As we near the close of this cycle of Blogging Through the Alphabet, we come to one of our favorite and most oft-visited national parks, Yellowstone. Living in the west provides us with all kinds of opportunities to visit National Parks in both Canada and the U.S. including the first one in each country, Banff National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
As regular readers of this blog will know our family loves to visit national parks on our road trips. Some of these parks we’ll visit once or twice since they are a far distance but others, like Yellowstone, are within a two-day drive so we can easily fit a fun visit into a week’s vacation.
A few years ago, in fact, we were on our way to Billings, Montana for a weekend visit when EJ picked up some brochures in the hotel lobby. He was looking through them during breakfast when suddenly announced, “Can we go here today?”
He was holding a brochure from Yellowstone that featured a picture of Old Faithful on the front and had a smile on his face that reached from ear to ear. How could I say no? So we changed our plans for the day and headed south for the park.
Arriving at the geyser we saw Old Faithful was predicted to erupt in about twenty minutes (give or take 10 minutes) so we quickly headed outside to find a good seat (there are metal seats surrounding one side of the geyser to accommodate folks waiting to see the show). I’ve been fortunate to view Old Faithful many times but the eruption of water and gases never fail to amaze me. No wonder the kids get so excited!
We’ve been back to Yellowstone a few times since this visit and EJ continues to enjoy taking pictures there including the wildlife. We have always made sure to caution him not to approach wildlife and are often shocked to see folks around us trying to get that certain selfie or picture with their phone. I too use my phone for pictures but for wildlife the best choice is a LONG zoom lens!
As with many of the most popular parks, Yellowstone is very busy during the summer so we prefer to make our visits in the spring or the fall to avoid at least some of crowds. Even trying to complete the junior ranger program in July or August can be difficult. Of course, if this is when your family can make a visit, I wouldn’t pass the opportunity pass by.
The National Parks Service now has a free app that can help in planning your Yellowstone visit. It predicts geyser eruptions, helps you make reservations, provides information about wildlife, and much more. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.
Over the years we’ve seen bison at the side of the road as well as further up in the hills plus some elk who live in the park. I know how excited we get at a wildlife sighting even though we have many of the same close to home. I simply can’t imagine the reaction of folks from places like Toronto or New York City when they catch their first sight of these magnificent beasts.
So there you have it, a little peek into our visits to Yellowstone National Park. An amazing place that I hope your families can visit and enjoy one day.
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- Kirsten @ DoodleMom Homeschool
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- Christine @ Lifes’s Special Necessities
- Yvonne @ The Life We Build
- Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
- Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane
- Lori @ At Home: where life happens
- Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
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