Yellowstone: April 19-23?


Oct 19th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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Yellowstone: April 19-23?

I am thinking of going out to Yellowstone for a visit from April 19th through the 23rd. I would not say this will be my only chance to make the trip, but it is a rare opportunity. Due to the nature of my work, making a trip in summer would be very difficult.

I looked through their site and realized none of the lodging in the park will be open. The 'projected' date for all interior roads to open is April 16th but it looks like they expect some may open before that.

This is not a family trip. It would be me and likely one friend of mine. Our primary interest is in enjoying nature and wildlife. We would love the chance to see some of the animals that inhabit the park, and we would love to do some hiking if possible. Family activities and organized events are not for us.... maybe down the road someday if we have families. Obviously we would like to see landmarks such as Old Faithful if we could, but simply being surrounded by by the natural beauty and wildlife is the one priority. We also thought we might get some great enjoyment of the environment in April without the huge crowds.

I guess my main questions are:
1. How much can the park be enjoyed during this time in April?
2. Would there be wildlife out and about at this time?
3. Since the lodging in the park is closed, where is the best area to stay? North? East? West? South?

Also... if your advice is to avoid it at this time in April... do you recommend another National Park somewhere? Is there a particular park that you think would be great for wildlife viewing and scenic hiking?

As always, SO many thanks for your helpful advice!
Shandy1977 is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2009, 04:00 AM
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We were there last year June 15 and they didn't have all of the roads open at that time, due to snow. I think you will be very very limited.
spirobulldog is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2009, 05:38 AM
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We were there in July one time and had a snowstorm!! There is always the Tetons. I imagine you would fly into Jackson anyway. Lots of wildlife. I think this time of year will be very iffy.
Gretchen is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2009, 06:38 AM
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The road thru the Park from the North Entrance (Gardiner) to Cooke City is maintained year round. Why not think about staying in Cooke City part of the time and spending some time in the Lamar Valley. Its a prime area for wildlife viewing.
RedRock is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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It's gonna be limited depending on snow, but if most of the park roads are still snowed in, Lamar Valley is a good bet. Stay in Gardiner or Cooke City.
boom_boom is offline  
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Oct 27th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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If you are limited to the April time frame, as above stated most roads will be closed but you could consider a snocoach trip to Old faithfull. Most new wildlife is born in very late april but mainly in May so you may or may not see any young critters. To really enjoy the entire park you need to visit a little later.
jere1mt is offline  
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Dec 7th, 2009, 08:47 PM
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The park does not go from snow coach to car in one day.... there is about a week when no one can really get in because they are clearing the roads. Those dates are a bit of a long shot but if you can wait until the end of February to book then you can find out how big of a snow year this winter was/will be and have a pretty good idea of when they will start on the roads. (the farmers almanac predicts that this winter will be a very light snow year in this part of the world) If the roads are open then it is a really wonderful time to go into the park. Very few tourists and lots and lots of baby animals.
jnjfraz is offline  
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Dec 7th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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Towns to stay. West Yellowstone is probably your best bet because the west entrance seems to clear earlier. To the south is a large pass and to the east is a really big pass.
jnjfraz is offline  
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Dec 8th, 2009, 04:37 AM
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Do realize thet there is a very very very good chance that you will not see anything at all as you may not even be able to get in anywhere. I would guess that the road in the north end of the park would be open and that might be it.
spirobulldog is offline  
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Dec 8th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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If you are not wedded to Yellowstone, a good alternative would be any of the parks in southern Utah or Grand Canyon area. Nice, not crowded, generally good weather at that time of the year.
emalloy is offline  
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