Quantcast Yellowstone Trip Report
 
INTERCOT: Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Guide Walt Disney World Disney Cruise Line Mousehut Mail WebDisney News INTERCOT: Walt Disney World Vacation Guide
News Discussion Theme Parks Resorts Info Central Shop Interactive Podcast INTERCOT Navigtion
 

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    St. Peters, MO
    Posts
    3,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Yellowstone Trip Report

    Just the wife and me, with plenty of time so we just took it slow, with no long driving days.
    The Yellowstone area had snow showers the week before and some were predicted for our week. Highs were forecast for the upper 50's, lows in the 30's

    Friday, May 25: Left at 6AM for the nine hour drive to Sioux Fall, SD. Ran into some severe thunderstorms just east of Kansas City, but we made it to Sioux Falls in time to visit Falls Park. This is a really nice city park which features the falls of the Big Sioux River. It was the site of an old power plant and wheat mill. The wheat mill went bankrupt since they don't grow much wheat in SD, but mostly corn. This area was allowed to run down, but a group of citizens got togeather to restore the area into a beautiful park. If your headed though town on I-29 or I-90, check it out. Best of all there's no charge, but it can be a challange to find. The only down site to the visit was the cloudy conditions.

    Saturday, May 26: Day two destination was Spearfish, SD just west of Rapid City. Was going to head back to Falls Park if weather conditions were better, but it was foggy so we headed out. On I-90 at Chamberlain, SD there is a rest area with an awesome overlook of the Missouri River which we always stop at, but it was closed due to road construction. If it's open it is worth the 15 minute or so stop.
    Our next stop was Badlands National Park. Again, the low clouds and foggy conditions took away from the experience. We did manage to see some Big Horn Sheep along the road, all ewes no rams. The beaty of this park is very dependent on the lighting conditions. Low clouds and fog don't make for the best viewing so we headed over to Wall Drug.
    In case you don't know, Wall Drup is probably the king of the tourist traps, although it is free to visit. I consider it to be so tacky as to be a must see at least once. Don't forget your free bumper sticker.
    The sun popped out, so we decided on a detour to Mt. Rushmore. As we went up in elevation the clouds and fog returned. By the time we got to Mt. Rushmore it was so foggy you couldn't see it if you were 10 feet away. We didn't even bother to stop, but just headed to Deadwood. Here is where we visited Mt. Moriah Cemetery, the burial place of Wild Bill Hickok. The fog made this place extra creepy.
    Devil's Tower tomorrow.

    Sunday, May 27: Finally, some sun is poking through. We got to Devil's Tower early so there was very few other people. We did the three trails we like. The hike around the base of the tower takes about an hour and gives you a very close view of it. The Joyner Ridge trail takes you farther distance away so you can get some better photos. Finally, there is a trail that goes right though a Praire Dog town. Got to see some babies. This National Monument is about 45 minutes off the interstate, but it is well worth the stop.
    Back on the road again with our destination Cody, Wy. We get to Buffalo, Wy elevation 5000 feet and it's sunny and 65 degrees. Cody is also at 5000 feet, but in between is Powder River Pass elevation 10,000 feet. We head up the mountain and the temperature begins to drop and rather quickly. When it hits 55 degrees it starts to snow. I don't know how it can snow at 55, but it was. The temperature keeps going down till it hits 30 and it's snowing hard. Luckily the pavement is too warm so it's not sticking to it yet. We make it to the top and see a snow plow coming the other way. So they are planning on it sticking I suppose. In Alpine areas of the Rockies, this can happen at almost any time of year. Once we start heading back down the temperature goes back up and problem solved.
    We don't make it into Cody in time for the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, but we did have time for Old Trail Town. This is a collection of old cabins from around the area. They have the Hole in the Wall cabin of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It's worth a peek.
    During the summer the town has a nightly rodeo and a street gunfight.
    Tomorrow into Yellowstone.

    Part 2 to follow in this thread
    Dave aka: Altair
    "My ability to do more work is infinite, as long as you allow quality to approach zero." - Dilbert

  2.     Please Support INTERCOT's Sponsors:
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    St. Peters, MO
    Posts
    3,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yellowstone Trip report Part 2:

    Monday, May 28: One good point to staying in Cody is that you have two choices of entrances into Yellowstone. Entrances to this park tend to close with little or no notice. They can close due to floods, road washouts, fire or snow. In this case the East entrance was closed due to snow, but had planned to use the NE entrance anyway.
    We took the Chief Joesph Scenic Byway to get to the NE entrance. It is a very pretty drive. If you get the chance take the Beartooth highway, but is closed by snow much of the year. We pulled off at an overlook on the Chief Joesph and got out. Out of the forest came a Blue Grouse bird and it just kept getting closer and closer. Soon is right next to me and starts hissing. Next it starts to bite my pants and shoe laces. I try to get into the car, but I've got a bird hanging onto my pant leg. I finally get it off and get into the car, but now cannot see the bird. I don't want to run over it so we wait till we can see it again. As I drive off I look in the mirror and this crazy bird is chasing the car. Found out these things are very protective of their nests. So that explains the crazy behavior.
    Another cloudy day as we enter Yellowstone. Our first stop was Trout Lake. There is a good chance to see Otters here, but the trail was very muddy. Some folks were coming down and said the Otters weren't there so we headed on. No bears that day in Lamar Valley so we continued to Tower Fall. The sun was peaking out so there was a fair rainbow next to the falls. We saw our first Black Bears in this area.
    We started heading to our home base West Yellowstone, MT. It can be a slow trip due to many Buffalo on the roads. They tend to walk the roads because it's easier to move that way. You don't want to make them mad, they can do some good damage to your car.

    Tuesday, May 29: Main goal today was the Canyon area. Weather was better this day. Lucked out and saw a Beaver on the way. Saw Bull Elk once we got to the area. We did the trail to the brink of the Lower Falls and the Red Rocks trail, but did not do Uncle Tom's trail. It's a trail of hundred's of stair steps to a close view of the falls. If your knees can take it, do it.
    Animal highlight of the day was two Wolves crossing in front of our car. No time for a photo though. We headed back towards Tower and did see a few more Black Bears and two cubs. No Grizzlys at all this trip.

    Wednesday May 30: Today was the six mile round trip hike to Fairy Falls. This hike is fairly easy and this is where you can get the good view of Grand Prismatic Spring. It starts on an old road and then heads up into the forest. The area around the falls has burned since the last time we took this hike so the area is very barren near the falls. We got to see a Marmont here. This hike takes about three hours. After the the hike we went to the Lower Geyser Basin for Old Faithful and West Thumb Geyser Basin, which is my favorite.

    Thursday, May 31: We headed out of Yellowstone on this day. We saw lots of Buffalo, but very few Elk on this trip. We entered Grand Teton National Park. This park can be mainly drive though and use pullouts. There are a few nice hikes though. Highlights are the Chapel of the Transconfiguration and Mormon Row. Lots of good photo opps here.
    Mormon Row is off Antelope Flats Road. It is a row of old homesteads. The main feature are the old barns in the area with the Tetons in the background. Go here in the morning if possible. Sunrise is the best. We got there mid-day so the light was not as good. Do a search for "mormon row" or "moulton barn" for some nice shots taken here.
    There are bears in the area here in the Tetons and this is the best place to see Moose, but we saw any this trip.

    Friday, June 1: Heading home we stopped off in the Snowy Range in the Medicine Bow National Forest outside Laramie, WY. Lots of nice scenery here too.

    Saturday, June 2: Made it home today. Only downside to ths trip was relative lack of sunshine and fewer animals than I had planned on.

    Photos in Part 3
    Dave aka: Altair
    "My ability to do more work is infinite, as long as you allow quality to approach zero." - Dilbert

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    St. Peters, MO
    Posts
    3,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Part 3:
    Here are some photos from the trip:http://travel.webshots.com/album/582932724kdYTkF
    Dave aka: Altair
    "My ability to do more work is infinite, as long as you allow quality to approach zero." - Dilbert

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    823
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Enjoyed the report and pictures.

    I drove out west that weekend too, snowed from Livingston MT all the way to Butte where I turned in for the night and had a few inches on my truck in the morning. It's been a cold, wet spring so far here in the northern rockies, even had some ice pellet type snow coming down on me this afternoon while I was out. Headed for Yellowstone in about two weeks, looking forward to a nice time there.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    867
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Amazing trip report. DGF has family about an hour outside Sioux Falls, so we went on a date to Falls Park one day. Very beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
    -Andy

    Many trips to the world!
    Disney College Program alumnus Aug 2011-Jan 2012 Electric Umbrella in Epcot

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    14,506
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Really enjoyed your trip report and the pictures! Now I can't wait for our own trip in August!

    Sorry that you didn't get to see as many animals as you had hoped for. As far as not seeing grizzlies, my husband would say that's a good thing. However, I've heard that grizzlies mainly attack defensively (as in protecting their cubs) while the black bears have been known in recent years to attack offensively on occasion (as in associating humans with food.) I know you didn't have any of those types of encounters, just thought I'd throw that tidbit out there!

    Where did you stay in West Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons? Did you like the lodging?
    Beth
    INTERCOT Staff--
    Theme Parks and Accommodations



    Take a look at what INTERCOT's wonderful sponsors have to offer!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    St. Peters, MO
    Posts
    3,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MNNHFLTX View Post
    Where did you stay in West Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons? Did you like the lodging?
    We have stayed at the Gray Wolf Inn the last few trips. It's right across the street from the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, so you can hear the wolves howl at times.

    We just drove through the Tetons.
    Dave aka: Altair
    "My ability to do more work is infinite, as long as you allow quality to approach zero." - Dilbert

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4,877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks for the report Dave. Loved the pictures and can't wait to see everything in person when we go this summer.
    Rita (aka NJGIRL)

Share This Thread On Social Media:

Share This Thread On Social Media:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 
Company
Advertising
Guest Relations
Community
Discussion Boards
Podcast
Newsletter
Shop
Social
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Pinterest
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Enter your email address below to receive our newsletter:
INTERCOT Logo PRIVACY STATEMENT / DISCLAIMER | DISCUSSION BOARD RULES
Since 1997 INTERCOT - a Levelbest Communications Website. This is not an official Disney website.
> Levelbest Network Site