Yellowstone Nat’l Park, Part I

There seems to be something so Americana about taking a family trip to Yellowstone. A road trip, with two kids, all our camping gear and heading to Wyoming. We settled on this idea a year ago, and made the actual reservations 6 months in advance of our stay. Depending on what accommodations you are looking for, 6 months out is a good marker.

Yellowstone is about a 9 hour drive, if you take the East entrance. We opted to split this into two days driving, staying in Casper, WY the first night. This gave us more time to set up our campsite the next day, and not arrive grumpy or in the dark.

Passing Yellowstone Lake on our way to Canyon.

Passing Yellowstone Lake on our way to Canyon.

We’ve never been to Yellowstone before, so we were unsure what campground we wanted. We decided on Canyon, because it was kind of center of the park, and equal distance for us, and my mom and her husband Gary, driving down from Canada. The campground had all the amenities I require (flush toilets) and with the Canyon Village so close, it was practically glamping.

I’m not exaggerating- we may have had the best site in the campground. We had a water pump right at our site, the bathrooms were over the hill from us, and we had a ton of space between us and the next site. This gave the boys a lot of freedom to play, run, and explore.

Miles shows off our campsite.

Miles shows off our campsite.

My mom and Gary stayed at Canyon Village, in one of the cabins. The sparse rooms offered beds and a bathroom. They loved coming to visit us, hang out by the fire, and eat fire cooked food. I can’t say what the other rooms looked like.

The boys and I went to the ranger talk that night, which was about bears. The talk was very educational, but did not allow for interaction, which disappointed Elijah. Still he learned a lot. Miles got bored early, so we headed back, leaving Elijah to come later with Gramma.

Our first full day there I planned to hike. The 6 of us drove to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. It is a short drive from Canyon. We hiked Brink of Lower Falls, which was a little steep, but everyone was able to do it. There are a lot of places to stop to take pictures and rest. Following that hike, Mom and Gary decided to drive to Brink of Upper Falls, and we would meet there. Our brood of four hiked there, seeing small waterfalls and a deer along the way. Once we were all reunited, the six of us headed down the fully paved, short descent to Brink of Upper Falls. After this, we pawned the kids off on the grandparents, to take them back to camp, while Geoff and I hiked back to our car at Lower Falls. Amazingly, that hike was quieter. 🙂

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, from Lower Falls

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, from Lower Falls

After lunch, Geoff and I went to the Village to see what was there. A lot of shops, selling EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you could need. It was crazy. We also checked out all the dining options, because we knew we wanted to eat breakfast there our last morning, to make the packing up of the campsite go faster. I was able to procure some souvenirs and mail off some postcards (they have a post office there!).

The rest of the day was chilling. Playing games, and just enjoying being in Yellowstone. As luck would have it, one of my friends from Denver was also camping Yellowstone the same dates as us, so her family joined us for running around and s’more making. This is just what my kids loved, having friends around, even new friends.

Tomorrow’s post, what we did with our last full day in Yellowstone.

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