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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Default Yellowstone Trip Part 1

    Yellowstone: 9 Glorious Days, August 18 - 26

    Day 1.25

    Let me start by saying this was the most amazing vacation. I think that everyone should see Yellowstone at least once. It is a beautiful park.

    We flew into Salt Lake on Friday night and then up to Yellowstone the next morning. We arrived at the park at 3:00pm and then it took us another hour to get to our hotel.

    It was about a 50 mile drive from the entrance to our hotel. When we started the drive we’re in the pine trees and the river running along side the road and it eventually opens up to a field. It was a pretty ride and we’d seen deer in the river and a weasel crossing the road in first 10 mins. As we turned and headed towards Old Faithful we were taken aback by our first view of the geysers. At the same time DH and I both said Wow. We couldn’t believe how the landscaped looked. We also got stuck in our first “animal jam.” A herd of elk were in the field eating. Of course we pulled over and looked. We then continued on past the Old Faithful Inn, over the Continental Divide twice and finally arrived at our hotel.

    We were staying at Grant Village and it was perfect for us. From the window in our room we could see Lake Yellowstone. I had read before we left that the rooms weren’t that big and the showers were tiny, so we knew what to expect. The room had 2 double beds, a night stand with a clock, a table and 2 chairs. The room also had a wall unit that had 5 hooks and 2 open cubbies underneath for our clothes. And the best part, no TV or radio in the rooms. Not having them removes you from the outside world and really made us enjoy the parks.

    On this trip we were also going out to California so we needed to pack clothes for every season. Needless to say, we had a ton of luggage. For the 3 of us we checked 6 bags and carried on 5. We had to pack our spring clothes for days in Yellowstone 70 degrees, fleeces and long pants for nights in Yellowstone 40 degrees and sleeveless shirts for the 100 degree weather in the central valley of CA and the fishing poles just added to the luggage chaos. It made for many trips up and down the stairs of the hotel, did I mention no elevators and we were on the second floor. After we moved in and took a rest, we headed down to the Lake House for dinner around 6:30pm. The restaurant sits on the edge of Lake Yellowstone with floor to ceiling windows. We ordered a large pizza, this one was so stuffed with cheese and pepperoni that after eating 4 slices we were full. We finished up our drinks and then headed back up the hill. After dinner we decided to take a drive and see if we could see any animals. As we were heading out of our complex on the corner was a mule deer eating. I looked at DH and said “look at that deer, it was so nice of them to put it out there for us to see.” We drove around until it got dark and then headed back to our room.
    Day 2:

    Our morning routine consisted of getting up early and heading “down the hill” for the breakfast buffet. They had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, fruit and mini muffins, and if I recall it was about $8.00 for DH and I and $5 for DS. After breakfast we would headed out for a hike or to see the geysers. On Sunday we headed out West Geyser Basin. There were only 3 other people walking around, it was amazing. The colors are indescribable and to able to walk around slowly with any other people around was great. After that we headed up the Overlook Trail, where we had read we would see deer and elk. Nope, not a single animal did we see during the entire 2 hours. After the hike we started to head up to Madison, so DS could pick up the paperwork to become a junior ranger. On the way there we stopped off at the Old Faithful Inn for lunch. It was really neat to see it since we own at Wilderness Lodge. I have to say Disney did a great job catching the spirit of the Inn. I have to say that I was disappointed when I couldn’t get a room at the Inn for our trip but when we walked into the lobby I was overwhelmed by the number of people there. It made me feel good about the hotel we were staying in, quiet and away from the crowds. We had lunch and found out that Old Faithful would be going off in about 20mins so we hung out in the lobby. During our wait the rains came, the hail came, the thunder and lightening came and finally Old Faithful. We started out on the deck but found a spot on the connector between the 2 buildings to sit and watch it. We had our own private viewing area. We watched it and then decided to come back another time when it was sunny to see it again, we never made it back. From there we headed up to Madison and picked up DS’s info pack and learned from the rangers where all the animals were. As we headed back to our hotel we our animal information we got stuck in another “animal jam.” This was our first spotting of buffalo. We were soo excited, thinking this maybe our only sighting. We pulled over, jumped out of the car and watched them. By this time it was late afternoon so we headed back to our hotel, grabbed dinner and then headed back to our room to plan for Monday. We fell asleep around 10ish and in the middle of the night, actually around midnight, there is someone banging on all the doors yelling, It’s an emergency get out of the building now. Needless to say we got out of our bed and headed out to the parking lot with a lot of other confused and sleepy and cold people. No alarms had gone off in the building which we thought was odd, it turns out it was a “trouble” alarm. Never found out what a trouble alarm was but we guessed that somewhere in the alarm system something went off and they had to evacuate the building to make sure nothing was happening in the building. After about 15 mins the fire trucks and ambulances left and we were allowed back into the building and back to bed.

    Day 3: Monday

    We decided to take the hike up to Lone Star Geyser today. It’s about 2.5 miles into the geyser. This geyser erupts every 3 hours give or take about ˝ hour so we timed our hike to get us there at around 12:30. We had packed a picnic lunch in our backpacks so we could eat while waiting for the geyser. The hike in is easy, no really big hills and some beautiful scenery. We spotted some deer, ducks, egrets on our way up to the geyser. We arrived at the geyser and found a place to sit and have our lunch. We waited about ˝ hour and then it started erupting. It was wonderful too watch as there were only about 10 other people there watching. We then hiked back out headed back to our room for a short break. We grabbed and early dinner and then headed over to the place where the Ranger had said we would see buffalo. She was definitely telling the truth, the valley was filled with buffalo. It was mating week and they apparently all head down to the valley. We continued over the pass and saw a moose just lying by the river. We had to stop as we headed further down the road as a mother was crossing her baby deer. Spectacular! We then headed over to Tower Falls and grabbed an ice cream before heading back to our hotel. We got back to our room around 9:30ish had headed off to bed. We still can’t believe how amazing this park is.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    this side of insanity
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    Wow! This is one park that I want to see some day and after reading your report that desire is stronger! Sounds like you guys are having such an awesome time!

    Dec '06 - All Star Movie
    Nov. 2007 - Disneyland @ Disneyland Hotel
    Nov. 9 -15, 2008, Pop Century
    Oct. 19-23, 2011, Disneyland @ Paradise Pier

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Arent tourist crazy when it comes to wildlife? I couldnt believe, that they would park on the side of the road and run over and get as close as possible just to get a picture!!!! We were at Yellowstone this Aug. and thought it was crazy to see a grown man two feet away with a cell phone taking a picture of a buffalo!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Harlingen, Texas, USA
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    Thanks for your trip report! I agree-everyone should go to Yellowstone at least once. We went last June and are going back in June, 2008. Was seeing OF Geyser worth the wait? Did you walk around the boardwalks there?

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