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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Brief trip report to Yellowstone / Tetons

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I asked quite a few questions about Yellowstone on this forum, so here is a very brief trip report.

1. We had 4 days, 3 for Yellowstone and 1 for Grand Tetons. Wish we had all 4 in Yellowstone, because Tetons disappointed: it is beautiful, but probably just as much as many other places in the Rockies. We took a floating trip on Snake river, which was nice (mainly because of the guide). A young elk or moose, which we saw on this trip from afar, was the only animal we met in the Grand Tetons.

2. For Yellowstone, we stayed in West Yellowstone, which I found to be a very nice, inexpensive place. There was no point to stay inside the park, IMHO.

3. We toured Nothern and Southern loops, and drived towards Lamar Valley (but not too far). If you tour the Canyon and Norris Basin as part of Nothern, rather than Southern, loop, you will have your attractions distributed more evenly in time.

4. The most spectacular views: Canyon from the Artist Viewpoint, and Grand Prismatic Spring from a hill above it. We were told that the trail to the hill is not an official one, so it was a fellow traveller, rather than a ranger, who pointed us there.

5. Smaller colorful pools of hot water are very impressive, too.

6. The Old Faithful was a relative disappointment, as it never reached its promised maximum height of 180 ft (it was < 100 ft max, I would say), and was losing strength after a few seconds of eruption. We did not have time to wait for other big geysers. But the restaurant at the Geyser Viewpoint Lodge was very good :)

7. So called "paint pots" were not very impressive.

8. Mammoth Area is not as bad as some folks here have suggested, and certainly worth a visit.

9. Bisons are everywhere, crossing roads here and there, so you are going to see them a lot. As far as other animals are concerned, we saw an elk from 100 ft, a fox from 300 ft, and that's about it. Of bears, we saw only their poo :)

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