What to see and where to stay in Yellowstone

Old Dec 14th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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What to see and where to stay in Yellowstone

Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I are planning to visit Yellowstone for the fist time during May 26th - May 30th, 2005. We are very excited about the trip but neither of us have much clue as what sites we should see and where we should stay at.

We are thinking about flying into Bozeman, Montana (cheapest airfare we can find). We will arive Bozeman early afternoon on the 26th and fly out around noon time on the 30th.

Since we have about 4 days to explore yellowstone, should we stay at the one place and drive to see different sites, or should we plan to stay at a few difference places?

Thanks a lot!
amytingting is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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For help in deciding what to visit while in Yellowstone, go to


I don't know how much hiking you intend to do, but be aware that late May is still EARLY in the season for Yellowstone. Hiking trails that look good on a map might still be under two meters of snow, and a small stream on a topo map might become a raging torrent as the snow melts. If you're going to do hiking, check with the Rangers about trail conditions.

My advice on a four day visit, during which you'll be concentrating solely on Yellowstone NP, is to pick one place to stay. That way you won't lose time re-packing and un-packing as you move.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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I would stay in one place. I recommend the Old Faithful Lodge Cabins. THey are right near Old Faithful and are fairly inexpensive. BOOK NOW.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 03:02 PM
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Not all of the in-park accommodations are open in late May so definitely find out what is open and book as soon as possible. I think the question about staying in one spot or moving will be answered by which lodging is available.

I visited YS for the first time this past June and found it gorgeous and fascinating. I found a wealth of information here at fodors.com using the the search feature. Have you tried that? Sometimes it's easier for the knowledgeable folks to answer specific questions rather than a blanket "what do we want to see?"

Hope you have a great trip. It's a beautiful place.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 03:44 PM
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I would recommend the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Cabins. They are a little more expensive but better quality. None of the accomodation in the park are great except some of the most expensive places.

I was surprised to learn that Old Faithful Inn does not open until 1 July according to the website for Xanterra. I was surprised.

The Snow Lodge itself is quite nice.
I would not stay in anything at Mammoth Hot Springs. It is not my idea of a comfortable place to stay.

The cabins at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone are fine, if you don't take one of the Pioneer Cabins.

Of course everything in the park strikes me as costing more than it is worth.

Last time I went to a regular motel in West Yellowstone. But in May, the temperatures should not be hot at all, in fact, they can be downright chilly.
We went there once at the end of May and the wind was blowing to the extent that being outside toward sundown was unpleasant.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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I just checked the Xanterra site. it still shows the Old Faithful Inn opening in July. I do not know why.
Much of late May at the Snow Lodge is taken.
Try the accommodation around the Lake.
Canyon is not open in late May.
I would not wait much longer if at all.
With the OF Inn being closed in May, and June, people will be filling up the other places.

I am surprised that the Inn does not open until July. Everything else opens it seems in June if not in mid May.
I don't know why as I said earlier.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Since you are flying into Bozeman, you might want to consider staying in West Yellowstone, Montana. It's a quaint little town and right at the west entrance to the park. There are several chain hotels. We stayed 1 night at The Fairfield Inn. There's also a ranger station in the chamber of commerce building there and you can go ahead and buy your park pass and get one of the rangers to point out the places to you. They will mark road closeures, etc. for you.
Bozeman is about 90 miles from West Yellowstone.
It is beautiful out there. You will love it.
Old Dec 14th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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The best place to stay is the Roosevelt Cabins if they are open. Take some field trips with some of the Park Rangers or the Yellowstone Conservation group.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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I stayed at Old Faithful Inn last summer and went on a tour celebrating its 100th anniversary. The tour guide talked about how they would be starting some structural renovations this year to make sure that the place can handle the geological instablity (e.g. earthquake tremors) common in the whole Yellowstone region. That's probably why they are opening later this summer.

Staying in different locations is fun because you get a different feel in each part of the park. I've also stayed at Mammoth Cabins and enjoyed that very much. Search the Yellowstone posts on this board and you'll see tons of information and comments about the other lodgings.

Whatever you do, I highly suggest staying inside the park. It's just such a huge, unique place that you really need to stay there to maximize your time and experience.

For some awesome advice on all things Yellowstone, check out the Yellowstone National Park chat page: http://www.yellowstone-natl-park.com/wwwboard/chat2.htm
Old Dec 15th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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You will be squeezed to see everything. I would recommend that you take anything available in the Old Faithful area for the 1st 3 nites and then Mammoth for the last nite (for an easy return to the airport).Block out 1 day for a trip to the Grand Tetons, lunch at the Jackson Lake Lodge, hike at Signal Lake and wander Jackson Hole and the rest of the time for geyser gaziing. You can sprint for 4 days but will sleep on the ride home. Enjoy!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Don't know where you are oming from but mght check airfare into and out of Bilings and that way you would be able to take in the beartooth hwy into the park. Depending on your arrival time you could spend your first night in Red Lodge and be ready for a early morning start over the pass into the park an exceptionally senic route if the pass is open normaly opens just before or on memorial day.
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