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    Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    I plan to visit Yellowstone National Park in the summer but don't want to drive from Minnesota to Wyoming. Could anyone suggest the best way to go there ? Where should I fly and whether I should rent a car or just take part in an organized tour, etc ?

    Thanks in advance



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Think about Amtrak, I have rode on it 2 times and loved it. Sometimes you can find some great deals also.



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    I went last year with a bunch of friends. I flew into Jackson Hole, WY (from San Jose, CA) and rented a SUV for the week. But was worried more about convenience than cost. I was coming from San Jose, my brother from Houston, and then a group of friends from IA. They drove in a van with most of the camping supplies, which enabled us to fly in and still camp. We camped just north of Jackson Hole in the Grand Tetons the first night, then went up into Yellowstone the next day. We used the rented SUV to get around the park after we had our tents and camp setup.

    IMO, it's better to have a vehicle and tour on your own, see what you want to see and spend as much time as you want. It's also worth noting that obviously it's a lot of mountainous driving. That might influence some people's decision on if they want to be the one driving or not.


    Last edited by Warder60; 01-26-2010 at 11:19 PM.

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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    When I went we flew SLC and drove the rest of the way. Stayed in Jackson Hole which was pretty sweet.


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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone13 View Post
    I plan to visit Yellowstone National Park in the summer but don't want to drive from Minnesota to Wyoming. Could anyone suggest the best way to go there ? Where should I fly and whether I should rent a car or just take part in an organized tour, etc ?

    Thanks in advance
    You'll definately want to have your own car, it's a very big park. You will also want to
    visit Grand Teton National Park. Just my opinion.



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberclone View Post
    You'll definately want to have your own car, it's a very big park. You will also want to
    visit Grand Teton National Park.
    Just my opinion.
    Definitely.



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Fly into Jackson and rent a car. Its very close.



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    I would reconsider not driving. My wife and I drove out and made a side trip to the Badlands and Wall on the way out. You also have available the Black Hills (including Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park and numerous caves) and Devils Tower pretty much on the route. It's beautiful scenery through Wyoming. The trip was almost as memorable as the destination.

    If you are flexible on when you go, I would suggest going earlier in the season. We went just before Memorial Day. If you do, you have to keep tabs on which passes (entrances) are open. You will deal with snow in some places but you won't deal with nearly as much traffic. If you are living in Minnesota you certainly know how to deal with snow. I believe we were able to do much more with the time we had because we didn't have nearly as much traffic to deal with.

    We took a small van sized conversion camper (hard side is a must during bear season) and stayed most nights in West Yellowstone (just outside the West entrance). We stayed our last night in the Grand Tetons (make sure you look up what that means in French). Well worth the trip.

    To make a long story short we took our time on the way out and came back in one long pull in one day.

    On a twisted note one of my wife's friends lent us the book "Death in Yellowstone" for us to read on the trip. It was interesting to read about the places we were visiting in a bit of a different context.
    Whatever you do enjoy. I wish you the best!


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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Death in Yellowstone is an interesting book with one obvious theme - people are stupid.

    My system used to work in the park. She had us stay at the Lake Hotel on Lake Yellowstone. Very nice spot. Not as much commotion as the Old Faithful Inn.

    I highly recommend the Teton's as well. There is also a lake - sorry can't remember the name - between the Teton's and Yellowstone. You take a boat across and then hike like a mile up into the woods and there is a gorgeous waterfall. Great time.



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Half the fun is the drive out there and being able to drive your own truck(car) around.


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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    I would recommend having your own vehicle as well. Try to find some less traveled roads around Yellowstone and the Tetons, we did and found some beautiful spots to stop and get out to look at the scenery with no people around. If you do happen to do some exploring on your own, be wary of your surroundings because bears will be out and about.


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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Just like everyone else, I'm going to suggest that you drive. There's a lot to see along I-90 in western South Dakota, and the drive through NE Wyoming has a certain charm to it as well. The Bighorn Mountains are very nice as well, and the last time I passed through there on my way to Yellowstone I saw some wildlife (mostly Moose) that I have never seen in Yellowstone (although they live there).

    Also, think carefully about when you want to go to Yellowstone. I would suggest the last week of May/first week of June. It's late enough that all or most major roads should be open, but early enough that fewer d-bag tourists will be out.

    If you're going to camp, I suggest avoiding the Bay Bridge campground (I think this is the name - it's the one by the lake near the east entrance). It seems like everyone who plans to camp comes into the park and stops immediately at this campsite. My favorite camp site was the Mammoth Hot Springs campsite - we stayed there on a saturday night in early June once, and there was hardly anyone around.

    Also check road closures (Yellowstone National Park - Road Construction Delays and Closures (U.S. National Park Service)) and construction. Be sure the park entrance you plan on using will be open before you leave. It's not uncommon for roads to sustain heavy damage in winter to the point where they need to be repaired in the spring. In my experience, the east entrances take the worst abuse - I think it was 2004 when they never opened one of the eastern entrances until very late in the season. In 2005 the road leading to the NE entrance (Bear Tooth Pass) was heavily damaged as well, and never did open fully. Some seasons they work on the inner roads a lot as well - I remember one trip to Yellowstone back when I was in high school where it took forever to get anywhere in the park because one of the interior roads was shut down for the season.

    Buy gas before entering the park, too. There are only 1 or 2 stations in the park if memory serves me correctly, and they charge an arm and a leg.



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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    I live in WY and I think a lot of people fly into Cody, WY and rent a car from there. It's a short drive from Cody into the park.

    Check out this website for some ideas

    http://www.yellowstone-natl-park.com/gethere.htm


    Last edited by cycopath25; 01-27-2010 at 09:08 AM.

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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Your choice is obvious.




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    Re: Visiting Yellowstone National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by VeloClone View Post
    I would reconsider not driving. My wife and I drove out and made a side trip to the Badlands and Wall on the way out. You also have available the Black Hills (including Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park and numerous caves) and Devils Tower pretty much on the route. It's beautiful scenery through Wyoming. The trip was almost as memorable as the destination.

    If you are flexible on when you go, I would suggest going earlier in the season. We went just before Memorial Day. If you do, you have to keep tabs on which passes (entrances) are open. You will deal with snow in some places but you won't deal with nearly as much traffic. If you are living in Minnesota you certainly know how to deal with snow. I believe we were able to do much more with the time we had because we didn't have nearly as much traffic to deal with.

    We took a small van sized conversion camper (hard side is a must during bear season) and stayed most nights in West Yellowstone (just outside the West entrance). We stayed our last night in the Grand Tetons (make sure you look up what that means in French). Well worth the trip.

    To make a long story short we took our time on the way out and came back in one long pull in one day.

    On a twisted note one of my wife's friends lent us the book "Death in Yellowstone" for us to read on the trip. It was interesting to read about the places we were visiting in a bit of a different context.
    Whatever you do enjoy. I wish you the best!
    Agree with this, took scenic tour out and drove 15 hrs straight coming home from tetons to Sioux City. I would start booking places now in the park, especially if you want to stay in the lodges or cabins.



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