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Starting to Plan Yellowstone Trip - Advice Requested.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PhotoByMark, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Well, I am in the very early stages of planning a trip to Yellowstone. I have never been there and I am hoping some of you that have can give some suggestions on best places to stay, time of year to go, where some of this best photo-op sites are (scenic and wildlife). We (wife and I) hope to be able to hang out there for 5-7 days. The good news is that I have told my wife that if we go there I am gonna need a few more lenses to properly capture the great photo moments. So hopefully an 80-400 VR, a TC and maybe a 12-24 will be in my semi-near future or at least before we go on the trip. Looking to go sometime next year - Late Spring or early fall.

    So any suggestions or comments are appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. I saw his thread but, did not know if it is rude to bust into his thread.

    I decided that since it the same subject matter (sort of) I went ahead and cross posted there too.

  4. Hi Mark,

    You might want to look at this trip offered by National Geographic:

    There is also a winter version of the trip (Brrrrrrr!)

    We took a slightly different version of this trip which they offered in 2000. I felt we really got to see a lot of the parks. They knew when to be where to avoid the worst of the crowds and still see everything.

    If nothing more, it might be a good itinerary for you to use as a guide.

    We went September 12-19, 2000. It seemed a good time to go. The summer crowds were gone and the elk rut was on!

    Bob & Nan
  5. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I'm also planning a trip to that area, we're going to be in the area the last week of Sept. We'll have 8 full days, of which we'll probably spend 4-5 days in Grand Teton NP (plan to do some hiking and paddling), followed by 3-4 days in Yellowstone.

    From what I've been able to gather late Sept is a good time to go because:

    1) Fewer crowds
    2) Elk rut, more wildlife activity in general
    3) Good chance of fall color
    4) Lodging is substantially cheaper

    The only downside is that you're taking a bit more chance with the weather. So we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope we don't have any snow storms while we're there. :) 

    Based on web search and some guide books I'm starting to get a general idea of the spots we want to hit but if anybody has any feedback on can't-miss locations or activities I'd like to hear them.
  6. That's great Jeff!

    Hopefully, I can get a nice detailed report from you when you get back. And of course, lots of pics.
  7. JamesMor


    Jun 28, 2005
    New York
    I just came from Yellowstone and put up a weblog at my website:


    It is on the frontpage underneath the interview with Eric Cheng.

  8. JamesMor


    Jun 28, 2005
    New York
    BTW, I have gone now in spring, summer and fall. IMO, the best time to go is either in mid-June or late September (and early October).

    THe aspens are BEAUTIFUL as they change color - though the color change is very short.

    The elk rut is spectacular with the males bugeling and dueling.

    The bull moose are more visible later in September/eraly October.

  9. James-Thanks for posting your weblog link. I enjoyed the read and the pics. And so far looks like I will try to aim for a late September trip.

    Thanks for all that have posted.
  10. Just be prepared for cold weather. We were there around Sept. 20th of 1988 (the year of the big fires) and got suprised by 4 inches of snow and temps down to 22F. We had left Virginia in hot weather and weren't prepared.
  11. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Yellowstone and the environs are my favourite place on the planet. Try this place for accommodation, not the cheapest by any means, 30 miles North of the North gate to the park and run by a delightful couple of Norwegian extraction. They may take you on their own raft; they will certainly arrange camp fire sessions, and Pete does love his Football on Sundays, huge screen. Mention me and get thrown out.
    The rooms/cabins are great, the food exceptional and they care about their guests. Ask to be introduced to the 'Storeys' their ranch was used in the Marlboro ads. Pete will take you to listen and photograph the wolves being bred in captivity for release in Oregon, show you his museum, his g/granddad led the first cattle drive into Montana from Texas, a genuine Custer look-alike.
    Try the hot springs to ease the aches and pains of a day in the saddle, while the snow falls on your head!!! Whilst riding you can go through herds of deer, the horses are accepted and enable you to get close-up. Take a fishing rod; grab shots of Osprey, they ignore anglers.
    CALL BEAR! It's safest, honest.
    At night use the local hostelry, the Old Saloon, easy going, inexpensive good food. Shania works the bar.
    There are photo opportunities everywhere, I just wish digital had been around when we were there. (3 times so far, and I haven't had enough yet)
    Winter visits are catered for. Snowmobiles and winter tours of the park etc.
    Go for it! :wink:
    Go to Google Earth and tap in Emigrant, have a look at the scenery, enjoy as you colonials say. :lol:
  12. Pa- Winter? Snow? Yikes. In South Texas our winters are not real cold most of the winter, especially Sept. . But - you have a point. I could handle cool but, my luck get up there and record breaking cold and blizzards and such. Maybe we should do early September?

    Rob - Thanks for the link - I have checked out the site and looks interesting and since this is our first time it would be nice to have the personalized assistance. I have not taken a "Real" vacation in ummmm 12 years or something like that. Point is, gonna take one in the near future and not real worried about price (ok a little, but not trying to find the cheapest spot). You know as long as it is within reason.

    I think I will show my wife the link and will call them next week to see if they have anything open (and rates) in the Aug/Sept 2006 time frame.

    And I will take a virtual tour via "Google Earth". This thing is really cool. Say, did you see that Microsoft also has a "Virtual Earth" site up and running. To me though it is really clunky and slow and not near as fun as GE. I cannot remember the link off the top of my head. Oh, found it - here it is for those interested:

  13. But you could get lucky and get warm weather. Just be prepared for anything, but it is unlikely to be hot.

    One more data point: in September, 2003, we rented a house on the Madison River near Ennis, about 50 miles west of Yellowstone, from about the 8th to the 18th of the month. Even though that is lower elevation than Yellowstone, we had low temperatures in the 30's and highs in the 50's and 60's most days. The higher elevations got whitened by snow a couple of mornings while we were there. But I really enjoyed it. Just be prepared.
  14. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    The last two weeks of September are a real bonus up there. The kids are back at school, the silvertops are heading south for the winter and everything is calming down. Joy. The Maddison and Yellowstone rivers are yours, hardly any other anglers. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
  15. JamesMor


    Jun 28, 2005
    New York
    Thanks for the comments. :)  I am trying to build a community half as nice as what Flew has done here.

    Snow is an issue - though I would not worry much about it. While I don't live there, I have gone every year for the last 9 years (with the exception of 2001 as my plane was cancelled after September 11th). I have only experienced snow there once in the summer/fall and that was in the highest elevations (around 9000 feet). Having said this, I know it just snowed in Montana (One of the folks at my site keeps track of these things) at Glacier.

    When we were there in March, in snowed every single night we were there.

    The weather does get very cool. Mid 70s during the day and 40s at night. Just the way I like it.

  16. debult


    Jun 11, 2005
    The Netherlands
  17. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for the links, the second one is particularly useful for me.
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