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Yellowstone itinerary questions

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We are planning a roadtrip from DC to Yellowstone National Park for next September. We are planning on leaving after work on August 30th and want to be in NY (to visit family) by September 23. On the way there we will likely spend the night in and around Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Minneapolis, Bismarck, Billings and then driving to the north entrance (Gardiner) to Yellowstone.

Now, this is our first time in Yellowstone, and I am figuring we can spend 5-6 nights in the park. Does it make sense to enter through the North entrance and exit, at the end of our stay in the park, the East entrance towards Cody? I am thinking we can spend one night in Mammoth, one night near the Canyon, two nights near Old Faithful, and one night near Fishing Bridge before exiting East. Is it possible (or advisable) to drive from the Canyon area to Old Faithful in one day? Is Mammoth, Tower Falls, Canyon, Old Faithful and Fishing Bridge a good order in which to see those sights? I am working off of this map:


There is so much to see and do! We are interested in doing a couple of short hikes, seeing the geyers, but our number one priority is the wildlife! We, being from big cities, do not get to see a lot of stars in the sky. I would imagine that the stars over Yellowstone are beautiful. Is there are guides/seminars about the stars in Yellowstone, like a program with a ranger or something? Not sure if I am explaining myself clearly.

I was looking at lodging in the park just to get an idea of pricing--a lot seems to be sold out already!! Is this common? Will more rooms open up as time goes on?? I really would rather not book hotels in advance, I'd rather just drive and stay where we want, but it doesn't look like this is a possibility in Yellowstone, unless maybe you are camping...which we're not.

Thank you for any advice--

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