Yellowstone National Park, WY

Yellowstone National Park (Adobe stock image)

By Nushin Huq

The biggest mistake people make when visiting Yellowstone National Park is underestimating its size. Even if you’re not planning on doing extensive hiking, it’ll still take you a few days to tour the park.

WHAT TO SEE

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WHERE TO STAY

Yellowstone has an extensive network of places to stay. There are nine lodges and 12 campgrounds as well as backcountry sites. The lodges include hotel rooms as well as cabins. Campgrounds are a mix of ones that can be reserved as well as ones that are walk up. Because of the size of the park, it's best to first come up with a plan on which areas you want to explore and make reservations based on your plan. While having a home base is nice, also consider reserving more than one location over your stay so you don't have to drive long distances back to base camp each day. If you're interested in popular hotel, like Old Faithful Lodge, remember that these hotels book up fast. Reservations for a calendar year begin May 1 on the previous calendar year. If the hotel you want is booked, keep calling back. Often times, rooms open up with last minute cancellations.

BEST HIKES FOR KIDS

Yellowstone gets really crowded in the summer. The earlier you can get started on a hike, the better.

Unlike other parks, there is a small fee for the junior ranger program at Yellowstone. The park also has, also for a small fee, a junior scientist program. The programs vary in different parts of the park. For example, at Old Faithful visitor center, the programs focus more on thermal features. Keep an eye on the park bulletin for ranger programs, many of them geared for kids.

Unlike other parks, there is a small fee for the junior ranger program at Yellowstone. The park also has, also for a small fee, a junior scientist program. The programs vary in different parts of the park. For example, at Old Faithful visitor center, the programs focus more on thermal features. Keep an eye on the park bulletin for ranger programs, many of them geared for kids.

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