10 September 2008

Yellowstone recommendations?

We're heading to Yellowstone this weekend. J and I have never been there. We'll be there for two days. What must we see while we're there? Where's your favorite place in Yellowstone?


Sha'Niqua said...

I've been once. WE saw the thermal pools at the south side, then we went up to old faithful. Then, we decided it was too crowded and went back to the Tetons!

Daktari said...

Grand Prismatic Spring. It is absolutely spectacular. I wouldn't miss it if I went back.

Mammoth Hot Springs, north entrance, is pretty cool.

Old Faithful is ...ehh. Interesting a little I guess, but I had much more fun taking hikes to other "surprise" thermal events.

Hayden Valley is a decent place to wildlife view. There are ALWAYS bison, sometimes bear, usually elk, plus, it's just a neat valley. Close by is Mud Volcano/Sulphur Caldron. Don't want to miss those mud pots.

Between Hayden Valley and the Canyon area is the upper falls of the Yellowstone River. It's very nice...virtually nothing of a walk to see from the parking area and very exciting. Definitely go to the Canyon area to see the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone". If you guys are up for a VERY steep climb down to the lower viewing area, you can get some great pictures of the Lower Falls. Keep in mind that I tripped down this path (even though it is asphalt), did a flip and landed, amazingly, with my brand new camera lying on my chest. Don't ask me how that happened, I still don't know. Anyhoo, there is a much easier (though less spectacular) viewing area that is accessible without the big hike down. Very picturesque.

Yellowstone Lake is neat to look at. You can go into the Lake Hotel in the evenings and listen to a string quartet for free. Dinner in the hotel is nice, but sorta expensive. Probably not the best "kid" experience, either. However, I sort of got the feeling I was walking into a Stephen King novel inside that hotel. Redrum! Redrum!

You can see some really neat stuff up by Mt. Washburn that you won't see elsewhere in the lower reaches. Plus, the vistas of the valleys as you crest the mountain and head back down the other side cannot be beat.

If you are going to go to Yellowstone, and you have an extra day, you may want to consider driving the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge Montana. You should probably plan on staying the night there if you do and returning the next day. As I recall, the hotels weren't that expensive and they had a very nice Super 8. The Beartooth Highway is a SPECTACULAR drive, and I believe is called one of the most picturesque drives in America.

Seriously, I think I can give you some really good ideas on hikes if you are interested, and let me look through my pictures and see what else I remember as being memorable and kid-friendly.