Yellowstone & Cody questions

Old May 3rd, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Yellowstone & Cody questions

Hi all. I am still working out the details of our July trip to Yellowstone. This trip has required more planning time than any other - there's so much in Yellowstone alone!

Re: Yellowstone
(1) I read somewhere (I'm sure it was here) that you can go tubing on the Firehole River. How does this work? Can you rent tubes and will they shuttle you somewhere?
(2) What is parking like around Old Faithful - a zoo? How about around places like Black Sand Basin - will we be waiting a long time to get a spot?
(3) Just what does it mean when they say construction can cause "30 minute delays"? Does this mean that they close the road for 30 mins. at a time, or what?

Re: Cody

(1) How long does the Rodeo show last?
(2) We want to check out Trail Town. Does the old buildings have things inside them? For example, in Fort Steele in BC and South Park City near Fairplay, CO, the buildings have actual historic items in them, i.e., the school has books and blackboards, the dentist office has the dental instruments used back then (ouch), etc.
Many thanks, Karen
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 03:06 PM
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In all my visits to Yellowstone I can't recall ever seeing anyone tubing on any of the rivers. In fact the park newspaper discourages swimming at all due to the temperature extremes of the water and thermal features. Check out for answers to most any question you might have.
In regards to road construction, some of the park roads will be entirely closed this year due to construction. Others have up to half hour waits. There is a pilot car which leads the waiting caravan of vehicles through the construction areas. They figure it takes about 30 minutes for each group to go through and the pilot car to start back the other direction.
If you get to the Old Faithful area early (7-8) you usually don't have problems finding parking. The "crowds" usually start arriving around 9am. If you want to walk to the back portion of the geyser basin including crossing the road and walking to Black Sand Basin, park beside the Old Faithful Inn. If you want to do geyser hill park near the visitor center. Black Sand has small parking area but a lot of people bypass it to see Old Faithful. There are geyser watchers, folks that do nothing but monitor the eruptions and advise the visitor center. They have a lot of stories to tell. Walking the boardwalk during a full moon is very enjoyable. Be sure to carry water, sunscreen and a hat.
Can't help at all on Cody as haven't been there.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 05:02 PM
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Hi karen! i've never seen anyone tubing in yellowstone either; where did you hear about it? We've been there four times and i don't recall parking being a problem, altho we did stay in the park 3 of the 4 times. You'll find little traffic jams when wildlife (buffalo, mostly) are spotted on the road, but those are the best kinds of traffic jams to be in! Its amazing! Where are you staying? Don't worry, Yellowstone is one of the easiest parks to navigate, imo. You'll love it.

We loved Cody and stayed there one night before our few days spent in yellowstone. The rodeo was the first our kids experienced ('96) so on each subsequent trip out west (7 more) we always had to find one to attend! Many western towns have rodeos but cody was definitly the best. Approx 2 hours i think, and a great activity after dinner.

Not familiar with trail town....could it be the few buildings next to the Buffalo Bill museum? If so, you just peak in the windows. There are lots of souvenir shoppes etc. along the main highway. But DO explore the Buffalo Bill museum, its excellent. You could easily spend lots of time there altho we got through it in a couple hours.

Have fun!
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 05:17 PM
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There's no tubing in Yellowstone but you can swim in the Firehole River in an area off the Firehole Loop (close to the Madison campground).
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 05:18 PM
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Author: Floridafran ([email protected])
Date: 05/03/2004, 05:58 pm
Message: How bad the parking lots will be depends a great deal on what time of day you arrive there. When DH and I were in Yellowstone (Last of July/first of August) we made certain we were up and about every day by dawn.

To give you an idea of the difference it makes, the morning we drove down from our lodging at Mammouth to Old Faithful we watched the eruption with maybe 30 other people. We swung back by there later, just to see what it was like. The parking lot was pretty full, although there were a few odd spaces to be found. The major difference was the sheer mass of humanity waiting in the bleacher area to see "the show."

My best advice is get out early. It's cooler, there are fewer people and there is something awesome about being the only people, say, sitting at Norris Basin and listening to the geysers. Eat meals either earlier or later than the norm. It really does cut down on the number of people for a brief time.

Lastly, it is really quite easy to get away from the crowds. The vast majority of people don't venture far from the main attractions/overlooks. Ask a ranger for advice. Doing so we were directed to several short hikes that we shared with very few, if any other people.

If you haven't already done so, go to the Yellowstone chat page at There is a lot of archival info there as well as great people who were extremely helpful to us.

You're going to love Yellowstone. Just accept the fact that you won't see enough of it in one trip. We didn't and one day we'll go back.

As for the rodeo, I don't know but I can recommend the Proud Cut Saloon in Cody for one the best hamburgers I've ever had. (It isn't a bar, so kids can go.)

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Old May 3rd, 2004, 06:46 PM
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We found that by late afternoon the crowds were way down again but there was a lot of daylight left. Another plus is that it starts getting cooler too.

Never had trouble parking anywhere and we've been to Yellowstone many times.
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