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Thread: Any Tips About Yellowstone National Park?

  1. #1
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Portland, Maine

    Any Tips About Yellowstone National Park?

    I'm planning on going to Yellowstone National Park in Mid June of 2012 as part of a western swing through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. I'm planning to camp for a couple of nights at Yellowstone National Park. Anyone have any tips on this? What is the best campground for motorcycles and other don't miss things for such a short stay? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Don

  2. #2
    To have fun riding in the park, be awake at first light and riding soon thereafter. You will beat most of the motorhomes by three hours or more and can ride without the clogs.

    Then pick a spot or handful of close-by spots to hole up, sight see, hike, etc, while traffic screws up the park. Sneak back to camp later, expecting to slog along with frequent stops and wildlife clogs.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  3. #3
    Registered User rkoreis's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Orting, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Beemeup View Post
    What is the best campground for motorcycles and other don't miss things for such a short stay?
    I don't know that there is a "best" campground for motorcycles. One possibility if you pack quick and light is to spend your two nights in different campgrounds. Yellowstone is huge. As Paul said, start early. You'll see more wildlife and deal with fewer humans. Poke around on the NPS site and look at the better guidebooks. The only absolute can't miss is going to the Old Faithful Inn and the geyser, IMHO, YMMV. If you want to let people know you are okay, stand in front of the webcam and wave. There are also some nice short hikes along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

    My last trip through we had two nights, entering from the east. First night was at Canyon Village, the second at Madison. Our route hit what we wanted to see the most, My wife and her daughter never having been there. One bonus to Madison is that it's a short walk to a very relaxing geyser fed river. It's a nice soak at the end of the day.

    Don't worry about missing anything. It's all pretty incredible. Just enjoy the moment wherever you are and assume that you will return for another visit.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Oct 2009
    Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
    Not sure if just a couple of nights will do justice to Yellowstone NP. Some of the smaller campsites (i.e. Slough Creek/Pebble Creek) might be better for motorcycle camping than the larger campgrounds. You may want to think about a trip over the Beartooth Highway outside the Northeast Entrance (if it is cleared of snow) if you are in the area. A great reference is Yellowstone Treasures 3rd Edition by Janet Chapple. It's worth the $25.00 prior to visiting the park. Keep your camera handy. Be ready for any weather.

  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Plan on spending a week there and it still will not be enough.

    Along Paul's advice, I too my 3 boys out west for a month in '94, and we stayed on Eastern time the entire trip.

    That did several things, we were up at dawn, while others were still sleeping, we at lunch at noon EDT, which was when the rest were hitting the road, we were back out when others were stopping for lunch, and we looked for our nightly stay 2 hours before most, making it easy to find a place. in the tent at dark, and repeat.

    It really let us see much more without the crowds, and early morning hours are magical.

  6. #6
    The wife and I camped at Grant Village along Yellowstone Lake. We spent three nights camping and were able to access all areas of the park from there. Only thing is you have to make a reservation there even to tent camp. We did have a great site. I asked for and got a site next to one of the restrooms with a nice sunny exposure. There are nice restaurants, camp store, gas station, coin op bath houses and laundry. Grant Village campground did not open until June 21st this year due to the large amount of snow. The campground still had up to 4' of snow in places when we arrived. Other campgrounds in the park opened earlier than Grant Village but we did not have any problems with traffic during our visit. As others said, leave early and enjoy the sites before the bison peepers arrive. If you have time, spend a day or so in Grand Teton NP also. The view of the Tetons from Colter Bay Village is fantastic.

  7. #7
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    New Braunfels,Texas/Taichung, Taiwan
    I've been there twice and camped in Pebble creek area; its good jumping off place to Beartooth hwy. and Red lodge. Take the time and take the trip. This last trip was July 2011 and it was still very cold so prepare for that and the Beartooth was snowed in also, so I couldn't make the ride this time. Also, take some good bear spray with you. I saw more grizzlies this time than ever before. Three people killed in or near Yellowstone this year, none of them had bear spray. You can also carry a concealed firearm in the National Parks now, that is if you have carry permit. If you do that make sure you carry a 45 or 44mag if you want to stop a bear. But, spray first, that should stop them. You know not to keep food in your tent or bike at night, put it in the bear safe lockers near the camping area you are at. Oh, also take a good wide brim hat and water canteen to watch ole faithful...even in the cool weather the sun will burn you up sitting out there waiting for it to blow. Now, I don't know what you are riding but plan for the unexpected. My friend, riding my r1150rs this past July to Yellowstone broke down. Quick fuel disconnect (made out of plastic)...broke...cost $300. to get hauled back to Jackson Wy. then $10. for parts a Napa to fix it. Keep the bear spray in your tent at night, like taped to your hand. Have fun!
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco , 180cc Kymco Racing King
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  8. #8
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    SE Michigan
    Great place to spend a few days to a week. I prefer visiting in the fall when the summer crowds are gone and it's a bit easier to get around on the park roads.

    Be sure you're familiar with the campground regulations before you go. They are very restrictive on what you can do. For instance, you can't leave towels out to dry. Even water bottles could not be left on the picnic table. Any item that might attract a bear has to be properly stored, and that generally does not mean in your tent. After a few days at Madison Junction we moved to a commercial campground in West Yellowstone where we could relax for a few days.

  9. #9
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Southern Tier of New York
    Last time I was there, I stayed in a motel in West Yellowstone. The town was full of bikers. Maybe they preferred motels over tents because of bears?

    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    If you want to stay at the lodges and didn't plan 6 months in advance for a reservation.. a trick I learned last summer (applied to all the national parks we stayed in..)

    Call the reservations service after noon on the day before you want to stay. There were always cancellations. That got us a second day in Bryce Canyon national park, and two nights in Old Faithful Inn. The cost is the regular seasonal cost.

    Don't tell anyone else.. we gotta keep this a secret..
    Don Eilenberger
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  11. #11
    I would recommend getting one of the Cabins by the Lake Lodge. You can park your bike right in front of the cabin. They have heaters and showers and beds. We were there in mid June and got about 4 inches of snow. That was a few years ago.
    Last year you needed a snow shovel to clear a spot for a tent and that was June 19,20,21.
    I would have an alternate plan and make a reservation as soon as the reservation number is taking reservations. You can always cancel.

    The lodges are not to be missed. I was amazed by Old Faithful Lodge. Treat yourself to a nice dinner at one of the Lodges..... how often are you going to be there anyway? The wildlife is just amazing there, we saw a couple grizzleys, bull moose, lots of bison and elk, deer, coyotes etc etc

  12. #12
    Be sure and drive the speed limit. the rangers all have radar and spend most of their time hiding in the trees. I never got stopped or a ticket but you'd think they would have something better to do. I wasn't as impressed as the rest of the replies and most likely will never go back. I did like the Bear Tooth Pass although in the first town on the other side the fire department was stopping everyone trying to extort money. We bought some food as part of their fund riser and still were asked to donate more on our way out of town. I thought it was in bad taste.

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