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Suggestions for visiting Yellowstone and More

Hi Everyone!

I am looking for any advice for three days in Yellowstone, one day in Badlands, and one day in Cuyahoga.  I will be camping in Canyon Campground in Yellowstone and am most excited.  Any and all words of wisdom are appreciated.  Also if there is any must have gear you reccomend.

Thanks in Advance!

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4 Replies

@Yessica tagging a few community members who we know have visited Yellowstone to see if they can weigh in - @SolaceEasy @Diesseldorf @speakingquitefrankly

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Bear spray is a must and don't store any food in your tent.  There will be significant signage about this, but take it seriously.  Hit up mammoth hot springs and definitely bring a swimsuit to do boiling river (this is the only thermal feature you are allowed to go in).  Prismatic springs and old faithful will be crowded, but worth doing if you have never been.  Remember you cannot take shed antlers out of the park.  Leave them alone if you find them on the trails.  You will want some colder weather clothes or nice sleeping bag at night because it can still get quite cold, even below freezing after dark depending on when you are going.  The lake and the canyon are also pretty cool, but lower on my list than the thermal features.  Hope you have fun!

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Hi, thanks for tagging me in. Sounds really fun!

Your first priority is ensuring you have camping reservations. You mentioned where you plan to camp- I would recommend getting a reservation in advance if possible- or super early. They will be full. 

Next, plan for LONG drives. Yellowstones roads are a figure 8 but one section of it has been under construction every time I have been. Plan your day carefully and anticipate 3-4 hours in the car or more. Bring snacks, water, bathroom essentials, etc. 

Bear spray was mentioned. The park service and crowds should keep most of the bears away from you as long as you follow all park guidelines, but you will still want spray and know how to use it at all times.

At yellowstone you are rarely more than a 15 minute walk from your car, so it is a very beginner-level park. Most of the magic of yellowstone are the things you happen across. You may be driving to one destination and get a bear-jam (a traffic jam caused by a bear crossing the road) stop and enjoy the bear for a bit. Be flexible. 

You can really get the gist of Badlands in a day there are two or three main hikes all from the same parking lot. I did the longest one (forgot the name) but really unless you're looking for bighorn sheep, you get the same type of views on the shorter trails, just more people.

There are so many great things to see in this area. I would recommend making a stop to the Black Hills and visiting Mt. Rushmore if you can. This nation does such a wonderful job with its National Parks and American history is something each of us should learn, learn from and cherish.



@Yessica I should add that I have one rule for giving travel tips: you have to let me live through you. Please come back and let us know some of the highlights and things you learned on your trip. Maybe a photo or two!

Share here or send me a message on instagram under the same name @speakingquitefrankly 


So excited to see where you go!