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Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Virginia
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Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Just about have things ironed out but have a few questions and need opinions.

For our 5 or so nights inside the park which is a better choice for us? Canyon or Lake?

At Canyon or Lake (which ever you think is better for us) is there a cabin type, lodge room, location etc that I should try to get when I book?

We are a family of 5 and will bring bedding for the 5th kiddo. We are not fond of crowds, hustle and bussel etc. Kids will be 7, 10 and 12 in August when we are there. Kids love to see wild animals and play in water! LOL

So I had originally thought Canyon due to the location, but have read a lot about how wonderful Lake is. So can you help me know which we might like better for our family?

Thanks so much!

Edited: 6:20 pm, January 13, 2010
Green Valley...
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1. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Play in the water? Lake Y is pretty cold. There are a few places, but you'd want to watch the older kids, unsure about the youngest.

Either would do fine, I have a feeling you'll like the open space/meadow at Lake, and it isn't that much further than Canyon.

More importantly, you need to book lodging ASAP. If you have not done so, check the Xanterra website, study the types of lodging provided, then call Xanterra now and see what is available. You might have to accept what's available and, through later phone calls, request availability of your first choice (both room type and location within the park).

You will be outside most of the time, so rooms are mostly to crash at the end of the day.

Green Valley...
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2. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

I see, too, that you changed your mind about a West Yellowstone condo.

Virginia
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3. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Still thinking maybe West Yellowstone condo for the last 4 nights of our trip. The nights I am asking about here are the 5 we want to spend inside the park. We have about 14 days, give or take, for this trip. I had thought I wanted Canyon, but then read your stuff about how lovely Lake area is and how less crowded it is. That got me reconsidering things. We just are not crowd people.

And as for the water, I don't mean swim, I mean play. The most favorite thing my kids did at Rocky Mountain National Park was play in the water at Alluvial Fan. Their favorite thing in Smoky Mountain National Park and surrounding area was playing in the rivers...not swimming, more wading, trying to catch fish and crawdads.

Billings, Montana
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4. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Based on your desire to stay away from the crowds, hustle & bustle, I would recommend Lake over Canyon. While Canyon has a lot to offer and is a tad more centrally located Lake is (IMO) more serene and relaxing. I've camped at Bridge Bay Campground each summer for the past 30 years which is just a few miles from the lodge area and the views there are just spectacular. I never grow tired of waking up in the morning and looking out over the lake at the mountains. My profile pic is taken standing on Fishing Bridge.

As far as water activities for your kids you need to remember that Yellowstone Park lies between 6,000 to over 8,000 feet above sea level. The following was taken from the National Park Services website for Yellowstone Park.

"During late summer, Yellowstone Lake becomes thermally stratified with each of several water layers having a different temperature. The topmost layer rarely exceeds 66°F, and the lower layers are much colder. Because of the extremely cold water, swimming is not recommended. Survival time is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes in water of this temperature."

My grandson and I did a daytrip through the park last May 23rd. There is a picture of Yellowstone Lake in my profile. The lake was completely frozen. Because I live so close to the park I visit it multiple times each year- last year was the first time I've seen the lake frozen. I was totally blown away.

While I would throw pebbles and sticks in the water and maybe stick my barefeet in the water for a very short period of time I wouldn't think of playing in the water- it is just too darn cold to be any fun.

The Firehole River north of Old Faithful has an area where they allow swimming. The river is fed by multiple hot springs so the water temp is conducive to wading/swimming. It can get crowded at times though.

Another pic in my profile shows me wading across a creek barefooted while we were hiking in the Beartooths. The Beartooths are quite a bit higher then the park is but it was in the end of July and the creek was too high to rockhop across. We had forgotten to pack our sandals for our "spur of the moment" hiking get-away so had to cross barefooted. I was absolutely shocked just how cold it was and even though it was a very warm day I was in tears due to the cold water. It is nothing to mess around with.

Good luck with your trip planning. Your kids are at the best age for visiting and enjoying the park.

Deb

Edited: 10:57 pm, January 13, 2010
Green Valley...
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5. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Have you seen these Inside Pages?

For wildlife viewing and photography:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60999-c96653/Yellows…

Packing for your trip:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28973-c100586/Wyomin…

If not mentioned by me or others... a large, cheap cooler for beverages and food so you can keep going w/o returning to dining facilities when things are "hot". Digital cameras if possible for the kids. And, at least one pair of good binoculars.

AKJ
Bruceton Mills...
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6. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

Canyon has simpler dining. They have a nice restaurant and a cafeteria. No reservations required. The general store has a small area with burgers and other sandwiches. Not reall sure of the full menu.

Lake has a cafeteria at the Lake Lodge but the Lake Hotel has an expensive, reservations required restaurant. There is also a place at Lake similar to the one at Canyon serving burgers. Just not sure which building its in.

The Lake Lodge is a short walk from the Lake Hotel. They have a nice sitting area inside and the cafeteria. Nice font porch too. I haven't stayed in their cabins but have talked to people that liked them.

I like the Canyon location. The only thing is that many mornings we leave just before dawn and drive down to Lake anyway. Just to see what we can see. Then we turn around and head back north past Canyon. With that said, most days, the locations are pretty similar for our purposes.

You can't really avoid people much in Yellowstone. On the other hand, we liked most people we met and thought it all worked out. Interestingly, if you see a crowd, you probably want to join them. They're watching something something that interested a lot of people.

7. Re: Canyon or Lake for us??? Pros and Cons??

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