July, 2015: I had been dreaming of a return visit to Yellowstone since my brief trip through here in 2003 when on my way back from Alaska. Three days was most definitely not enough back then, but I saw enough to become totally fascinated with the primitive feel of the land – being able to watch spouting geysers and steaming pools of incredibly colored water – like getting a glimpse into the inner workings of the earth. But circumstances did not allow me to plan a return for 12 years and this time I planned an entire month, dividing my summer between Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier.
Although the map gives estimated travel times between areas (based on the maximum 45 mph speed limit), there really is no way to tell how long it will take.
Traffic in July was incredible, and if an animal is seen anywhere from the road, expect that people will stop in the middle of the road to gawk, even if there are pulloffs available.
Trip Planner Brochure (2015)
Campgrounds – I had heard that it was possible to get into all of the campgrounds within the park (except Fishing Bridge – the only one with full hookups) since not all of the sites were reservable, but this turned out to be false. All sites in all campgrounds suitable for my size motorhome (35′) are reservable (except Mammoth Hot Springs). The first time I went to Mammoth in my car, there was so much road construction with the roads in washboard shape, I knew I didn’t want to take the motorhome that way. Both times that I passed by there, the “Full” sign was up for the campground anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t chance it.
Despite some challenges (including cracked RV and car windshields that needed replacement – see “Yellowstone Doesn’t Like Me“), I was able to see all of the major attractions in all the different sections, so stay tuned. I’ll be posting pics of all the campgrounds and thermal areas, along with great shots I got of bison, elk and grizzlies (always the most exciting attractions)!