to pay tourist fees for milk and bread. 🙂
I think Hubby will have a great time taking pictures. Kid 2 will have a great time hiking. I will have a great time being in the Rockies again. Too bad you can’t join us!