Tips for 2 full days in Yellowstone in October? in camping van - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-02-2018, 06:33 PM   #1
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Question Tips for 2 full days in Yellowstone in October? in camping van

Hi all

Looking for tips for Yellowstone - I値l be in a self contained camping van - this October.
Once again - trying out a camping van instead of our 21' escape.

First night I have booked at Madison campground.

Then next 2 nights I was going to play it by ear and try to get any of these 1st come 1st serve that are open in Oct - Lewis Lake OR Mammoth OR Slough Creek

All are currently 1st come 1st serve. (many of the other campsites are closed for the season now)

Yes I know the park is big, and bison slow down traffic, and I have to drive carefully due to possible snow and rain.

-> What is more scenic and closer to things I値l want to see? Lewis Lake, Mammoth, or Slough Creek?

-> What things should I try to see? I値l have 2 full days. (3 nights)

-> Any good casual places to eat along the way?

Thanks!

John
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:00 PM   #2
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What ever you do don't miss Mammoth, I think it's more impressive than Old Faithful.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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Last week going in I didn't see but a few slow moving bison on the roads and a couple young elk and it had me wondering where all the wildlife was. No herds, no nothing, unless you count the fly fishermen and Asian tourists. Finally, up in the very scenic Lamar Valley, a really good group, and a bull elk with his ladies. But no bears, one eagle in the distance. Of course your luck will vary.

High season is over. It would be a good idea to have a cooler stocked with sandwiches and etc., as backup. Major-major road work in progress on the western side going north to nice restaurants at Monmouth Springs.

Oh, yes, the big boy rigs do grab up all the sites with electricity. At my boondocking campsite outside the park last week it was 28 degrees in the trailer at 4AM. Thank you, thank you, my sleeping bag.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:26 AM   #4
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John, We too just got home from a 3 week round trip to Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Tetons. Like Myron said, I would avoid the N/W flank from Norris Canyon to Mammoth at all costs. We got stuck at a construction zone and were at a dead stop for well over an hour, before a pilot car led us over a long dirty/dusty road.

Something I highly recommend to you or any one else, is a GPS oriented self guiding tour app called Gypsy Guide Tours ( gypsyguidetours.com ). Their plan is to provide self guiding tours to all the National Parks, but for now, only YNP/GTNP is available. It is a $9.99 one time purchase, downloaded to your phone. Using blu-tooth, you can play it over your vehicle speakers. The GPS picks up your location within 10 feet, and leads you through the parks. It gives fantastic information on all the Park features, history, geology, and animal habitats. The narrator has a great voice, a good sense of humor, and discretion. He tells you which features are 電on稚 miss, and if you池e pressed for time, which features can be skipped. We have been to YNP and GT before, but this app, recommended by a friend, greatly enhanced this trip!

Have a great time!
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:12 AM   #5
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It's a good thing for folks to keep in mind for these fall Yellowstone trips, construction starts as soon as the summer season ends. We had both of the loops broken on the west sides when we were there, going from point A to point B could be a very very long ride.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Oh, yes, the big boy rigs do grab up all the sites with electricity. At my boondocking campsite outside the park last week it was 28 degrees in the trailer at 4AM. Thank you, thank you, my sleeping bag.
OK Myron, I gotta ask, why didn't you put on your heater? That should still work even when you are boondocking.
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Old 10-03-2018, 01:49 PM   #7
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If you want to see the Grand Prismatic Spring, forget about actually going to the trail head/boardwalk. It is too busy and quite honestly you are too close to really see it. Instead go to the Fairy Fall trail head and hike a little ways ~.5m ( you don't have to go all the way to Fairy Falls) to a great overlook where you can really see the Grand Prismatic Spring. If you look at some of the older literature/books, they will say that there are signs to "stay on the trail" because so many people were hiking up the hill to see the spring. The Park Service has finally given up and made this a real trail/overlook. It is worth the hike.

We were there a couple of weeks ago and the construction on the NW side was bad, but I'm not sure it was any worse than driving all the way around to avoid it. We went thru there four times. Once at night with no issues, the other delays were anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.

We stayed in a couple of places including Mammoth. The Ranger station said they didn't fill up until after noon, but it was full by 10:30 when we got there. Ended up staying a night outside the park and getting in line the next day at Mammoth at 7:30. Got in then, after waiting about 30 minutes, with no problem. We saw lot's of elk at Mammoth and buffalo around Hayden valley.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was also pretty impressive.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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True, John, my heater on propane would keep the cabin very comfortable through the night. The digital thermostat does a great job. On cold days I turn it on when cooking, eating, reading, etc.

But, when hitting the sack I always turn the heater off. It's not that I don't want to use up my propane, (though I don't). My sleep-titude is deep, if light. Heater stays off usually until about 5 AM. The big reason is - the thing is noisy. It remains active, and cycles constantly on and off to compensate for dropping temperatures-- just enough to irritate the hell out of me.

My bag is toasty, I am surrounded by quilts, comfy pillows, and a wool cap if it ever comes to that.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:51 PM   #9
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when we did Yellowstone we spent 2-3 nights at each of the hotel/resorts (or their nearby cabins), and used them as a base for exploring that quarter of the park, that way we could see a lot more of it without a lot of driving long distances.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
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Both dunraven & slough close oct 9. If going to slough will want to be there early to secure a spot. Dunraven thru canyon to Norris avoids the construction plus a beautiful drive. If wildlife is what your are after slough would be best as in lamar, the Serengeti of ynp.
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