Yellowstone in Late July - Am I Crazy?

Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Yellowstone in Late July - Am I Crazy?

I just got a Yellowstone reservation for two nights in late July and then two nights in Grand Teton. But am I crazy for going in the busiest time of the year? Should I keep these, or try to plan trip for a less crowded time. We are just a couple without kids wanting to see the park without lots of crowds and lines. Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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This is a difficult question to answer. If you knew that late July would be a time with maximum crowds, and your are trying to avoid such crowds, then why exactly did you book at that time? Did you get a good deal on lodging or transport costs? That's fine, and maybe you made a good trade-off between cost and crowds.

I can only respond with, "How much are smaller crowds worth TO YOU?" Enough to change your plans, which may or may not mean higher costs or more inconvenience to make this trip? I can't answer that.

I can say, if you're willing to walk on the foot trails away from the parking lots for ten minutes, the crowds will almost completely vanish. That's been my experience at dozens of national parks over more than 25 years of travel. If late July is a good time to go based on cost and/or convenience, then just go and get away from the crowds by using your feet.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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I was there at the start of August last year and only one time were we caught in a crowd.

Going on the Jenny Lake hike on a Sunday wasn't a good idea.

Aside from that as Paul mentioned if you go a very short distance from your car you will be alone.

In GTNP go to Mormon Row and Schwabacher Landing for some great scenery. Almost nobody there as the former is about half a mile off the outside GTNP road and the former require a half mile drive down a dirt road also off the road. Absolutely beautiful from a stream in front of the tetons.

The only other place you may have crowds is on the Old faithful viewing deck. But you're only there for a few minutes.

While there were a fair number of people walking the Lower Geyser Basin, the only place with a crowd was Grand Geyser. It erupts about every 10 hours plus or minus 2 hours. So seeing it at a good time requires planning and patience.

If somebody sees wildlife they'll stop and other who see them will also stop. Only once a moose caused a bunch of cars to stop as it was at a junction.

Most traffic jams are caused by bison. That could back things up. They just walk where they want. You would too if you were also bigger than the cars.

Go and have a good time. There are people but I can't say crowds.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Finding parking might be a consideration because as large as the park is, sometimes the parking areas fill up!

IF, you can do this trip after Labor Day the crowds will have thinned. Why not see what you can get in the way of lodging and if you get some dates you like, you can cancel the ones you have.

Utahtea
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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We always go in late July except one time when we went in June. June was cold and wet but still crowded.

Except for the occasional afternoon shower, the weather is good. Yellowstone has a very short window of good weather.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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We've been many, many times to Yellowstone and have been there from the last day of May to the middle of September. One of my favorite time was the first week of June before the crowds came. The next time we went in early June we noticed the crowds were there by the second week of June. Last time was in September and we had great weather so we are planning to go again this September.

As far as weather....you just can't say. We had a couple of inches of snow once in Mid July once! GO FIGURE!

Utahtea
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Old Jun 20th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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OK - we are going - two nights in Yellowstone, two nights in Grand Teton - just us, Yogi Bear, and a million tourists with "pic-a-nic baskets" !
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Old Jun 20th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Anytime would be a good time with me. If you can get another night or two in Yellowstone would be even better.
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Old Jun 20th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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Crowds or not, they are magical places! Enjoy.

Utahtea
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