Driving times within Yellowstone

Old May 22nd, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Driving times within Yellowstone

We are spending 3 nights in yellowstone arriving from the North and doing Mammoth on the way in. For convenience on arrival and departure we have reservations in the Lake Village (Old faithful area was all booked in Feb and this works well when we leave to go East across Wyoming). On our first full day we plan to spend it in the Old Faithful area, including dinner and night time lights on the geysers. My concern is driving back at night. The map I have says it is only 39 miles between the OF and Lake, and the speed limit is 45mph, but the map says it will take 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive it! Does it really take that long?? Our last day we are doing the canyon area which works well with being at Lake.

I know we could try to get a cancellation in the old faithful area, but we are 2 couples which would mean basically 1 night at Lake, then OF (if we can get 2 rooms) and then back to Lake. Thats a lot of changing rooms.

So if anyone has experience/insight driving at night from Old Faithful your comments would be appreciated. I would think traffic would be less at that time if that is what is impacting the time estimates. I know in August, sunset will be at about 8pm.

Thanks for any help.
ReillyQ is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2012, 03:42 PM
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Oh yes, it will really take that long. Or much longer, if you get stuck in an animal jam. And any time wildlife is sighted along the road, everybody will stop to take pictures, and there can be a lot of congestion at those places.

Do be careful driving at dusk and night, as there may be animals on the road that you may not see. Last time we were there we saw a couple of pretty ugly car vs. critter or car vs. tree avoiding critter accident scenes.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 05:32 PM
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it really takes that long, you could go faster but you'd miss too much, and yes, if a buffalo is sleeping in the middle of the road, you either wait or go the long way around. there is so much to see, enjoy the slow pace...as per sludick, i've camped there too and dusk is a bad time to drive
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 05:43 PM
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I don't remember lights on the geysers really at all. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Times are very hard to determine in Yellowstone. It is the only national park I have been to(been to 29 of them)that we really didn't go by our plans at all. To many animals to stop and watch for an hour or two here and there. Plus some geysers we waited on for 3 hours or so. Castle and Riverside are really cool ones to see go. Old Faithful last for a couple of minutes and these can go on for 30 minutes. Part of my point here is to not overplan.

Maybe eat lunch at Old Faithful Inn and then have a picnic on your way back to Lake area. I looked on my map and there are 11 picnic areas between OF and Lake. We had two picnics when we were there and one of them we saw a porcipine-very cool to see.


Mammoth is my least favorite area. I wouldn't spend to much time there. IMOP.

Dusk and dawn are great times to be out and about, because that's when the animals are out too.

Actually, staying where you are at my be just fine. This way you can head to Canyon , Lamar, Hayden, Tower/Roosevelt that next day.
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