Which type of visitor to Yellow Stone would you be?

So I recently asked a friend who lives near Yellow Stone National Park if he had any travel tips. He said it depends on which of the three types of Yellow Stone visitors you are. Different tips for different folks.

Retirees in RVs – they drive around, take pictures, and only leave their RV for fly fishing.

Younger crowd – they camp, hike, rock-climb, and raft. They sometimes hitchhike their way in.

Families with young children – They do whatever it takes to keep the children amused/entertained.

I might fit into the third category if I were traveling with my dogs (see Sharon’s excellent article on camping in dog friendly national parks from 2 years ago.) But without my dogs, I don’t know if I fit nicely into one of the three categories. I guess I would want to be like the younger crowd. But maybe I’d be closer to the retirees.

A few tips anyway:

Day hikes: As opposed to the longer backcountry hikes.

Outside the Yellowstone entrances are some “touristy” type locations where you can buy pricey souvenirs and have a beer, visiting with locals and others. I’m partial towards West Yellowstone, since I enter the park from the west.

You will love Jackson Hole – which is on the east side of the Tetons. Lots of great fun there, particularly if you have some money (it’s very expensive). I’ve been up to the top – it’s a three day event – hiking to a base camp day 1 and 3, with a rise to the summit on day 2. You have to get permits for anything backcountry which is some work in advance. If you just want to see beautiful country and enjoy yourselves in the great outdoors around wealthy people you’ll really enjoy Jackson Hole.

I can’t emphasize enough how much fun you can have in Jackson Hole if you have some money. I don’t know what your budget looks like, but if you can afford it they will take you up the mountain on a helicopter and drop you off for you to hang-glide down. You can rent ATV’s and have a blast going off-road. You can hire a guide to take you out on the water and catch fish. You can find great dining, including a really nice pizza shop in town just off the main square. They’re busy all the time.

The town square has all kinds of cool boutiques for shopping with artists and craftsmen selling their wares. There are cool looking antlers to check out as well.

If you like hiking you’ll like Glacier, but aside from the hiking and being able to say that you were there and touched the dirty icey glaciers, it’s a long detour.

Yellowstone of course has all the diversity and beauty. It’s just overwhelmed with people everywhere, but that’s kind of the fun as well.

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