Visiting Yellowstone National Park is a daunting exercise for sure! With roads that are closed to automobiles from November until April every year, you have a very short window of time to tackle what is a huge park. According to facts gathered at Bearman’s Yellowstone Outdoor Adventure (1), we’re talking “3,472 square miles,” or what amounts to 54 miles east to west and 63 miles north to south. Of course the only real way to do that is in the air. With peaks as high as 11,358 feet “Eagle Peak,” and the lowest point “Reese Creek” being 5,282 feet, you are dealing with some daunting terrain.
Camping at Yellowstone (2) is really up to what the individual wants their experience to be. There are suites at Yellowstone which are fully decked out (or, I guess, as decked out as one could expect in the middle of a national park) there are smaller rooms in hotels and inns, there are cabins, there are RV parks if you want to bring your own and there are campgrounds for those who just want to bring their backpack and their tent. If you’re looking for the best deal and you’re comfortable using community sinks and showers, then most of the campgrounds range between ten and twenty dollars a night. And you can’t beat that!
Dining in Yellowstone (3) is another thing entirely. Most people who go to Yellowstone make a whole thing of it. They may be staying for a week or they may be staying for longer. That said you still need to eat. There are “restaurants, cafeterias, and/or fast-food grills at, or nearby all of the park hotels.” But your choices are what they are; you basically are a slave to whatever happens to be in the area. One solution to this would be to load up some sandwiches and instant food items, fruit, non-perishable other snack foods like granola bars are all good ideas. There are also groceries around the park when the park is open. If you come too soon or too late in the season, many of the restaurants can’t afford to stay open so that’s something you need to prepare for as well. And always, always carry plenty of water; either bottled or in a thermal cooler.
Yellowstone National Park has wolves and bears. Bears especially are blood thirsty predators. There are some circles that hold to the fact that women menstruating are more susceptible to attacks by bears. Bearman’s (4) doesn’t take an official stand, merely presents the information. The fact that the studies are inconclusive and yet the Bearman people included it leads me to believe that they believe there is a danger.
Yellowstone National Park is something which everyone should see sometime in their lives. Take a week, take a month, take your family, take your friends, take some supplies, and get out there!