Trip to Yellowstone - June 2nd - June 8th- Stuff to see & Hikes?

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by JoePAz, May 21, 2018.

  1. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Phoenix, Arizona
    So I will be traveling to Yellowstone June 2nd - June 8th. I will be staying the week in Madison CG with my 12 year old daughter. We want spend some time seeing the normal touristy stuff and get a little off the beaten path for some hikes. She wants to see geyers, waterfalls, and animals. No interest in Yellowstone lake really.

    As for us.. I am Mtn biker so fitness is no issue. My daughter is 12 and is more fit than she realizes, but can complain. We have done hikes in Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite. She is good 6-8 miles max (with some elevation gain) and 4-5 hours.

    Being early June I expect snow pack in some places, but not to worried. We hiked in light snow in Bryce a couple years back.

    For animals I plan to head to Lamar valley as I hear that is a good area for them.

    Any tips for avoiding the crowds?
  2. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2013
    Kansas City
    Yellowstone Lake didn't do much for me either but Yellowstone Park is fabulous. You will see animals everywhere, not just the Lamar Valley. Going west from Madison toward West Yellowstone, MT you will see a lot of elk and bison are everywhere.

    One of the things I did when were driving around the park was took every dirt road we saw. There was cool stuff down some of those roads.

    If you're going to be there a week, I would set aside a day to travel the Beartooth Highway from the NE entrance to Red Lodge, MT. It'll probably take most of the day, but some of the views are breathtaking.

    As for avoiding the crowds, good luck and get used to it. They say start out early in the morning, but I didn't see that it made a much difference. I would just accept there are going to be a lot of people and a lot of traffic. But it's worth every second. [:)C]
  3. Harrelldjr

    Harrelldjr Member

    Jul 6, 2014
    East Tennessee
    From what I am seeing online one of the best spots for seeing wildlife right now is the access road to Slough Creek Campground near Lamar Valley. One of the wolf packs has denned on the side of the mountain in great view. I have been fortunate enough to be there twice when they have denned in that area before. The wolf watchers have been seeing puppies nearly every day. Many of the wolf watchers will allow you to peek through their spotting scope to see the wolves closer if you are polite and ask nicely.

    My favorite hike is Trout Lake in Lamar Valley. It is short, but the lake is amazing! The Yellowstone River Picnic Area Trail is a very nice trail with an unfortunate name. Lone Star Geyser is a nice walk (its so flat and wide that I hesitate to call it a hike). Beaver Ponds loop out of Mammoth is a nice hike, but its very open so it can get hot. Mt. Washburn is a an awesome hike, but being there in early June it will likely still be snowed in. Mystic Falls is another nice short hike. Fairy Falls is nice, but can be hot and sunny.

    Early and late are the best times to be out to see wildlife and to avoid the crowds.

    We typically make a day trip down to Grand Tetons as well. It makes for a long day, but we think it is worth it. I would pick the day with the clearest weather forecast.

    I can go on and on and on about Yellowstone, but I'll stop with this for now.
  4. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    On my bucket list too.
  5. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2016
    My advice for avoiding crowds is to get an early start. The people tend to go from site to site in order so get ahead of them. You want to see the big attractions of course but look for the less popular. Anything that requires more than a 10 min walk eliminates 90% of the crowds. Most importantly is to be patient, take your time and NO buffalo selfies. You'll run into a lot of snow in the higher elevations. We are driving through the park this weekend, I'll update next week.
  6. matwiyj

    matwiyj Active Member

    May 17, 2011
    Winnipeg, Canada
  7. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks for all the tips
  8. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Jul 3, 2008
    Make sure to set aside time for a swim in the firehole river. It is just south of the Madison campground.
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    The hike to Grand Prismatic Spring overlook is a must do. It's an absolutely gorgeous view. Other hikes to consider are Uncle Tom's Trail and Hellroaring Trail.

    I highly recommend getting out early to avoid the crowds- especially at the most popular destinations. Early means to your destination by sunrise - especially if you want to see bears and wolves. Hayden and Lamar valleys are great early morning and late afternoon. The light is much better for photographs during those times as well. We were in the Park last year during the first week of August and the crowds were bad. The Old Faithful area reminded me of a mall on Black Friday :). You just need to be patient and plan to do some waiting.

    Nothing wrong with the Lake Area but the geysers at West Thumb are interesting. Fishing Bridge is a bit touristy to me but there are several nearby hikes.
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  10. DJS12354

    DJS12354 Well-Known Member

    I'd plan a full day at the geyser basin. We were at Yellowstone a few years ago and there is so much to see and enjoy!
  11. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Phoenix, Arizona
    This sound strange, but it heated? LOL... Natural heating of course. We are from Phoenix so warm and cold are relative. Cold water is anything under 75F. Air temps will be in 60's so it will be cold for us. So unless it a form of hot springs we will NOT be going in.
  12. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Jul 3, 2008
    Yes, the river is composed of runoff from a geyser basin.
    JoePAz likes this.
  13. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Fun trip. Thanks for the ideas. Saw many Bison. My daughter counted 100+ not in herds. She estimates 200 with the herds. Went on hikes every day some short and others out to 7 miles. No swimming due to river being closed. My guess is spring run off.

    Major hikes we did were
    Fairy Falls and Grand Prismatic spring overlook
    Lone Star Geyers
    Clear Lake/Mirror Lake Loop.

    Short hikes walks
    Upper Geyer basin from tip to tip
    Harlequin Lake
    Lower Yellowstone falls overlook down to the lower vantage point.

    Mt Washburn was snowed in, but all the roads were open. We saw the above mention Bison, Grizzly bear from about 800 yards in soda butte picnic area north or Lamar Valley. Beartooth Highway was closed due to drifting snow.
    gladecreekwy likes this.

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