General Question

finkelitis's avatar

Yellowstone: which part to go to, where to stay, what to do?

Asked by finkelitis (1907points) August 19th, 2010

I’m going to be meeting my girlfriend in Yellowstone, me flying in, her biking in (part of a bigger trip). She’s going to be biking through Big Springs, but indicated that West Yellowstone and Flagg Ranch were all possible places to go.

So, I need advice on everything. Where should I fly in? What should we do there? Is it important to rent a car? Are there hostels or other less expensive places to stay? Any must-sees?

This will be around the second week of September, so hopefully not too crowded. We’ll see though.

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5 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

West Yellowstone has the nearest commercial airport. Jackson Hole, Wy and Bozeman, Mt are also fairly close.

Look into renting an RV instead of a car. Camping is cheaper than motels at yellowstone, and a small RV can get you most of the places you’ll want to see.

Winters's avatar

Of course Old Faithful is a must see, try some hiking through some backwood trails, when i went there, there was suprisingly not too many people hiking through the woods, so you should be able to enjoy the wildlife to as close to the full extent as possible.

ipso's avatar

I found the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the old petrified trees (trunks still standing!), and exploring Lower Geyser Basin (aka Mars) and Norris to be absolutely profound “must see” items (also fly fishing up on the Montana side).

I say two full days is absolute minimum, up to two weeks or more if you’re into hiking. There are these old 30’s yellow buses that tour the park, so you don’t have to have a vehicle, but it would sure be worth it to have one to have your absolute freedom in the park.

You might want to check out Ken Burn’s PBS series on the National Parks first. Great information there.

@WestRiverrat mentioned flying into Jackson Hole. Highly recommended. This is the most beautiful airport approach I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen many. The Grand Tetons are second to none in beauty. Might as well see them to as you head up and into the park.

Sit on the right side of the plane when landing!

YARNLADY's avatar

Oh, I’m so jealous. We went a few years back and stayed for a week. It depends on how long you are going to be there, but the RV rental is a great idea. Don’t expect to save money that way, though, because the rental plus gas, insurance, and overnight fees in the park will be just as high as a car rental plus rooms in the park.

I suggest the full circle drive, more of a figure 8 really, with stops at each major center/village each day.

deni's avatar

Will you be going into the backcountry? If so, then I highly reccommend where me and my boyfriend went this summer…you should message me if you plan on backpacking and I’ll tell you more about it. But if not I won’t waste my time, lol.

Anyhow, we did a lot of roadtripping this summer and the thing that stuck out most was the Grand Prismatic Spring. Not sure where in the park it is, fairly central I believe, but god damn!!!! It was maybe the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in nature. It’s a pool that is essentially a rainbow. And it’s huge and it steams and it’s so gorgeous it takes your breath away. And you can hike up the hill beside it and see it from above, which we for some reason didn’t do but you definitely should.

Mammoth Hot Springs, at the top of the park, is awesome too, but I will warn you that it was soooo crowded with tourists that we found it almost unbearable.

And if you have some extra time, you should check out Jackson Hole a little further. The Tetons are right there, and if you raft down the river it is the most spectacular view ever!

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