We last visited Yellowstone in 2000, and we looked towards this vacation with great anticipation. Would we see all the great wildlife we saw on the last trip? Would the areas burned by forrest fire of 1988 look different? Would traveling with our diabetic dog work out ok? Would vacationing with relatives work out? (just kidding…we vacationed with the Russell’s last year and knew it would be great) 🙂 2000 was also the last time I had taken 2 whole weeks for a vacation….lots to look forward to!
Our trip to West Yellowstone, where we would base our trip, worked out great. We drove over the Sierra Nevada range the first night and through Nevada the second day before passing into Idaho. We enjoyed some of the history of the route, including the Oregon Trail stop along the Snake River Plain. We also enjoyed pretending we were in Hawaii when we stopped at a Lava flow covering 222 square miles….an oozing flow, just like on the Big Island! It happened only 4,000 years ago….a mere blink of the eye, geologically speaking.
We also enjoyed arriving early and spending the day in Idaho Falls. It is an ideal small town, with a nice downtown bisected by a river with parks along both sides. Really picture perfect, as you can see.
Arriving in West Yellowstone, we checked into Grizzly RV Park, a great place stay, and joined up with Debbie’s sister and husband (and their 5 chihuahuas!). Mike and I got up early each day for a morning walk all through the town…great way to start each day!
Each day, we’d plan a different day trip into the park. First, the Mammoth Hot Springs area, then the Lower Geyer Basin around Old Faithful Inn, and then Yellowstone Lake the Grand Canyons of the Yellowstone. We also spent a day in West Yellowstone, shopping and eating our way through the town. We especially enjoyed the Huckleberry Ice Cream!
The Grizzly Bear and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone is a must see. This is a non-profit organization and all the animals have been rescued. The program rotates the animals into the habitat throughout the day, and it is a great way to see Grizzlies and Wolves up close and personal. You will learn a lot and support a great organization.
Here are several photos from our trip, which I’ve loosely organized.
1) On the way to Yellowstone!
2) The base camp in West Yellowstone
3) Old Faithful Area
4) Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Area
Notice the perpetual rainbow created by the waterfall. This was taken at the end of Uncle Tom’s trail, which descends 500 steps down the cliff opposite the waterfall…
OK, this one was stuffed…but you get the idea…. 🙂
So…Would we see all the great wildlife we saw on the last trip? Yes and no. Last time we saw moose and grizzly in the wild. This time, we saw less wildlife overall, but really enjoyed the Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.
Would the areas burned by forrest fire of 1988 look different? You can still see where the fire was, but now there are millions of small trees growing.
Would traveling with our diabetic dog work out ok? It worked out fine since we took day trips and we were back in time each day to feed and give him an insulin shot.
Would vacationing with relatives work out? It was awesome…enjoyed the walks and company!
Now, on the part 2 of our vacation in the BWB…the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole!
I found your blog via IRV2, what did you do with your dog during the day? Thanks for sharing this is on our bucket list when we get our rv! We will also be traveling with a dog and have been wondering how it works out.
Angie, great question. Traveling with Charlie, our Corgi mix, is great, but we had to plan our trip a little differently to make sure we didn’t leave him alone in the RV for too long, and also had to be back to give him insulin shots on schedule.
We managed this in a few ways:
1) planning our day trips to be back in time to let him outside (about 5 to 6 hours max for us). The day trips from West Yellowstone worked ok for this, but we had to head back earlier than otherwise.
2) my wife stayed home one day so I could do some serious hiking with my brother in law.
3) Grizzly RV park in West Yellowstone had a dog walker that we worked with. For about $20 a day, she came and walked Charlie about 4 times each day. That gave us 12 hours to be gone between shots. She and her husband were great people and we felt comfortable giving them our key and letting them walk Charlie.
4) we didn’t try this, but most RV parks also keep lists of local kennels or individuals who will keep your dog for the day.
Anyway, I hope this helps and hope you are able to get an RV and enjoy traveling soon.
Thanks so much Al! Being that this is all new to us, we seen everything from you can’t ever leave your dog alone to some places allowing it. So it’s good to know that their are options, though I don’t think we’d ever kennel him. Thank you and your pictures are wonderful!