Yellowstone questions

Old Mar 17th, 2014, 09:55 PM
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Yellowstone questions

Hi I have looked and haven't found this information anywhere. Thanks for your help!
We will be in Yellowstone for 7 days the end of June and two days in the Tetons the beginning of July, flying home on the 3rd. We have teenagers and love to hike but my brother has younger boys- we will have 9 boys with us. We will split up some days because a 2 yr old can't do what an 18 yr old can obviously.

Besides the Old Faithful area, what areas get the most crowded? I want to make sure we hit the really crowded areas first thing in the morning. We are staying at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Springs Cabins.

Could anyone give an estimated driving time for these trips, barring no animal disruptions- of course I know that adds time. I know people say 30 mph is a good estimate for driving speed.
drive from south gate of YNP to south end of TNP through TNP if no stops?
drive from Old Faithful to Mammoth Springs probably 8 am or 8 pm approx?
drive from Old Faithful to the Canyon area 8 am or 8 pm approx?

I have planned our activities but if something had to go because of time, which area or activity would you toss out first? In other words, what disappointed you?
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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In case you wonder or would like to advise, here are my goals, but will narrow down for sure...don't worry.
1. "Grand Canyon" area

2. Lamar Valley

3. Lower Yellowstone River Falls

4. Grand Prismatic Spring

5. Midway Geyser Basin

6. Artist Point

7. Upper Geyser Basin

8. Hayden Valley

9. South Rim Trail

10. Old Faithful area and Mammoth Springs...our hotels are there already

and possibly get to a few of these...
Yellowstone Lake
Firehole Canyon Drive
South Rim Trail
Norris Geyser Basin
Uncle Tom’s Trail hike
Mount Washburn hike
West Thumb Geyser Basin
Biscuit Basin
Yellowstone Institute
Mud Volcano Area
Mystic Falls Trail hike
Trout Lake Trail,
Black Sand Basin,
Lone Star Geyser,
Dragon’s Mouth Springs,
Tower Fall
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 11:13 PM
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Use this interactive map. It will help you plan your trip.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 04:54 AM
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With 9 days you should be able to cover everything very nicely. At 8 AM or 8PM, you should be able to cruise through the parks fairly easily. I would say use your 30 mph and then you could figure maybe 30 extra minutes at the most.

The only 2 places we experienced what I would consider large crowds was at Canyon in the middle of the day and at Old Faithful area. I did get up to see OF go at 6AM and it was just me and one other person to see it go. Mammoth area seems to see a lot of people(personally my least favorite part of the park). But, at mammoth, I didn't really consider people to be in my way.

Don't miss Dragon's Cauldera or Dragons Mouth(whatever its called). (I think your calling it Dragon's Mouth Spring-So I bet thats the same thing)
My favorite geysers were Riverside Geyser and Castle Geyser.
You also don't have Fountain Paint Pots in your list and that is something to see.

You could easily let one group do some serious hiking, while another group did something else. Sounds like you have it planned nicely.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 09:25 PM
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Thanks so much both of you. I appreciate it!
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 06:48 PM
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Let me group together some of your must sees.
Grand Canyon (better known as Canyon) includes
Lower Yellowstone Falls (visible from north and south side of the Canyon)

Artist point is a view of the Lower Falls from the south side and back a little

Uncle Tom's trail is really tough (on old knees) walk down a long flight of stairs right in front of the Lower Falls
South Rim trail is on the south side of the Canyon.

In my opinion for the best view of the Lower Falls park at the Lookout Point parking area on the north side. Take a look from there. Then hike down to Red Rock Point. What makes it a great view is that you are below the top of the Lower Falls. I was lucky enough to be there when a rainbow started to form across the canyon in front of the waterfall. Spectacular.

Hayden Valley is only a few minutes below the Canyon Falls.

Mt Washburn is a 20 minute (app) drive above Canyon.

Old Faithful Area
Old Faithful

Grand Prismatic Spring (GPS) is a 10-15 minute drive above OF
After you visit GPS it's time for a real treat. Drive a mile back toward OF and park in the Fairy Falls parking lot. Hike the first mile of the Fairy Falls hike until you come to GPS on your right. Look to your left for an unofficial trail up the hill. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk up the hill for a spectacular airplane view of GPS.

Biscuit Basin is the trailhead for Mystic Falls

Lamar Valley is to the east of Tower

Tower Fall. The biggest waste of time in the park. The hike to the bottom is permanently closed and the growth almost completely blocks any view of the Fall(s). I guess people stop there because of reputation (previous) and the fact that there's a concession stand there where you can buy snacks.
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 11:24 PM
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saving with thanks.
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