Yellowstone NP 2015 Tips - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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Yellowstone NP 2015 Tips

Yellowstone NP – 2015 Travel Tips
We just spent part of our last trip at Yellowstone National Park and can offer the following tips for those intending on going there this Summer/Fall season.
1. Road Conditions
There is significant road work being done in the park. The highway between Madison and Norris is under major re-construction and should be avoided if at all possible. We experienced over a one hour delay, and the road construction, combined with very hard and sharp volcanic gravel led to major paint damage to the front of our trailer (more than 50 chips), as well as a cracked windshield on our TV, due to debris being thrown up by our own as well as by passing vehicles.

2. Camping Sites:
Non-Reservable: There are a number of camp grounds that offer first-come, first served sites, most notably Norris, Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, Tower Fall and Mammoth Hot Springs. As these usually fill every night, the best chance of getting a space is to take over a site before it is vacated by its current residents in the morning, usually by about 8-9 am seems best
Site number posts will usually have a tag showing the last day of occupancy, but the current resident has until 11 am to vacate. The method supported by camp hosts is to verify with the existing site user that the site is being vacated that day, then fill out a site reservation envelope and place your reservation tag on top of the existing tag and ask the departing party to remove the remaining tags when departing. You must lock-in in your site by making payment as usual at the campground entrance. There IS a degree of trust involved here to make this works, so pick your camping friends carefully.
There will be a listing of campgrounds that are “thought” to have first-come, first served sites open at each of the entrances, but these can be several hours old and may not be reliable.

Reservable Sites: & Same Day Reservations:
During the summer almost all reservable sites are reserved months in advance but, because there are a number of cancellations that take place, reserved sites can be found for from 1 to up to 7 nights depending on your luck. To get a site the same day (or day before) you arrive, call the reserved sites concessionaire, Xanterra, at (307) 344-7311 and ask for “Same day reservations”. Tell them how many nights you need and, if possible, state “Any Campground(s)”. The local reservation people are very helpful and will try to find you one or more sites to take care of your needs. It may be necessary to contact Xanterra later in you stay if you need additional days. You can also queue up at reservable campgrounds to check for last minute departures that may not have gotten back to the central reservation system.

Our Experiences:
1. Tried a mad race at 9AM for Norris, got help up in traffic and got there about 11 and all available departing sites were already spoken for.
2. Went to the Mammoth Camp ground and got the last available space at about 11:45.
3. Went to the Xanterra reservation desk at the Mammoth Hotel and were able to get two nights reservations at the Bridge Bay campground for the following two nights.
4. When registering at Bridge Bay we were able to change site reservations and get a site for 3 nights, exactly what we wanted.
3. Additional tips:
1. Senior and other Federal discount Passes result in a 50% discount on both reservable and non-reservable sites.
2. Try to get out early each day, by early afternoon most sites & parking lots are mobbed by visitors and, especially, tour busses.
3. In some sites, due to parking pad size there may be a 30’ combined length limit, tough for all but 13’er’s, know your length before asking for a reservation.
4. It can get very HOT in Yellowstone. Temps of upwards of 100 are common in the summer.
5. Be nice to the summer employees & campground hosts, they are trying their best to help. Your positive attitude will achieve better results.
Good Luck Camping
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:35 AM   #2
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Got burned last fall by the road construction when they closed the roads in 2 places. Had carefully chosen campgrounds so we could see all the areas we wanted to the year before. Construction messed that up so we missed the whole northern section.

Great tips Bob.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:17 AM   #3
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Similar to Disney World, that want you to come back several times to see it all.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:41 AM   #4
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Other than the tourists that travel there from around the world, nothing, absolutely nothing, about Yellowstone National Park, the worlds first National Park, is anything like Disney World or any other theme park.


Yellowstone National Park is hallowed ground, theme parks are just another business venture. Add to that, Epcot Center was recently listed as one of the top "Tourist Traps" in America.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/trip...U227DHP#page=4

Not to mention that the season for road work at Yellowstone is limited to the same times that tourists visit.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:55 AM   #5
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You missed my point, It being that YNP is so big and varied that one visit can not do it justice, just like the long lines @ Disney makes one day too short.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:12 AM   #6
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How would a person take over a site before it is vacated by its current residents in the morning, usually by about 8-9 am ?

Say, if a family is sitting there enjoying their morning. Do you park your car in their space and watch them the whole time? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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Missed Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You missed my point, It being that YNP is so big and varied that one visit can not do it justice, just like the long lines @ Disney makes one day too short.

Now I understand your post, I first saw it as suggesting that the road work issue was related to requiring multiple visits to see all of the park. Okey-Dokey?
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:25 AM   #8
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Camping sites

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
How would a person take over a site before it is vacated by its current residents in the morning, usually by about 8-9 am ?

Say, if a family is sitting there enjoying their morning. Do you park your car in their space and watch them the whole time? Thanks in advance.

I didn't suggest "Taking Over" an occupied site. After politely determining that the occupants are leaving that day, it is acceptable to place your own reservation tag on the site post before they leave, and to return only after they have departed.

As the departing occupants always have the option of pulling your tag as they leave, making the site to appear available, it is essential that a positive attitude be expressed between all parties.

A few that have been so bold as to just walk up and re-tag a site and pressured the occupants to "Hurry-Up" have learned the hard way that being a jerk can have it's own repercussions when they returned and found that a different party had moved in when the departing occupants had pulled all of the tags. It's all about Karma
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:55 AM   #9
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Go in the off season. We visited YNP early May. Still some snow around, but I'll take that in place off crowds and road work!
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Similar to Disney World, that want you to come back several times to see it all.
IMHO, another similarity is don't go to either place during peak times if you don't have to. And another is there certainly are tricks/techniques to maximizing your experience at both places. Being flexible and able to go with the flow may the best advice.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:37 AM   #11
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Going pre-season is a double edged sword, fewer tourists, but fewer services and amenities


At Yellowstone, because they are dependent on a lot of seasonal workers, many of the facilities are not open until well into the summer season. Some campgrounds didn't open this year until after June 15th and many of the ancillary services, such as emergency auto repair, lp tank refill and showers/Laundromats may not be open in the pre-season times.


Each time has it's trade offs that have to be considered. Early June seems to be a bit of a balance.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:40 PM   #12
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The best advise I can give anyone who wants to tour Yellowstone is to plan ahead (as much as a year ahead). Select a full week or 5 days as it takes that much time to do it right. End all the stress and reserve a centrally located site in the center of the park. Make that site your base camp...tour a section of the park each day returning to your base camp site each night. I feel that this system works best. Enjoy your breakfast at your campsite and your evening meal when you return from each day's tour. When we spent a week there many years ago we reserved at what back then was called "Fishing Bridge Campground" full hook-ups and centrally located. We enjoyed our full week in prime summer season. The park was very busy...many tourists...everything takes more time than you think it will....Buffalo routinely block the roads...traffic and more traffic...Yellowstone is very popular...lots of people and lots of Buffalo, Elk, Bears and other critters!

Plan ahead and enjoy! Avoid stress and reserve your campsite....why waste time and energy running around looking for a campsite?

Happy Camping!
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:24 PM   #13
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Nice post Bob. I just shared it with our daughter who, with her family, will be visiting us in YNP this summer. My wife and I will be joining the seasonal campground crew in Madison CG on Monday. We plan to work through September.


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Old 06-26-2015, 03:56 PM   #14
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Working at Yellowstone for a summer can be a great opportunity and, apparently they are still looking for help for between now and the end of the season in September. Here are two contact links and a phone number:
YGSJOBS.COM aka Yellowstone Jobs | Park Gate Lodges
and
www.yellowstonejobs.com (307) 344-5323


These may be the same place, this was passed on to me when asking in the park.
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