Yellowstone National Park visited April 22, 2017
Yellowstone was the first National Park we visited with our kids. They loved it so much and behaved so much better than they normally do on a vacation we decided to start visiting more, until our kids made the goal of visiting all 60 National Parks (US) We have returned to Yellowstone once more since our first trip. I will share details of where we went and what we did at all the National Parks we have visited since I think it is most helpful when planning your own trip. (please note some things change over time so I am always stating the date we visited) We drove to Yellowstone and here are our tips for road trips with kids.
Where we stayed
We stayed in West Yellowstone. They have tons of hotels right outside the park entrance. We stayed at the Holiday Inn at West Yellowstone the rooms were clean, staff was VERY helpful and it had an indoor pool for the kids. It was about a 5 min drive to the entrance of Yellowstone.
What we visited
While I 100% recommend visiting in the Spring as we did (we have also been in June and it was FAR busier) much of the park is still covered in snow so you won’t get the “full” experience but there is so much to see and do we filled 3 days and the park was limited, but hardly any people were there so huge bonus. Less people means that parking at every lot was possible, traffic runs smoothly so you make good time driving through the park.
Pictured above we did stop to visit old faithful. Honestly we can check the box but you wait quite a while to see it, and its less impressive than the other things in the park (in our opinions)
The MANY colorful pools in Yellowstone are amazing! They are stunning and quick and easy trails to walk along. Most are wooden boardwalk style trails. All short (like under a mile) and easy to do with kids of any age.
Grand Prismatic Spring
Much like old faithful the Grand Prismatic spring is one of the most famous places of Yellowstone. It has about all the colors of the rainbow and really is amazing to see.
The most squeals of joy and laughter we had during the whole trip was at the Excelsior Geyser. The cool air and the hot geyser water made for a steam so dense you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. The kids loved it so we just kept walking through until we were all drenched from the steam. *tip bring a rain poncho so you won’t be wet for the rest of the day
We also visited the grand canyon of yellowstone, which was very impressive. Then we made sure to stop off on every little trail along the drive that we could. We saw geysers about as impressive as old faithful all through out the park.
- If you go in the spring like we did, know that lodging, restaurants, and gas stations inside the park are not open yet so make sure you pack food, and have a full tank of gas (it is a lot of driving)
- Wear good shoes, not for hiking since it’s really just a lot of walking but it can get a little slippery in spots, and it is a lot of walking.
- For spring, and even summer bring jackets or sweatshirts. Some of the higher elevation spots still had snow in June and it can be chilly
- There is a lot of wildlife, we were stopped along the road several times and came across many while exploring. Make sure your kids know to stay far enough away to be safe.