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may 7th-may 13th

posts: 12
may 7th-may 13th

My husband and I are planning to be in mammoth on the 7th and have reservations at madison campgrounds. Yes we are aware of weather (hello...were from colorado) and don't care what the conditions are. So unfortunately last summer we had someone derail our week long trip to a one day trip and this is what's going to make it better; because let's face it a place so beautiful cannot have a bad memory! Iam also aware that we are limited to mammoth , madison and in between-ish I want to know what we should see. We didn't get up there last year. And if weather permits we might spend a day in the tetons on the way out. Any suggestions are welcome :) I hear wildlife is great by madison river and also hear its less crowded. Much appreciated for your time and suggestions :)

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 11,813
reviews: 86
1. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Well, you have two posts that are different but pretty much the same. It looks like you are planning to camp at Madison. Are you going to be in the park for a full week, or is a week your time frame to drive up from Colorado? I guess what I am asking is how many days will you have in Yellowstone?

I am not sure where you got the information of being limited to *Mammoth, Madison and in-between* because you would be able to access the Old Faithful area which is not between Mammoth and Madison, but is south of Madison. In normal years you would also be able to access the Canyon area down to Fishing Bridge on May 3. Here is a link to the road opening dates as published by the NPS. Part of what will be available to be seen during your dates is dependent on the sequestration issues in Congress, so actual opening dates may differ from what is *normal*.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm

I am not sure I understand what information you would like. Are you looking for what to do or see? Where to hike? Or confirmation that Madison is a good place to stay?

Sorry your trip was spoiled last year.

Pam

posts: 12
2. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Day one is on may 7th when we arrive and plan on staying at least 5 days if not more. I've heard good things about camping in madison I'm up for any suggestions on what to see, and do while were there. I know hiking is pretty much hit or miss depending on how wet winter is....

posts: 12
3. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Pretty much lookin on what to do or see :) thank you.

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,465
reviews: 44
4. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Madison is the only campground one can reserve that early in the season. It is on the beautiful Madison river and easy access to the geysers. Lots of geyser walkways & trails to hike!

The only other campground open then is Mammoth at the north entrance, a first-come/first-serve campground that does not take reservations.

Mammoth is more out in the open, while Madison campsites are wooded & more private.

Have fun planning!

Spery, Iowa
posts: 2,768
reviews: 84
5. Re: may 7th-may 13th

YNP is a great place to make great memories. Glad you are giving it another chance!

Sounds like you are prepared to go for it. You will need that attitude for that early trip.

I am assuming you have camped in bear country, and camped in snow. You will need bear spray for hikes, and yes, they will be weather and bear management dependent. Check with the rangers (provided budget cuts allow them) for current conditions. You can walk miles just on the boardwalks alone, and I recommend hitting them all with the time you have.

I will also assume you know the opening dates of things, and have read the budget cuts thread on here.

I love the book Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple for planning and use during trip to the park. Loads of information.

I really thing this kind of trip will be very weather dependent as far as what to see and do when. What are your interests? That will help with suggestions.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 11,813
reviews: 86
6. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Great!

So, here is a link to the Day Hikes page.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

You are right about the weather being a determining factor, but also some areas will be closed for Bear Management. Here's a map of the closure dates for that.

www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/bearclosures.htm

I can easily spend one whole day in the thermal area from Madison south to Old Faithful. I recommend you drive to Old Faithful and work your way back to Madison because that will give you more time to try and work in some of the predictable geyser eruptions. Check at the OF Visitor Center first, write down the times on the brochure available at the desk for 50 cents and see what you can. Also check with the Rangers there on recommendations for hikes, what's open, what's not too wet, etc.

Based on the current schedule, you *should* be able to spend a day from Canyon down to Fishing Bridge. You can do the overlooks for canyon on the North and South Rims, see Hayden Valley (good wildlife opportunities), do Mud Volcano and the other areas down to Fishing Bridge.

Another day you can do the boardwalks at Norris Geyser Basin and maybe get on up to Mammoth to do the boardwalks there.

You will probably want to try to get to the Lamar Valley which is east of Mammoth and where you may have some good luck wildlife spotting on another day. You would go up to Mammoth again, then go east from there.

There are also Ranger-led programs you might be interested in. Again, the whole budget mess may effect those offerings, but when you enter the park you will get a newspaper with the programs listed. There are usually some based at Madison, but perhaps later in the season than when you are there.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/rangerprog.htm

Pam

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 11,813
reviews: 86
7. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Rats, waited too long to edit. I meant to ask where you plan to enter the park? The North and West entrances are the first to open and, in fact, you will have to check and see if the South entrance is open if you all decide to go thru GTNP/Jackson on the way home. If the South gate is not open yet, you will have to drive around the west side of the park via Driggs and Victor ID to access Jackson.

Pam

Spery, Iowa
posts: 2,768
reviews: 84
8. Re: may 7th-may 13th

I reported the other post as a duplicate to keep all replies on one post.

It does say entering from the north to Mammoth.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 11,813
reviews: 86
9. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Thanks thbergs. I did not look back at that one, and my memory is not good!! Too much snow, not enough sunshine!

Pam

posts: 12
10. Re: may 7th-may 13th

Thanks for deleting the other one oops! Okay so the suggestions sound wonderful so far. Is firehole river going to be accessable? I've never been in a hot spring and have heard that's the only part u can swim in. Old faithful last year was very crowded. All we got to do was camp in lewis lake for one night, see a few geysers (dragonmouth?) And had to turn back when the dude we went with just wanted to go home. So I kinda know the bottom but nothing else really. We got madison reserved for when we get there just incase mammoth is full (backup camping is important!) Id love to explore as much as I can and am looking at the maps from last year. The south entrance west or whichever entrance that is open before we leave is fine. Id like to spend one day in the tetons and heard colter bay is good? Any reccomandations on those campgrounds helps to. Thanks for all the replies I'm getting excited! Also; with the sequester thing when does it go into affect? I'm not seeing that part anywhere from everything I've seen it still looks like these days will be fine