Chiming in: more assorted suggestions/recommendations/cautions

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 14:05:15 09/03/17

In Reply to: Aussies on A Road Trip posted by Aussie Ken

1. Plan where you're going to stay; many of the concessions (lodging, camping, and associated gas stations and supplies concessionaires) in the park will be closing for the season - see link. There are campgrounds and good motels/cabins in the gateway towns of Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and Silver Gate-Cooke City, Montana, where the gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores will be open. Whether you're staying in the park or in a gateway town, be sure to gas up, and I suggest carrying lunches, drinks and snacks with you so you don't find yourself in some corner of the park in need of the above with nothing open near by.
2. The weather can be glorious but quite variable at that time of the year, so plan to dress in layers that can come off and go back on as needed, and bring good shoes (oh yes I've seen people trying to enjoy hiking in the geyser area boardwalks in flip-flops, SO not recommended at any time of year in Yellowstone!). It'll likely below freezing at night regardless, but it can be warm during the day. You may get snowed or rained on, or it may be gorgeous fall weather or some combinations of everything.
3. That can be a great season for wildlife-watching as the number of people in the park greatly diminishes and the animals are busy getting themselves ready for winter. In particular the bears are gorging themselves (practice bear safety, the bears do not go into hibernation until closer to December!), and you are likely to spot bison, elk, moose and deer, coyotes, foxes, wolves, and many other favorite critters at that time. Take binoculars and the longest camera lens you can manage, you can get satisfactory images of thermal features with an iPhone, but certainly not of wildlife.
4. I can't offer much help with commercial tours, but you can prepare yourself - among other things by deciding your priorities, it's a big place with a lot to see and do - and very successfully guide yourself with a really good book, like Janet Chapple's Yellowstone Treasures (Amazon, or her website,

Photo of a "cinnamon" colored black bear picking the last of the ripe berries taken in Yellowstone on October 7 last year.

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