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spirobulldog Apr 10th, 2008 08:13 PM

Yellowstone Picnic spots
Will be in Yellowstone for 4 days mid-June. We like to eat picnic lunches along the way. Hopefully, it won't be to cool at this time. The only picnic spot I have read about is Yellowstone River Picnic area. I know there are many more picnic spots, but which ones offer the best views, etc. We will not need any fireplace pit or grill. We plan on coming in the first day on The Beartooth. Day 1 Old Faithful Geyser area, Day 2 Mammoth, Roosevelt, Day 3 Canyon, Day 4 Lake. Would appreciate comments on River Picnic area and others.

trippinkpj Apr 10th, 2008 09:27 PM

I recall a good one near the Old Faithful geyser, a short drive from there going towards West Yellowstone. We camped at Canyon, though I think there are some picnic spots close to the store/ cafeteria complex there.

RedRock Apr 11th, 2008 06:58 AM

Picnic areas are marked on the Park Map, you can get one at the NE Entrance.. Pack in as many of your picnic supplies as you can. The stores in the park have a limited selection and are rather expensive. Coming via the Beartooth Red Lodge would be your last chance to visit a regular grocery store.

lindsyb Apr 11th, 2008 07:58 AM

Hello Spirobulldog,

Unfortunately, I don't have any ideas since we will be taking our first trip to Yellowstone this June as well.

Just wanted to say Hello because I am following all of your recent posts as they ask some questions I have been interested in as well.

Have a fabulous trip!! I am so excited about ours.

spirobulldog Apr 11th, 2008 10:12 AM


What float company did you decide to go with? We are going to be in Yellowstone June 13,14,15, and GTNP on June 16,17.

Redrock, I have seen the picnic map area and table, but was hoping someone would have a description of them, or better yet pictures. Thanks.

AlJ Apr 11th, 2008 10:19 AM

There's picnic areas all over. There's one just north of Canyon where we ate breakfast a couple times. There's one not far into Lamar Valley.

The map will show you. I think all of them have toilets as well.

lindsyb Apr 11th, 2008 11:49 AM

We overlap by one day in Yellowstone - we fly into SLC on the 14th and are in Yellowstone from 15th - 19th then Jackson/GTNP from 20-23 and back to Yellowstone from 24-26 (because of reservations) then back to Utah before flying home.

I think we are going to book our float trip through the Signal Mtn Lodge but I haven't contacted them yet and was wondering if I'd be better playing by ear to see what the weather was like for the days we are in GTNP and Jackson.

By the way, I highly recommend the Yellowstone Expedition Guide book - it was about $40 but has maps, pictures, short hikes, an audio CD to play while you drive and an interactive computer CD. I am loving it - and it's spiral bound so will lay flat when opened.

Have fun with your continued planning - I will look for your posts!

spirobulldog Apr 11th, 2008 07:20 PM

I have that book along with several others. I did order the package kit from Yellowstone $29. It had a very good waterproof map a good quick reference map, and good guide magazine type, and a trail book that I don't like. I also have Moon and a couple of others. I normally just buy one book for a national park, but I have more books than days I am going to be in the park for this one.

spirobulldog Apr 11th, 2008 07:22 PM

Back to my original thought. I have seen the map and know where all of the picnic area are. I just wanted to hear a description or even pictures of them.

Clousie Apr 11th, 2008 08:20 PM

We stopped for lunch at the Yellowstone River Picnic area, and it wasn't the least bit scenic.

Don't know if you plan to do any walks, but we usually find scenic spots to just stop along the way. Of course, you won't have tables, but we always refer to our scenic lunch stops as "our table with a view."

spirobulldog Apr 12th, 2008 10:19 AM

Thanks Clousie, I thought the River Picnic would be highly scenic. I think my Moon book reccomends it over others. I was looking for somewhere with a table and some sort of scenic look.

spirobulldog May 17th, 2008 12:10 PM

posting again hoping to revive this thread

doohickey May 17th, 2008 12:37 PM


My husband and I - and our dog :) - plan to take a day trip to YNP on May 30th. Hopefully I'll be able to help you out re: scenic picnic sites afterwards.


spirobulldog May 17th, 2008 08:18 PM

Yeah, check it out and let me know. We are going June 12. Nez Perce, Virginia Cascades are two I am thinking about. but still undecided. The NPS website lists 49 picnic areas. Decisions, decisions.

doohickey May 30th, 2008 09:48 PM


My husband and I were in Yellowstone for the day today (we live only 90 minutes away.)

About your family picnics. First, know that you can picnic just about anywhere you choose in the park. A well placed blanket on the ground or sitting on a fallen log at a particularly beautiful place that you just happen upon can be far better than an established picnic area – no matter how scenic.

That said, I can recommend the Firehole River, Otter Creek and Sheepeater Cliff picnic sites. The first is between Madison Junction and Lower Geyser Basin. It’s a beautiful site. No swimming allowed – only fly fishing (with YNP fishing license.)

The second, Otter Creek, is on the Yellowstone River just south of the entrance to Artist’s Point. This is also very pretty though it still had a lot of snow when we stopped by.

The third, Sheepeater Cliff, has a close up view of a spectacular basalt formation and some other more bucolic meadow views. DH and I have picnicked there before and enjoyed exploring the area as well.

Here is a link to photos of the Firehole River and Otter Creek picnic sites:

Many of the picnic areas that we drove by were still closed due to heavy snow coverage. However, I can tell you that:

• The Madison River picnic site is pretty boring. However that site is only about a 1/2 mile east of a wonderful bald eagle nest that you must visit. Be sure to pay attention to the posted signs near the eagles nest re: parking and foot traffic. You’ll get a hefty ticket from a park ranger if you don’t.

• The Bridge Bay site is pretty but in a busy area.

• The Chittenden Bridge site is also okay but close to the main road (traffic noise.) It is immediately to the right after turning into the Artist’s Point road. It uses the same parking lot as the Wapiti Trail head.

Happy Trails!


spirobulldog May 31st, 2008 11:17 AM

Wow, thanks for the photos and the reply. We will be there in 2 weeks. Looking forward to it.

doohickey May 31st, 2008 11:32 AM


You are most welcome. Be sure to check in here after your return and tell us about your trip - and your picnics!


doohickey Jun 28th, 2008 09:24 AM


So, you had a good time in YNP! Where did your family end up having it's picnics? :)


spirobulldog Jun 28th, 2008 10:18 AM

we actually wound up doing one picnic near about 5 miles south of Canyon area. We did have a great time in YS.

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