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Older Fossil
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Re: Planning a fall trip to Yellowstone NP

I went back and reread this entire thread and have a few more thoughts.

If this is your first visit, you are covering a huge area in a short time. Be sure to spend some time visiting some of the amazing thermal areas like Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin and, Lower, Midway and Upper (Old Faithful) Basins. Go early to get parking.

In the national parks there is no camping outside of designated campgrounds. There are a few such areas outside Yellowstone and in Jackson Hole, but with your schedule, I think you'd be better staying in park campgrounds. For the northern part of Yellowstone (Lamar Valley) I'd suggest Slough Creek CG and Pebble Creek
CG. For thermal areas and the Madison River wildlife I'd suggest the Madison CG.

The elk rut peaks about September, so your timing looks good. You will usually find elk hanging out in Mammoth Hot Springs village, but for a natural setting the Madison River between Madison Junction and the west entrance is better.

There are usually lots of bison in the Lamar Valley and often in the Hayden Valley and near Lower Geyser Basin. Don't be surprised to get stuck in a "bison jam" once or twice.

Moose in Yellowstone are best seen early in the morning in the Willow Park area and near the northeast entrance. Moose are frequently found in Gros Ventre CG near Jackson.

Bighorn Sheep are often seen in the cliffs along the Gardner River near the northwest entrance, though we've seen mature rams between Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar Valley.

Mountain Goats are often seen up on Baronette Peak (at a long distance).

We've seen Picas and Marmots at Sheepeater Cliffs.

We usually see Trumpeter Swans at Swan Lake south of Mammoth Hot Springs and often on the Yellowstone River in the Hayden Valley.

Grizzly Bears and Black Bears may be found about anywhere.

Wolves we've mostly seen in the Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley.

Coyotes can be seen anywhere.

If you want a half day out of northern Yellowstone for scenery, consider driving up to Blackbear Pass and back.

I'm sure I'll think of other things later,

May 26, 2022 at 06:17 PM

  Previous versions of Older Fossil's message #15953028 « Planning a fall trip to Yellowstone NP »