Saturday morning we set off from Jackson Hole to Yellowstone, this was our long day in the park and we set off bright and early. There are two loops to Yellowstone, an upper one and a lower one. After talking to our hotel concierge and doing some research online, we decided that unless we were spending the night in the eastern park of Yellowstone, in Cody, and would be near the upper east end around dusk, it wouldn't be really worth the time. As the animal viewing in that area is best at dusk. We were staying in West Yellowstone in Montana so our route was easy to decide.
We spent the day doing West Thumb, the falls, mud pots, paint pots, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and every other stop on our way up and around to West Yellowstone.
One tip if your kids are doing the Junior Ranger program, be sure you look ahead of time in the park newspaper for all the ranger talks and their times. Otherwise you'll be scrambling to be in a certain area at a certain time. We missed the ranger program in Grand Teton, so Sunday on our way back to Jackson Hole we were able to stop by Colter Bay to get our signature and listen to the bear safety program. These kids were the cutest getting their badges.
The kids perfected their rock skipping at Lewis Lake.
I recommend hitting up all the geyser basins, the boardwalks are not super long, but the views of the springs and geysers are just incredible!
This day was our late day in the park and we were so rewarded for it. We stayed until almost 9pm and saw the most beautiful elk up close. We had a delicious dinner at Canyon Lodge Dining Room.
We pulled into our trip's final state to visit, Montana, and spent the night at the Yellowstone Park Hotel. It was basic but Aaron wasn't a big fan, I thought it was fine for the 11 hours we were spending there.
We saved Old Faithful and the bottom (western) part of the loop for the next day. Friends had told us Old Faithful is a big chunk of the day, and it really is. By the time you park, visit the center, grab a bite to eat, find your seating, visit the general store for souvenirs, it's a few hours. So we are glad we saved a big part of our day for such a grand event. We also were excited to see the Grand Prismatic this day, which was incredible! We woke up and grabbed breakfast in West Yellowstone, and then headed into the park to finish off our list of spots to see.
I tell you, seeing these bison never gets old.
Once the kids were all badged up in Yellowstone and we conquered the park we headed to Colter Bay to hit up the bear safety talk. This ranger, just killed me, he was like everything I ever imagined a park ranger would be. We pulled in Jackson Hole for dinner and ate at the most delicious restaurant, Local. We checked into Snake River Lodge for one final hotel hopping night. It was decent. Kitschy. We spent our final day, Monday, in Jackson Hole getting our Old Timey photos taken, and making my kids dreams come true. It was fabulous.