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  1. #1
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    How much of a shitshow will Yellowstone be this summer? Alternatives?

    I had planned on taking my kids to Yellowstone this summer for a week. I generally avoid national parks due to crowds, so I've never been there in the summer. I figured both my kids and I should see Old Faithful and all of that so just suck it up.
    I just finished a trip in UT and while Zion is amazing, the area around the visitor center and anything served by the shuttles was the definition of shitshow. I did some backcountry overnights but any time we were back in Springdale it sucked. The bottom mile of the narrows was just retarded.
    How bad is Yellowstone? It's bigger for sure. I am thinking about just skipping it.
    Is there something more like Escalante near Yellowstone? National Forest with dispersed camping, hot springs, hiking, cool shit. I felt like Escalante soooo much better than Zion as an experience.
    Kids are tween/teen. I am a self-described single 'rad dad' trying to grow a moustache.
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  2. #2
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    If the kids are up for it once you get away from the roads most of Yellowstone is empty except for the animals. Look into back country permits and get away or nibble around the edges, the park is just lines on a map, the area to the west of Island Park is beautiful and less crowded.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  3. #3
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    May 2016
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    Thanks. Any specific suggestions. I am staring at this NP info sheet.
    https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvis...ip-Planner.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    If the kids are up for it once you get away from the roads most of Yellowstone is empty except for the animals. Look into back country permits and get away or nibble around the edges, the park is just lines on a map, the area to the west of Island Park is beautiful and less crowded.
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  4. #4
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    Where are you planning on sleeping?
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  5. #5
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    Wind Rivers out of Pinedale, lakes just out of town, big, big hikes available. Amazing backcountry. Be bear aware. There's hot springs around there, but I never visited them.
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  6. #6
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    I was hoping to camp, but that seems hopeless in yellowstone unless you have a reservation. pebble creek has some first come first served, but I have the feeling it will be full and I will be standing there with my junk in my hand hours from anything

    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Where are you planning on sleeping?
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  7. #7
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    that is a great tip. I am finding some stuff out of there and we could probably day trip into the park for the sights.

    I am getting more than buzzed at DEN as my flight was delayed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Wind Rivers out of Pinedale, lakes just out of town, big, big hikes available. Amazing backcountry. Be bear aware. There's hot springs around there, but I never visited them.
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  8. #8
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    Yeah - your should take your kids to Yellowstone. It's amazing. That said - try to get lodging in the park and see the big stuff before 9am and after 4pm. Staying in the park is key, as you can get a *much* quicker start than the hordes that come in from Gardner, West Yellowstone, and Jackson.

    During the prime part of the day hang out on one of the rivers and float around, eat, and nap.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhyatt View Post
    that is a great tip. I am finding some stuff out of there and we could probably day trip into the park for the sights.

    I am getting more than buzzed at DEN as my flight was delayed...
    Don't try to day trip to Yellowstone from Pinedale. That would be a nightmare, unless you started your day at 4am.

    Which I guess could work.

  10. #10
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    May 2016
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    zero available in the park. unless I am looking at summer 2051.
    in zion people were lining up for the shuttle to the narrows at 5 am, an hour before it starts. at the same time, we just went to other places outside the park that were *almost* as cool, but could just go mid day and see almost no one.
    i am thinking lakes and hikes near pine dale. then a day or two of ridiculous crowds to see old faithful and prismatic and pasty chubby nebraskans pounding big gulps.

    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    Yeah - your should take your kids to Yellowstone. It's amazing. That said - try to get lodging in the park and see the big stuff before 9am and after 4pm. Staying in the park is key, as you can get a *much* quicker start than the hordes that come in from Gardner, West Yellowstone, and Jackson.

    During the prime part of the day hang out on one of the rivers and float around, eat, and nap.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhyatt View Post
    zero available in the park. unless I am looking at summer 2051.
    I found quite a bit of availability in both June and July... - or were you talking about camping? I wouldn't personally recommend camping in the park. Get a hotel room. And yes, it's going to be horrendously expensive.

    i am thinking lakes and hikes near pine dale.
    Pinedale is def nice - the Winds are amazing. It is nothing like Yellowstone, however.

    then a day or two of ridiculous crowds to see old faithful and prismatic and pasty chubby nebraskans pounding big gulps.
    Srsly - go early and late. Don't try to do anything meaningful between the hours of 9am-3pm. It will be maddening.

  12. #12
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    Now you're starting to figure it out. I go to wonderland pretty much every year, (20 times, maybe), and it's a lot of pre-trip effort to dial it in. To get a taste you could stay outside the East entrance for example, and exit whichever entrance works into your plans. Leave nothing to chance. The lines start essentially the night before for the first-come-fist-seved campsites.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
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  13. #13
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    ^^^^^^^^^
    What PB said. First come, Fist served.

    Like most things around here, it's a chess game to do it right.
    Staying in the park can be cool, but usually it's a drag during busy season.
    What dates?

    Literally dozens of places to camp within an hour of the park... South gate is 1 hr. from Jackson, thru GTNP.
    Are you car campers or comfy tent camping?
    You can be at old faithful at 8 am and it's not a gazillion people yet, maybe 200 tho.
    And getting away from people in gtnp is easy for those willing to walk a little.

  14. #14
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    May 2016
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    mid july
    we tent camp near the car. also backpacking.
    i think we will 'overland' just outside the park. just debating skipping the whole shitshow and heading straight down to CO

    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^
    What PB said. First come, Fist served.

    Like most things around here, it's a chess game to do it right.
    Staying in the park can be cool, but usually it's a drag during busy season.
    What dates?

    Literally dozens of places to camp within an hour of the park... South gate is 1 hr. from Jackson, thru GTNP.
    Are you car campers or comfy tent camping?
    You can be at old faithful at 8 am and it's not a gazillion people yet, maybe 200 tho.
    And getting away from people in gtnp is easy for those willing to walk a little.
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  15. #15
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    May 2007
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    Please, if you do go, make a point to try to make the Yellowstone wildlife thread. I hear the bison love being pet behind the ears.

    Good luck, especially with the moustache

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  16. #16
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    If you want to get into the Winds and are willing to backpack at least one night the easiest way is to take the trail 9 miles one way from Big Sandy Opening to Cirque of the Towers. It was a tough drive to the trailhead when I did it decades ago and it doesn't sound like it's gotten any easier.
    https://www.summitpost.org/big-sandy-opening/171419

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhyatt View Post
    mid july
    we tent camp near the car. also backpacking.
    i think we will 'overland' just outside the park. just debating skipping the whole shitshow and heading straight down to CO

    Just got back from CO. We tried to drive through RMNP.

    You need an appointment to drive a car THROUGH RMNP on a state highway.

    I presume most/all NP now require reservations just to get in, much less camp
    .<<<<< The statement is incorrect.
    Last edited by Hopeless Sinner; 06-18-2021 at 07:53 PM.

  18. #18
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    You can stay away from the crowds, play the clock. Best intel can be had at the park gas stations, no shit - ask the workers where the latest/greatest bear and wuff sightings, they have the best info. Get out at first light and you'll be way ahead of the crowds.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^
    What PB said. First come, Fist served.
    Not anymore, reservation only.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    If you want to get into the Winds and are willing to backpack at least one night the easiest way is to take the trail 9 miles one way from Big Sandy Opening to Cirque of the Towers. It was a tough drive to the trailhead when I did it decades ago and it doesn't sound like it's gotten any easier.
    https://www.summitpost.org/big-sandy-opening/171419
    Unfortunately, the Cirque isn't exactly getting away from the crowds anymore.

  21. #21
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    Jan 2010
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    104
    Good luck.
    Did this a few years back before the (post-)pandemic shitshow and towards the end of the busy season. It was still busy. Was able to snag camp sites but it involved some strategery, a lot of luck and some anxiety. Itís a looong drive if you canít stay in the park, probably even longer now.
    Many parts of the park are a lot more impressive than Old Faithful, may want to reconsider your priorities.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless Sinner View Post
    I presume most/all NP now require reservations just to get in, much less camp.
    No, all National parks do not require a reservation just to get in. A pass or some other paid entry, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    You can stay away from the crowds, play the clock.
    Get out at first light and you'll be way ahead of the crowds.
    THIS is the key. Get up and out by 7 at the latest and it's all so much more bearable.

    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Not anymore, reservation only.
    Re-read the quote. It was a joke. dayum.

    There's so much easy camping around here, it's laughable. Anyone who needs to be in a NPS campground, should keep on keepin' on.

    Jhyatt, in a pinch, you can camp on our back lawn for a night or two. In town and convenient.

  23. #23
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    ^^Sorry missed the misspelling!


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  24. #24
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    Dec 2020
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    Idaho
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    No, all National parks do not require a reservation just to get in. A pass or some other paid entry, yes.



    THIS is the key. Get up and out by 7 at the latest and it's all so much more bearable.



    Re-read the quote. It was a joke. dayum.

    There's so much easy camping around here, it's laughable. Anyone who needs to be in a NPS campground, should keep on keepin' on.

    Jhyatt, in a pinch, you can camp on our back lawn for a night or two. In town and convenient.

    I made a correction to my previous post. Thanks DJ.

  25. #25
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    Jan 2014
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    There are a number of backcountry spots that are allocated for first come first serve...or at least there were two years back? We rolled in early, snagged one, hiked in for a couple days. Was legit AF. Saw very few people. Lots of wildlife. Geyser basins.

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