5 nights in/around Yellowstone w/ kids

Old Aug 25th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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5 nights in/around Yellowstone w/ kids

Will try to keep this brief. Flew into Bozeman 2 1/2 hour ride to Red Lodge, Mt. Stayed overnight at the Comfort Inn - mediocre rooms awesome service with decent breakfast. Had an indoor pool so the kids loved it. Walked to town had some God awful food at Red Lodge Pizza. If you must go there stick to burgers - NOTHING else, you'll thank me. Candy Emporium was cute.

Next day did the Beartooth Highway about 2+ hours with a few stops on the way including the Top of the World Store - cute store gross bathroom. Beartooth Highway is amazing and no one got car sick. Had lunch in Cooke City at Buns and Beds - again stick to burgers - ribs not so much.

Entered Yellowstone through the NE to drive through Lamar Valley. Drive was mid day saw hundreds of bison - super cool. Checked in at Roosevelt Lodge (2 nights) got our Frontier Cabin w/ private bathroom. Small but clean and private bathroom. Drove to Mammoth to check out the sites and get the kids on the Jr. Ranger program. Saw elk and listen to a ranger talk about animal safety got some ice cream. Ranger said the terrace was hot and dry suggested some kid friendly (as in shade and not eons long) trails - decided on Wraith. Easy breezey no complaints took a one way road which passed us by more bison and dropped us off near petrified tree (boring). Had dinner at Lodge and called it a day.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Day 2 - Went to the Canyon area on the way we stopped at Towers and walked part of the trail was not crowded and very pretty. Moved on to canyon area. Did the North Rim and Uncle Tom's Trail - crazy beautiful and worth the 328 steps - saw two rainbows. Spent most of the day here also went to Artist Point tried to convince the kids to do another trail - Gibbons??? wasn't happening.

Got back to Roosevelt and did the Cowboy Cookout. Expected it to be cheesey and was waiting for my husband to go Brooklyn on me. He didn't we all LOVED it. Good food, excellent guides and saw bison and sheep on the wagon trail. $216. for a family of four and worth every penny. Would I go without kids probably not but we all enjoyed it.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Day 3 - Checked out of Roosevelt. Headed toward Old Faithful - traveled the same route again to pass canyon and did the North Rim trails. Stopped for lunch at Canyon Grill - in a word - GROSS - pack your own or go elsewhere.....burgers weren't even good there. Got back on the road and stopped at the Lake Hotel to check it out. Pretty but looking a little rough around the edges. Saw painters so that was good bought some pictures. Back on the road went through Hayden Valley lots more Bison also stopped to see mud volcano area - saw Dragon's mouth and a few others. Checked into Old Faithful around 4pm and it was going off as we pulled in - I think I heard angels sing Kids played DS and hubby napped - I caught 40 mins of a 45 minute hotel tour - it was very interesting. Had dinner reservations for 6:15 which was apparently optimistic. There was a flood in the back part of the dinning room and we didn't get seat until 7:30 fed at 8:15 and left after 9 it was S-L-O-W and to add to that frustration I did not like my meal - Red Trout Hash. Everyone else did OK no one was wowed. Went to bed.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Day 4 - Got up early to take pictures of the lobby and drink coffee and soak it all in. Got to see the sunrise behind OF as it blew up - A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Listened to the chatter of people from Mass - very amusing and I love a good accent - hey I'm from Jersey so I have one too.

DD and I rented bikes and rode to Morning Glory Pond. The boys hoofed it and tried to steal our bikes when we met them. 1 hour bike rental for two including helmets under $15. and worth it.

Had lunch at OF Dinning Room again. DS got buffet and enjoyed the game chilli, DH got bison burger, DD got beef burger and I got the gourmet wedge salad - all were happy. Service still slow though but not worthy of caps and hyphens....

Departed OF Inn and exited through West Yellowstone. Saw elk on the way out. Stopped at Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center - met a bear dog and the resident beasts - worth a visit could have stayed longer if we were so inclined.

Drove to Big Sky, Mt where we stayed the last night at Bucks T4. Splurged for a two bedroom suite after sleeping with my DD for four nights - who turns into a starfish every night in bed - I appreciated being next to my husband. Dinner at the hotel restaurant was excellent. Sophisticated innovative and delicious. If you are in Big Sky I highly recommend it. Place was about an hour from airport which seemed brief after all the driving we did on our trip.

Be happy to field questions if anyone has any. This was our first trip to Yellowstone and I think we hit the sweet spot for length of stay and sites seen. We were ready to go home after 5 nights and yes we would all go back - great family trip.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Correction day 3 we did the South Rim trails near canyon.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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sounds like a good trip, other than most of the food.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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Hi Spirobulldog - it was a great trip. Thanks for sharing your expertise it helped me plan.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Enjoyed your trip report. Thanks for posting. It will be a good resource especially for families since you put the w/kids in the heading. And, yes, you will probably go back.
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 06:32 AM
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Sounds like a great trip.

Thanks for the report.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Hi-did you feel a bit rushed or was this a good amount of time? We are looking at 5 nights in Yellowstone and 2 near TNP. Thanks
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 06:11 AM
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Sorry Plambers haven't been here in a while. I felt that it was a good amount of time though a few more days would have been fine. My kids get homesick within a week so it worked for us. Happy travels.
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Old Mar 10th, 2014, 05:12 AM
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Food sounds amazing (Ha!).Great trip.

Tell me more about bike rentals as I'm taking daughter and granddaughter in late July.

It appears you drove along the dirt part. I imagine you can't ride on the boardwalks near GrandGeyser, etc. Correct?
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Hello Myer - rental was a quick walk from the Old Faithful and there are paths that are not dirt that you can ride on. It is all right there. And no you can not drive on the boardwalks but that wasn't an issue.
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