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Yellowstone Update

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
Got into Yellowstone Yesterday and so far things are great.

Staying at Fishing Bridge. Sites are tight but in good condition and well maintained. Got a reservation for 6 days about a month ago but there are lots of empty sites when we did a drive around.

So far we've gone up the Hayden Valley and done Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This morning we did Old Faithful, Upper Basin and West Thumb Basin.

There are other people here but not bad at all. Old Faithful parking lot was maybe 25% full around 10am. We walked up and got a first row bench 5 min before she went off.

There is construction in a few places but nothing that is creating big delays. Mostly short sections of gravel where they are doing pavement repairs.

Next two days, we will be focusing on the north loop and we have a pass to drive into the Lamar Valley (reserved it just now and they had them available for tomorrow or the next day...also a ranger suggested, they aren't enforcing it strictly, so if no one is checking, you might just drive in without the reservation).

I'm guessing some of this is kids going back to school in the next week, so most summer vacations are over. I would say most people we see are older couples or people from overseas.

So far very pleased we decided to come regardless of the flooding.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV
21 REPLIES 21

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
ppine wrote:
Okay thanks for the update.
Too many rules. The best days are gone.


Nope. The majority of the park is wide open. Just got back from there and while the minimal closures were a bummer they did not detract from the joy of visiting there. The crowds were larger than we expected on one day and the air quality wasn't good due to wildfires in Idaho but we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The bison were everywhere plus we saw deer, elk, pronghorn, eagles, osprey, little critters and a grizzly.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
ppine wrote:
Okay thanks for the update.
Too many rules. The best days are gone.


Naw, it's only the Lamar Valley that has the rule because it's currently a dead end, they don't want traffic getting jammed up (really wasn't an issue when we went into that area).

Given the quick turn around after the floods, I can only give them kudos for getting things back open. The rangers were almost unanimous that it's the best time ever to see the park as the crowds are gone. Not sure if this will carry over to next year or not.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
Okay thanks for the update.
Too many rules. The best days are gone.

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
Crowe wrote:
No you can't drive the entire length. Just up to Slough Creek trail head but you need a pass off the website to drive it.

Not as of 9/8. They are removing that requirement per the website. I'll be happy to get as far as I can.


OK, if you say so.

We got a pass and they let us in on the 29th of August.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
No you can't drive the entire length. Just up to Slough Creek trail head but you need a pass off the website to drive it.

Not as of 9/8. They are removing that requirement per the website. I'll be happy to get as far as I can.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
Crowe wrote:
Did Lamar Valley the other morning. You have to get a pass (not hard and only $2 for a vehicle).

Per Yellowstone's website as of yesterday the valley was not open.

Lamar Valley closed to public

The Northeast Entrance Road between Lamar Valley and the barrier near Warm Creek (2 miles from the Northeast Entrance), is closed to all vehicle, bicycle and foot traffic while major construction repairs are made. This section of road is an active construction zone, and the closure is expected to stay in place until Oct. 15 to allow contractors to complete work prior to winter.


Sounds like it's more of a partial closure than it being fully closed off. Guess when I'm there this month I'll just have to see for myself!


No you can't drive the entire length. Just up to Slough Creek trail head but you need a pass off the website to drive it.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
Did Lamar Valley the other morning. You have to get a pass (not hard and only $2 for a vehicle).

Per Yellowstone's website as of yesterday the valley was not open.

Lamar Valley closed to public

The Northeast Entrance Road between Lamar Valley and the barrier near Warm Creek (2 miles from the Northeast Entrance), is closed to all vehicle, bicycle and foot traffic while major construction repairs are made. This section of road is an active construction zone, and the closure is expected to stay in place until Oct. 15 to allow contractors to complete work prior to winter.


Sounds like it's more of a partial closure than it being fully closed off. Guess when I'm there this month I'll just have to see for myself!

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
ppine wrote:
Pack dinner to eat on the tailgate. Go out to Lamar Valley and stay out past dark. It is the American Serengeti. Drive under the speed limit in the dark going back to your rig. It is the best thing you can do in Yellowstone without going into the backcountry.


Did Lamar Valley the other morning. You have to get a pass (not hard and only $2 for a vehicle).

The passes come for either the morning or afternoon. Staying after dark isn't an option. Though there were tour companies that were coming out before the gates were open to regular people (around 7:30am)...not sure if they get special access.

It was nice but only saw buffalo in the valley. Some of the tour folks said they saw wolves but on the far ridge like a mile away but they had left before we got a chance to see them.

On the way back, though had a great bear sighting. Adult Black Bear wandered up the hillside crossed about 15ft behind the truck and kept going up hill. We circled around to see if we could catch another view and then he came back down the hill in front of the truck. Wandered on the road for a couple minutes, looked back at us and then wandered back down the hill.

We've had better luck in Haden Valley this week. Buffalo are almost a nuisance. See Elk including big bulls with full racks every day (often within 30-50ft), had a coyote trot along about 40ft from the truck. Even saw a martin cross the road.

And the really nice thing is at most, there have been maybe 10 cars lined up a couple of times. Most of the time it's a car or two, so if you are trying to get elsewhere, it doesn't delay you more than a minute or so.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
Go out to Lamar Valley and stay out past dark. It is the American Serengeti.

Lamar Valley is currently closed to public access due to the flooding damage. However the road between Tower Junction and Slough Creek is now open without a permit. However, per the Yellowstone website: This road corridor is essentially a dead-end, and people driving large vehicles (buses, long towing units etc.) are asked to be aware that turnaround areas along the Slough Creek Campground Road are limited.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

ppine
Explorer II
Explorer II
Pack dinner to eat on the tailgate. Go out to Lamar Valley and stay out past dark. It is the American Serengeti. Drive under the speed limit in the dark going back to your rig. It is the best thing you can do in Yellowstone without going into the backcountry.

buckhorn13
Explorer
Explorer
Great update. I’ll be in GTNP 9/2 to 9/8 and in Grant,Madison,Canyon, FB camps 9/8 to 9/15. With the heatwave in the west, hopefully not to many wildfires breakout.

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
WinMinnie02 wrote:
Nice info on Yellowstone. Rving for 20+ years never had an interest to visit so call bucket list including Yellowstone, but may one day visit. National Geographics on TV is fine. These places are so crowded so we RV and visit other great places in our great country that don't make it on the bucket list. Rving boondock is our preference over crowded campgrounds.


NatGeo is nice but doesn't do it justice compared to the real thing.

If you are worried about crowds, get in the RV and head out today. The pictures you see of 50-100cars lined up to see a buffalo...they aren't here now. Talked to a ranger and he said they are running about 1/3 what they were last year this time.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
dodge guy wrote:
Thanks for the update. Can you post some pictures of the campground updates they did!


Marginal internet right now but I'll try next week.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
agesilaus wrote:
Am I reading the web page right, is it $84/night to camp in Fishing Bridge?


Yeah, at first we choked on that but when we looked around, the private campgrounds outside the park most were $65-100 plus it's between 45min and 1.5hr drive just to get in to the loop road. The cheapest we found was $50 in Cody for a marginal looking place and it was going to be 1.5hr drive to get to the loop road.

By the time you add an extra 6-8 gal of gas per day plus wear and tear on the truck, it was cheaper to stay in the park.

Plus the best animal viewing time is dawn and dusk. Since we are 5-10min from some prime viewing areas, we can get out around 6:15am and 8:00pm and be back in the afternoon to relax and have lunch. Otherwise, we would be looking at leaving 4:30am and not getting back until 9:30pm.

If it really bothers you for around $40, there are some dry campgrounds. That's what we are doing this weekend down in Grand Tetons.

As they say in real estate...location, location, location.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV