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Yellowstone - in a few hours

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Seattle, WA
posts: 30
reviews: 6
Yellowstone - in a few hours

My cousins and I are driving across the country and would like to stop by Yellowstone. We will be arriving Monday evening and leaving Tuesday morning.

If we only have a few hours at night and a few in the early morning, what's the best places to see? Old Faithful? What else?

Where's a good place to stay that is nearby, yet inexpensive (we can sacrifice on quality to maximize our time).

Any other advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 18,186
reviews: 38
1. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

You really can't see anything at night, so you will have a few hours in the morning. Stick with Old Faithful area. Maybe stay in West Yellowstone.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 18,186
reviews: 38
2. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

Just realized you mean this Monday! You may want to consider stopping in Cody for the night, then get up very early to drive through YS park during the day. Stop and see the Lake area, then on to Old Faithful, exiting via West Yellowstone. With only a few hours you really can't see much, but you will want to return.

Seattle, WA
posts: 30
reviews: 6
3. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

r u saying to mostly drive thru the park? besides old faithful, is there any thing/place worth stopping at if we only have a few hours?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 18,186
reviews: 38
4. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

There are plenty of things to see but with only a few hours, not sure how much you can see. The Canyon area is nice, with the falls and the canyon, the Lake area is beautiful and you will want to hike around the Old Faithful area and surrounding geyser basins.

Most people take 3 days to see the above.

Wisconsin
posts: 1,035
reviews: 117
5. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

You will get a map when you pay at the ranger station. As you drive through have someone look at what is ahead and decide as you go.

We stayed in Gardiner, depending on your route this could be considered.

Saint Paul...
posts: 2,375
reviews: 43
6. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

Also note that some roads are not open yet, even now. Some scheduled to open May 8. Most places will be accessible by the time you come through BUT not by the most direct routes. There are some areas with steep drop offs and no gaurdrails that are not opened unless conditions are very good so it can force some odd back tracking to get to places like Old Faithful.

Lodging should not be a problem this early so the best options might be West Yellowstone. This would allow a quick afternoon/evening look at some of the thermal areas like the Lower Geyser Basin then back to W. Yellowstone.

Another critical factor is where you are coming from on Monday and where you are heading (and route) after. Cross country can mean a lot of things. If you take I-90 from Seattle and team drive you can make it to Livingston in one day. From there dart down into the park, do a loop (as roads permit) to major sites and then out the East Entrance toward Cody for the night. From there options are open to destination east and south but expect a fair bit fo snow in the Bighorn Mts. to conenct back to I-90.

Saint Paul...
posts: 2,375
reviews: 43
7. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

Sorry, didn't see Black Hills thread before this one so the direction of travel would be reversed. If really short on time (and ultiamte destination is Seattle) then entering at east entrance and exiting at Mammoth Hot Springs (to Livingston) would give at least a glimpse of the geothermal features at Mammoth. The rest of the park would probably take too long.

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,642
reviews: 14
8. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

I agree with your last post, Sequim.

You don't ever just cruise through Yellowstone, even if you want to. There are always animals, road closures, tourists or whatever. You'll see lots of good stuff in the Lamar Valley (animals) and Mammoth (thermal springs). I'd stay in Mammoth if you can. Then up and out through the Paradise Valley back to I-90 at Livingston.

Stop in Butte for lunch and have pasty at Joe's... (very traditional place, definitely hole in the wall category but I try never to miss it).

If you go south toward Lake in an effort to get to Old Faithful, you'll end up going over Dunraven Pass. Not a quick and easy ride.

9. Re: Yellowstone - in a few hours

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