Resources for trip planning

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Posted by TravelingBear ( on 18:00:02 02/17/16

In Reply to: Organized Tours? posted by Erin K

Ballpark Frank has given excellent advice for your trip planning. I'd like to add the reminder that the National Park Service web site has a wealth of material to educate you about the park before your visit and it's all free!

I would download and print the large official map of the park that is on the NPS site as a great starting point for your activity planning. It will give you a good sense of the relative locations of the various features and the tourist villages.

Just remember, the park is huge and the seemingly short distances between junctions can be misleading. The best rule of thumb is to double the number of miles to get the number of minutes for driving and then add time to that for possible "critter jams" and stops to see the sights at the many pull-outs along the way.

There are lists of hikes and photos and videos about different areas of the park in the multi-media part of that web site.

Last year's ranger-led program schedule will give you an idea of what will be available this year. The new schedule is usually published in late spring. The spring and summer park newspapers from last year are also online.

If you still want to do a group activity with a bus tour, I'd recommend considering one of the Yellowstone Association programs available while you are in the park.

I first saw the park in 1958 with my parents and have gone back many times since then. Engaging your kids in the planning process will ensure a buy-in from them for the activities.

A fun video of Yellowstone with a unique perspective of being from the air is on YouTube. It gives you a really good idea of how big the park is and a preview of some of the areas you will be visiting. (This is a legal, permitted video shot from a helicopter, not an individual flying an illegal drone.)

The narrator keeps referring to "geezers" and at times there are a lot of them in the park but what he really is referring to are "geysers" - you just have to forgive the British for their peculiar pronunciations at times. lol

Even after 58 years of visiting the park I still get excited about planning my next trip.

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