Yellowstone in June?

Old Feb 10th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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Yellowstone in June?

We will be traveling from St. Louis to Yellowstone the second week in June with our 2 children (11 and 15). Since this is our first trip west we would love suggestions on what to be sure and see on the way. (we were thinking of Mt. Rushmore) We only have 8 days. Any help on what not to miss would be appreciated!!
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Are you saying you have 8 days total for the whole trip? I am assuming you are driving. If that is the case, I think you need to take a reality check on how far it is. It is over 1300 miles from St. Louis to West Yellowstone which means 2 long days of driving, both ways.

If my assumptions are close, you have 4 days in Yellowstone. If you detour by Rushmore, you have 3. Compared to Rushmore, Yellowstone and the Tetons are a much better time investment.

There is enough to see in Yellowstone alone to occupy you for 4 days.

If you do not have accommodations in Yellowstone, and you want to stay inside the park, I suggest you act very soon because the better rooms and cabins fill up quickly this time of year for June, July, and August.
In fact, availability is already limited for some locations.

What not to miss? The canyon, the falls, the lake, and the geysers, particularly Grand Geyser and Castle. Everybody sees Old Faithful, of course, but it is not the whole show by any means.

There are other geyser basins as well as many other thermal features.

Given time, distance, sightseeing potential, etc., I would leave out Rushmore on this excursion.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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We did this drive last August and it is a loooong drive. It would be nice to break it up with a stay at Mt Rushmore if you could swing some more vacation days. Yellowstone is awesome, you will enjoy being there with your family.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 12:14 PM
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Thanks for the messages. Is it worth the drive from St. Louis? I've heard it's beatiful, Would you suggest staying within the park? Seems there are more lodging options in West Yellowstone. Thanks again for any replys.
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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We stayed inside the park at Old Faithful Inn and at Canyon Lodge. I had to call often to get reservations. (there are always cancellations) If you want to stay inside the park you should start calling now. The location inside the Park is perfect and we did not want to stay anywhere else, however, having said that, you might want to consider West Yellowstone since you have an 11 and 15 year old and the park facilities have no TV or radio or pools.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Let me express what is of course a personal opinion here.

I have been to Yellowstone more times now than I can count. Realize of course that I first saw it when I was 21 and I am now 71. Even so, it lures me back time after time. I am endlessly fascinated by the geology of the area, and the natural elements which must all dovetail pefectly to produce a natural geyser.

One of the most enchanting sights I have ever seen was Grand Geyser erupting under the light of a full moon on a near cloudless night.

The Falls of the Yellowstone and that colorful canyon, with its hues of red and gold, are enchanting. They change all day with the angle of the sun and passing clouds.

And the lakes are lovely as well. Lake Yellowstone is so large that it is almost mystical.

Accommodations within Yellowstone are another story. I have something of a love hate relationship them. The love part is that they do put you inside the park and in the environment, particularly if you stay at Old Faithful. On the dislike side, I feel that the prices charged by Xanterra are extortionist for what you get. Some of the cabins are, in a word, grim.

After having stayed in the park several times, I now prefer commercial accomodations in West Yellowstone.

I know last summer we stayed at Old Faithful Inn in a very miserable room that cost me over $100 per night.
The shower was so small that when I turned around to get the soap, I knocked the flimsy shower curtain down and the rod conked me on the head. I told the girl at the checkout desk about it the next morning, but she seemed more concerned that I was competent to sign the charge card invoice than she was with any possible injury.

The more expensive cabins, the Western Cabins, are all right, but they certainly are not luxury accommodations. But I don't know of any of the Western Cabins at Old Faithful. These are at the Lake Lodge or Canyon or the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Cabins. (distinct from Old Faithful Inn and Old Faithful Lodge and Cabins.)

If you can get one of the Western cabins, grab it even though it may cost a little more.

The so-called Frontier Cabins are marginally acceptable, if you don't expect much.

The Pioneer cabins are grim, in my opinion. They are similar to the Roughrider cabins at Roosevelt. The "ruffies" are equipped with a path to the bath house and the community faucet. At least there you pretty much get what you pay for -- a roof that usually does not leak, walls without holes, a bunk that may or may not sag, a parking place, and a chair.

But even now, finding a room for this summer with 2 double beds is difficult to impossible.

I will usually book one or two nights near Old Faithful, and then go to a motel for the remainder of my stay.

I feel energized to tell you about one visit to Yellowstone when I stayed in one of the primitive cabins. These are no longer there, I hope. The walls were of course uninsulated and for heat we had a little pile of firewood and a wood burning stove. Getting a fire going was no problem because I grew up with fireplaces on the farm. The problem was the little pile of firewood. It got so cold that our windshields were frozen the next morning. The meager wood supply would have kept a fire going for about 2 hours, and no more. So we discussed when we were going to expend the fuel and argued over who was going to get out of bed in the cold to get it started.

The bath house was a few dozen yards away, and the water supply was a faucet in the yard among several cabins. I finally summed the courage to get out of bed, start the fire, pull on a few clothes and head to the bath house. . When I emerged from the cabin, I saw a young bear nosing around. Mama was not in sight. As I stepped off the porch, a man with a water bucket came around the corner of a cabin and bumped into the bear. The bear grunted, but kept nosing in something that had food.

The man was startled and he threw his bucket up in the air, yelled "Bear", and ran back to his cabin. The bucket came down and hit bear on the backsides. That frightened the bear and s/he took off running straight into the women's side of the bath house, which initiated considerble commotion.

About 6 or 7 members of the female gender came pouring out of the door yelling and screaming in various stages of dress. They were followed by a bewildered bear, which had sense enough to get lost on the trees.

I don't know if the man got his bucket back or not. I went on about my business; it was too cold to tarry and look for him.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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LOL! Cute story.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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We stayed at the cabins at Old Faithful Lodge in 2002 and thought them fine. We had one with bath and one without so we all used the facilities in the cabin with bath. We did chekc out the public bathroom and it was clean. Showers could be taken at the lodge. It was very affordable with a location that can't be beat. One morining we looked out and across the small road leading to the cabin. A buffalo was grazing across the stream. Steam rose from the nearby geysers/hot pools - a great memory!
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 05:36 PM
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West Yellowstone is a good place for base of operations and you can see many parts of the park and not be doubling back too many times. There are also a few "okay" restaurants in town and a little shopping, a museum and an IMAX should the weather get bad. We went in early June a couple years ago and drove in from Cody, where we had spent a night. The weather turned frightful and by the time we entered the park there was nearly 7" of snow on the ground. So be prepared with clothing and for traveling in any condition! I thought I would freeze to death waiting for Old Faithful to erupt as it was clearly off the % mark for their time prediction when we were there.
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