Yellowstone National Park is a pretty romantic spot; a perfect place for the long dating, soon-to-be-much-more couple to go off, hit the rapids, scale the mountains, and pop the big one. While those erstwhile days may squeeze your heart with longing, there still is a way for the burgeoning family to enjoy Yellowstone National Park. Consider the following tips for the whole family to get the most out of your Yellowstone Vacation experience.
Know Your Limits: While the only age limit restrictions which can be found about Yellowstone involve kids under the age of 12 years old and fly fishing (1) there does need to be a shred of reason, even for the most liberated mountain man among us. That is, you can’t make a four month old love the wilderness the same way a forty year old will. chances are if you bring very small children to Yellowstone National Park, they will be whining and getting bit by mosquitoes and probably cold at night and hungry and have to go to the bathroom and want to watch TV and all that. You know your child better than anyone but you should know your limits when it comes to how young will be able to get something from the Yellowstone National Park experience.
Keep it Short: Yellowstone National Park is 8,987 square miles, its highest peak is over 11,000 feet, the whole of the park is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware and combined, according to facts culled from Yellowstone.net (2). There are serious marksmen shooting things, there are people with ATV’s, there are people with fishing rods, there are people who are there trying to have a good time. You and your family should have a good time when visiting Yellowstone National Park too. But do yourself a favor and keep your family’s trip short the first time. taking kids out of their Internet obsessed, always connected online world and into the wilderness will be something of a culture shock. Prepare your family well and don’t turn it into too much of a production.
Do Things Everyone Will Enjoy: While you and your son may just want to set a trap for a wolverine or bobcat and watch until one crosses its path that may not be the best time for your wife and three daughters. There are waterfalls, there are mountains, there is Old Faithful geyser and there are plenty of things your whole family may enjoy doing which could put you all on foot to having a good time while visiting Yellowstone. And the wolverine will still be there when you get back.
Yellowstone National Park is a great place to visit for the whole entire family. If you plan well, keep it brief, and make sure your kids are ready before you go and have a disastrous time, you will have all kinds of wonderful memories to share and Yellowstone could become a regular family destination.
NOTE: The trapping of wolverines was used strictly for illustrative purposes. Please check Yellowstone Parks rules for hunting, trapping, fishing, and the like before visiting.