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Old 10-02-2018, 05:39 PM   #1
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Question Tips for 2 full days in Yellowstone in October? in camping van

Hi all

Looking for tips for Yellowstone - Iíll be in a self contained camping van - this October.

Trying out a van I hope to buy and have SMB build out for us.

First night I have booked at Madison campground.

Then next 2 nights I was going to play it by ear and try to get any of these 1st come 1st serve that are open in Oct - Lewis Lake OR Mammoth OR Slough Creek

All 3 are currently 1st come 1st serve. (many of the other campsites are closed for the season now)

Yes I know the park is big, and bison slow down traffic, and I have to drive carefully due to possible snow and rain.

-> What is more scenic and closer to things Iíll want to see? Lewis Lake, Mammoth, or Slough Creek?

-> What things should I try to see? Iíll have 2 full days. (3 nights)

-> Any good casual places to eat along the way?

Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:01 PM   #2
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I stayed at Yellowstone a week and would be glad to have a month more.

The best strategy with a short stay is a figure 8 around the park. Would suggest a guide book - either a Lonely Planet or park certified pictorial one for inspiration.

Things to see:

- Old Faithful and surrounding pools - incredible and worth the crowds. Bring a bike!

- Firehole canyon drive

- Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley - right before dusk or just after sunrise. Bring binoculars and drive slow.

- Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

- Riddle Lake trail

- Grand prismatic pool

I could name dozens more but those strike me as very memorable.

Campgrounds - I highly doubt any problems getting whatever site you want at that time of year. Lewis Lake would be my choice of your list. I stayed at Grant Village. It was fantastic. Bears do recon the site each night. Don't forget huckleberry ice cream.

Try some rocky mountain oysters in Jackson.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:24 PM   #3
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Thanks so much - super helpful!

when you say "a figure 8 around the park" ... can you be more specific? I'm daft.





Quote:
Originally Posted by SMB123 View Post
I stayed at Yellowstone a week and would be glad to have a month more.

The best strategy with a short stay is a figure 8 around the park. Would suggest a guide book - either a Lonely Planet or park certified pictorial one for inspiration.

Things to see:

- Old Faithful and surrounding pools - incredible and worth the crowds. Bring a bike!

- Firehole canyon drive

- Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley - right before dusk or just after sunrise. Bring binoculars and drive slow.

- Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

- Riddle Lake trail

- Grand prismatic pool

I could name dozens more but those strike me as very memorable.

Campgrounds - I highly doubt any problems getting whatever site you want at that time of year. Lewis Lake would be my choice of your list. I stayed at Grant Village. It was fantastic. Bears do recon the site each night. Don't forget huckleberry ice cream.

Try some rocky mountain oysters in Jackson.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:48 PM   #4
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What kinds of stuff do you like to see or do? Wildlife? Geysers? Yellowstone is like five different parks rolled into one. With two days I would not try and hit it all, unless you truly donít mind just driving all day and want to get a full overview with an eye toward coming back at some point.

Personally, the wildlife is what does it for me. I love the Lamar and Hayden valleys and get up before dawn to go ďSafari.Ē Particularly in the Lamar Valley between Roosevelt Lodge and the NE park entrance. Slough Creek and Pebble Creek are my two favorite campgrounds in that area because they get you right in the middle of Lamar.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LosAngeles View Post
Thanks so much - super helpful!

when you say "a figure 8 around the park" ... can you be more specific? I'm daft.




If you look in the center of this image you can see a vertical figure 8 - that's the circuit - but where to start and finish in a day is up to imagination. What I like to do is create a Google "my map" and map out all the points of interest (using different colors for higher priorities) and then you can more readily see where to start.







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Old 10-02-2018, 08:33 PM   #6
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I love the park and having been a few times I can say this. It is huge and you won't nearly see it all in 2 days. We aren't all that much in to geysers, kind of a seen-one seen-em-all to us, so that said I would not worry with Mammoth Hot Springs or the north end of the park. Old Faithful is worth seeing once but the crowds are tough for me to handle.

The eastern side of the figure 8 gets my vote. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is amazing and Canyon Village (there are campgrounds there but I don't know the names) would get my vote. You can get that amazing huckleberry ice cream for sure at Canyon Village. The east side is where you'll see lots more wildlife in my experience, moose, bear and bison. We even saw a wolf on the east side once. For us a wolf is a pretty rare thing. One thing that takes some time and we have never done but have heard a lot about is the Beartooth Highway from the NE entrance of the park.

You won't have a bad time no matter what you choose.

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Old 10-02-2018, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
What kinds of stuff do you like to see or do? Wildlife? Geysers? Yellowstone is like five different parks rolled into one. With two days I would not try and hit it all, unless you truly donít mind just driving all day and want to get a full overview with an eye toward coming back at some point.

Personally, the wildlife is what does it for me. I love the Lamar and Hayden valleys and get up before dawn to go ďSafari.Ē Particularly in the Lamar Valley between Roosevelt Lodge and the NE park entrance. Slough Creek and Pebble Creek are my two favorite campgrounds in that area because they get you right in the middle of Lamar.
Great advice - thanks! :-)
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:14 PM   #8
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super helpful - thanks!!

not as prepared as usual, so the map helps a lot.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SMB123 View Post
If you look in the center of this image you can see a vertical figure 8 - that's the circuit - but where to start and finish in a day is up to imagination. What I like to do is create a Google "my map" and map out all the points of interest (using different colors for higher priorities) and then you can more readily see where to start.






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Old 10-02-2018, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
I love the park and having been a few times I can say this. It is huge and you won't nearly see it all in 2 days. We aren't all that much in to geysers, kind of a seen-one seen-em-all to us, so that said I would not worry with Mammoth Hot Springs or the north end of the park. Old Faithful is worth seeing once but the crowds are tough for me to handle.

The eastern side of the figure 8 gets my vote. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is amazing and Canyon Village (there are campgrounds there but I don't know the names) would get my vote. You can get that amazing huckleberry ice cream for sure at Canyon Village. The east side is where you'll see lots more wildlife in my experience, moose, bear and bison. We even saw a wolf on the east side once. For us a wolf is a pretty rare thing. One thing that takes some time and we have never done but have heard a lot about is the Beartooth Highway from the NE entrance of the park.

You won't have a bad time no matter what you choose.


also great advice - thanks!!!
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:04 PM   #10
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I’ve been there a lot and worked there a summer many years back in college. Lamar Valley is a must in my opinion. You should be able to get around pretty easily in October. Do be ready for almost any kind of weather.
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