Yellowstone Park/ Big Sky Resort

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Yellowstone Park/ Big Sky Resort

Postby zzcooper123 » Sat May 18, 2013 7:34 pm

My wife and I will be going to Big Sky Resort in Montana late July. I have never been to Yellowstone Park. Any don't-miss day trips? Best hiking or driving trips?
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Re: Yellowstone Park/ Big Sky Resort

Postby dickenjb » Sat May 18, 2013 8:58 pm

First of all, Yellowstone NP is huge. We were there for (iirc) 4 or 5 nights and the park is set up like a giant figure 8. I figured, let's book a cabin near the center on Lake Yellowstone then drive to the sights. That way we won't have to pack/unpack every day.

Did not work well. It takes a full day to go to Old Faithful and back, another day to Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and back, etc. etc. Factor in time for following RV's going 5 mph and road works and packs of bison crossing the road for an hour.

We never did get to see Mammoth Hot Springs. Have to go back someday, I guess.
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Re: Yellowstone Park/ Big Sky Resort

Postby gatorman » Tue May 21, 2013 10:16 pm

There are so many things to see. Upper and lower falls on the Yellowstone River, geysers, paint pots, animals. You could easily stay for a week. If I were you, I'd get a guide or do some internet research and really plan out and prioritize my time, knowing that you still will likely miss out on quite a few things. Also, don't forget the Grand Tetons are nearby and worth some time as well, as is Jackson Hole.

Have a great trip! Yellowstone is unique and everyone who can manage to see it should do so.
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Re: Yellowstone Park/ Big Sky Resort

Postby Random Poster » Wed May 22, 2013 11:32 am

First, you are going at the wrong time. It will be busy (and probably warm--if not hot) during July. It would be better if you could go either just before Memorial Day or in September (after Labor Day).

Second, you can't really see much of Yellowstone in a day trip from Big Sky, unless you concentrate on just one area. From Big Sky, your best bets are either Lamar Valley (for wildlife viewing), or the Old Faithful area. You can easily spend a full day walking around the Old Faithful area, and do a side hike to Morning Glory (it is a paved hike, so it isn't difficult, but I bet that most visitors just see Old Faithful go off, walk around to a few adjoining geysers, and then drive off). If your time is limited, avoid the Lake and West Thumb and all of that, and don't head south from the park into the Grand Tetons. You can hit Lamar Valley and/or Old Faithful either coming through the North Entrance or the West Entrance (but from Big Sky, unless you backtrack to Bozeman, the West Entrance would probably be easiest). If you go through the North Entrance, you could hit Mammoth Hot Springs as well.

Expect each stop of the car to get out to see a side attraction will take you at least 30 minutes. Also expect to have difficulty finding parking spaces. The speed limit in the park is 45 (sometimes lower). If you don't stop and see stuff, you don't really get to see Yellowstone.
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