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Old 11-10-2014, 10:27 AM   #21
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I would also recommend going in September after Labor day. However, I would check the park to find out the official closing dates for some of the visitor centers. Even if there is not snow they will close down in the 3rd or 4th week.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:30 AM   #22
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FWIW, Yellowstone is every bit as wonderful (perhaps more so) in Winter -- with all the enhancements of the snow and cold... well, if you are prepared for it.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:30 PM   #23
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When I was stationed in Idaho a friend and I XC skied into Old Faithful one winter. Pretty chilly and the buffalo and elk were everywhere.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:31 PM   #24
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MartyP mentioned closures, the wife and I had planned on going in Sept this yr but just so happened to be checking out their website and seen there were closing a couple roads for the yr in Sept for repair. Glad I looked at the site before we went. A cpl roads closed would make traffic even more miserable than what it already is there. Make sure to keep checking their website for closures, maintenance, etc.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:20 PM   #25
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Just booked a week in mid-Sept in Yellowstone. They advised almost fully booked for the month of Sept. One of those bucket list things!


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Old 01-04-2015, 04:43 PM   #26
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I worked in YNP back in 1980 for a Winter and a Summer season and lived in Mt for 35 yrs.

Winter is absolutely wonderful, if you've got the time. Only OF Snowlodge is open, and it takes a good half day getting in and out by snow coach. If you like xc skiing, stay a week to get used to the pace. Nothing makes you feel alive like standing on the lookout of the Upper Falls of the Grand Canyon of Ystone with a 30 mph wind and 20* temp. If you're not into xc, seems like too much work to go then, imho.

Summer is a zoo with cars stopping in the middle of a road to take pictures. Every year someone seems to get gored posing by a bison.

March is amazing with the newborn rust colored baby bison. Roads partially open and probably still only Snowlodge then.

CBS's Chas Kuralt ranked Beartooth Hwy (and Glacier Park's Going to the Sun hwy) as one of the most scenic drives in USA.


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Old 01-04-2015, 08:47 PM   #27
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I did a similar trip a few years ago, leaving from MN and making a round trip. It was over Memorial day week. I came into Yellowstone from the North. The road on the map said "Closed in Winter".

The road had just opened up the day before. Who would have thought that the days after Memorial Day weekend was "winter' at Yellowstone.

We stayed at some of the hotels in the Park. Mammoth and another one. We took three days in the park. A great trip. Take your time and enjoy it. Lots of places/trails to hike.

Of course, as a kid the parents took us here. Lots of "bear jams". They were a great thing in those days.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:44 PM   #28
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I was happy to find this thread as we are going this summer & I did not want to be there when it was crowded, etc. So based on what I saw here & some follow up reading I did we decided to go the first couple of weeks in June. We have an RV & the person that took the reservation said most of the sites have not been reserved. I looked up the temps & it said 70 usually the day & 40 at nite. Can't wait to see it!
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:02 PM   #29
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We went first week of June. Crowded but not summer madness yet. One day it was 80 (record!), and two days later it snowed. Yes, snowed about June 5th.

Still a wonderful trip and we'll be back.
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:12 PM   #30
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and two days later it snowed. Yes, snowed about June 5th.
Yeah it is easy to miss that Yellowstone NP is about 6,300 ft. in altitude. And if a thousand feet in altitude is equal to 500 miles in distance north (or south) well...
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:00 PM   #31
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I remember years ago camping in West Yellowstone on the 4th of July and waking up to ice on the water puddles.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:14 PM   #32
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I remember years ago camping in West Yellowstone on the 4th of July and waking up to ice on the water puddles.
It's easy to be taken by surprise in many national parks. I remember a number of years ago visiting Crater Lake in Oregon in mid-June. Only part of one road was open, everything else was under several feet of snow.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:24 PM   #33
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In 2011, we spent July 4th at Mt Rushmore, then drove to Yellowstone about a few days later. There was still snow on the ground. The season at Yellowstone is surprisingly short, as described in a blog by an RV'er who works at the campground. My home at 7,000 ft is nowhere as cold, as it is at a lower latitude.

I still have not been to Crater Lake, but many years ago on a road trip we drove through Yosemite park and crossed Tioga Pass to get to Lake Tahoe. The pass was at 10,000 ft and it was just like winter in late May.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:30 PM   #34
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... I did we decided to go the first couple of weeks in June. We have an RV & the person that took the reservation said most of the sites have not been reserved...
I do not remember when we reserved our slot for that early July stay, but it was near full when I booked it. I did it through the Web, and could see that the slots in mid summer would fill up first, then July, then June. The time we went was just perfect, as the temperature was just right.

I will come back in a few years, and will do at the same time in early July.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #35
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Anyone ever go to Yellowstone with their dog? I read the restrictions but would like to hear from any actual accounts. If you basically cannot see anything if you have a dog then we will need to rethink that plan
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:09 PM   #36
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Many of the geyser sites have a parking lot nearby, and you do not have to walk far. You can leave your dog in the car.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:11 PM   #37
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I have friends who took their dog. But they had a travel trailer. They left the dog in the trailer while they explored the park.

I think it's true in most Nat'l parks that dogs are not allowed on trails. I know Yosemite has a kennel for folks that have no place to put their dogs while they are visiting. But I'm sure it's pricey.

When we went to Yellowstone (and Grand Teton, and Glacier) 2 summers ago we paid the freight to have our dog kenneled here at home. To many restrictions on where you can have your dog.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:40 PM   #38
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We are taking our 4 dogs but have a motorhome. It is very limited where you can take them.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:50 PM   #39
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Thanks all. We haven't discussed what we want to do when we go to Yellowstone so we will put that into the discussion prior to going. If we just go to see the big sites we might be ok. We've talked about renting an RV but it seems pretty pricey to do that but if it allowed us to take the little monster and that's what my wife wants to do it might be worth it..
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