Author: Jim Ledbetter Sr.
Date of Trip: August 2015
Yellowstone Park along with the Tetons – Is a trip we (my wife and I) just seemed to leave for later in order to get in all the other places that seemed more majestic, more wondrous and more visually pleasing, in our minds, than this obscure place – even if it’s notoriety was well known. I mean come-on Hawaii, San Diego, Monterrey, Ocean Tours and Cruise Liners, Yosemite, Napa Valley and a hundred other places closer to home!
Well, we were wrong… Recently we took a trip to Jackson Wyoming and took in a Stage Play in Old Town (Magnificent), Drove the Tetons (Inspirational), Visited the Black Bear Park outside Indian Falls (Interesting), and took a Twelve Hour Tour of Yellowstone Park with a Guide (that was simply indescribably beautiful and full of wonder).
It is not just the animals – but the whole experience – of it all that simply leaves a lifetime of lasting impressions upon the visitor, viewer and adventurer that go there. The wildlife, open range, skiing, many mountain climbing opportunities, horseback trail ridding, river rafting, mountainous cathedral-like ridges and the flora, fauna and enormity of it all just blows one away. 12 hours on a tour bus, stopping and getting off for rest stops and animal viewing and magnificent sites only touched upon a 1-3 percent of the entire Park System (1-3%). Just incredible beauty, vast forest, rivers, lakes, streams, water falls and breathtaking American History and wonderment at the vastness of this one single Park among many National Monuments.
Highly recommend a visit to this one-of-a-kind!
Word of caution: This is a small town with hundreds of thousands/maybe millions of visitors per year…
1. Few Flights in – small airport – most drive in from somewhere else
2. So by tickets in advance (stand by in is a crap shoot)
3. Have an alternate plan in case an LA or other site flight is cancelled (from experience)
4. Pre-plan to have a rental car – but – traffic can get backed up
5. Hotels are almost always full and pricey even a Hotel 6 can be high
6. Give yourself plenty of time for alternate events as some may get canceled due to weather like the scenic river floats.
7. It rains and thunders and lightning is possible so events get cancelled or offered for another day.
8. For tours take a small pack to carry snacks, drinks and other stuff. 12 hours on bus can be a long time.
9. Take a hat and sunglasses, both summer and spring cloths, some places hot – others cold. Climate can change on you.
10. Take in all the museums and visitor centers as they have some very interesting information and exhibits.
All in all I wish we had gone there sooner…and we were there for only three days and did only the lower loop on Yellowstone and it took 12 hours. This Park is simply huge – you could go in on tour or drive to see the whole thing but it would take you a week to really try to see it all. And then you might not be able to.
So plan to go, figure your schedule, get some advise and see what you can and plan to go back for the rest or more fun!
Jim L Sr.