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Itinerary for August trip

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Madison, Wisconsin
posts: 19
reviews: 2
Itinerary for August trip

Hi. We could use some help with itinerary for our 4 nite, 3 day trip in late August. We drive in from the east, probably arriving in park mid-afternoon. We stay first three nites at Old Faithful and the last nite at Grant. We have two time/location constraints. Our first full day we are doing the horse ride/cowboy dinner so must be at Roosevelt by 3:30 pm. Our third full day we need to be at Canyon Amphitheater at 4:30 pm. We plan to leave Grant early morning on day 4 to head to GTNP but could leave later in morning if there are nearby things to see. Thanks for your help!

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 14,414
reviews: 232
1. Re: Itinerary for August trip

Here is a link to the must sees for YNP-

http://yellowstone.net/intro/top-10/

Pam who is one of the DE's who post on the forum is great at helping people map out their daily trip plans.

Good luck!!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 8,499
reviews: 54
2. Re: Itinerary for August trip

Day 1: Enter the park, stop at Fishing Bridge and walk across looking for wildlife. Turn south and go around the Lake, stopping at West Thumb. Head to Old Faithful, check in at Visitor Center to see if anything interesting is set to go this afternoon and walk to it. I would recommend doing a more thorough tour of the Upper Geyser Basin on day 3.

Day 2: Since this is the day you are doing the cookout, make this your Upper Loop day. Head to Norris then Mammoth. Tour the Upper and Lower terraces and stop at the Visitor Center. The best bathrooms at Mammoth are the new ones near the bus parking lot. Go to Roosevelt, head out in to Lamar Valley if you have time before you need to check in for your ride. Take extreme care driving back to Old Faithful. You will need to go slower than the posted speed limit due to big black slow moving animals who insist on walking down the middle of the road.

Day 3: Make this your geyser day. Start at the VC, do the Ranger walk (830 maybe??) Do the upper geyser basin, then drive north doing the smaller basins, Midway, Firehole Lake Dr., go almost to Madison Jct (or go all the way there if someone needs a bathroom, they have flush toilets). Take the left turn into Firehole Canyon Dr. Return to the main road, pick up Fountain Paint Pots. If you have plenty of time, you might want to continue past Madison to do Gibbon Falls, or drive part way out toward the West Gate. If you do that, turn around at Gneiss Creek Trailhead or continue a little way further to Riverside drive. Do that and then head back toward Madison Jct. The usual suspects (elk and bison) are along this road, you might also see Bald Eagle, trumpeter swan and some have seen otters in the river (I have not!!)

Day 4: Head to Canyon. Stop at Visitor Center. After that I would head down into Hayden Valley looking for wildlife, do Mud Volcano, Fishing Bridge again, go back north and do LeHardy Rapids to scan for wildlife, then when you get to the South Rim, do that side. If time permits, start on the North rim, then get to the amphitheater by 430. Again be VERY careful driving down to Grant and try to get there before dark.

Day 5: Wave bye-bye to Yellowstone!

Pam

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 8,499
reviews: 54
3. Re: Itinerary for August trip

Oh my Peach, we were typing and thinking at the same time!

Pam

Madison, Wisconsin
posts: 19
reviews: 2
4. Re: Itinerary for August trip

Thanks so much for the detailed response! I wondered about the drive back to Old Faithful after the dinner. I guess it will just be part of the great adventure!

Barb

Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 1,018
reviews: 19
5. Re: Itinerary for August trip

Bwhitish, what sorts of things do YOU like, what sorts of things do YOU want to see? Knowing that would help people make suggestions.

Madison, Wisconsin
posts: 19
reviews: 2
6. Re: Itinerary for August trip

good point Bill. I guess we want to see the highlights, knowing we don't have much time. We (me and husband) are both 60, could handle a 1-2 mile hike but that's it.

Barb

Spery, Iowa
posts: 2,757
reviews: 80
7. Re: Itinerary for August trip

I don't think you have to worry about adding in any hikes. If you want the highlights in three days, you will get plenty of walking in. You can see as much or as little of each area as your interest warrants. Pam's outline gives you a great starting point to guide you through the park- then come and go as you please. If you find something that calls to you- put something you miss on the next trip list! You don't have to see it all to have a great trip. Yellowstone time is meant for pure enjoyment. Pam will agree- we think a lot alike, lol.

Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 1,018
reviews: 19
8. Re: Itinerary for August trip

So ... "highlights." For most people, that would be thermal areas and wildlife. Thermal areas are generally in the SW part of the park, and easy walking on boardwalks or maintained paths to see the majority of the thermal areas. The Old Faithful area would make a pleasant day, browsing the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, maybe a short ride to Midway Geyser Basin. If you under-schedule you can see these things at your leisure, and have time for a relaxed meal.

For wildlife, you will want to get up early and visit Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley. You cannot miss the bison, they are everywhere. You are likely to see bear and/or wolves ... stop in where the people are gathered around their scopes at a pullout, and people are generally very about letting polite strangers take a peek through their scopes.

ENJOY!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 8,499
reviews: 54
9. Re: Itinerary for August trip

I do agree, thbergs. And we do think a lot alike!! To me working the direction is the important aspect of the itineraries.

Plus things like Fishing Bridge...it took me many, many visits to realize this was a good place to see wildlife. I always just drove across thinking what's the big deal. Never stopped. Then on another forum, someone said they saw otters there, so next time, I stopped. I sat. I had a snack. I saw the otters. I saw a golden eagle. I saw a muskrat. Now I always stop. Sometimes I see good stuff. Sometimes I don't. One time when I saw otters, there were some Asian young adults there. I pointed to the otters and they were so thrilled. I had to write *otter* on one gal's hand so they could go look up whatever otter is in their language. It added a layer of fun for me for them to see something unexpected.

Pam

Spery, Iowa
posts: 2,757
reviews: 80
10. Re: Itinerary for August trip

isn't sharing the love of the park the best thing? and an occasional frequent visitor tip can become a highlight of it's own! so, Bwhitish, whatever you end up seeing will be something you can share with us in a trip report- and you will become an advisor to others! Pay it forward!!