Soon, the busy summer tourist season will be over in Yellowstone National Park. If you are interested in enjoying one of the world’s most unique geological wonders without the traffic, and crowds, it is time to start planning a trip.
Fall in Yellowstone is a very special time with light frosts on chilly nights, and pleasant warm days where you can breathe in the earthy scents of the Park. Bugling Elk, roaming herds of Buffalo, and lazy days spent touring the spectacular thermal features make fall one of the best times to visit Yellowstone.
Normally, you have to make a reservation at one of the five major campgrounds well in advance of arrival. After Labor Day you probably will not need a reservation, but it is wise to call ahead.
There are five major reservation only campgrounds: Bridge Bay, Canyon, Fishing Bridge RV Park, Grant Village, and Madison campgrounds. The first-come, first served campgrounds will be far more accessible after Labor Day and include: Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Mammoth, Norris, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, and Tower Fall campsites.
While in Yellowstone National Park, you will be inside the caldera of the largest active volcano in the world. There are more thermal features in Yellowstone than the rest of the world combined. There are over 15 miles of boardwalk for visitors to keep them safe from the dangerous thermal sites, and to minimize the inevitable human damage caused to the area. The park is a singularly impressive place and most of it resides above 7,500 feet elevation.
Wildlife viewing is superb to say the least with buffalo, elk, and black-tail deer sightings a common occurrence. Moose, bear, coyote, and wolves are spotted less frequently. We enjoyed filming a giant moose scraping the felt from his antlers late one evening near the south entrance of Yellowstone.
Hiking, camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and touring the spectacular thermal features are a few of the many things to enjoy in Yellowstone. The beauty of the landscape is breathtaking and the clean smell of sage permeates the clear air.
One of the unadvertised features of Yellowstone is the night sky. A few of us old-timers remember the rich texture of the night sky from our youth. Reflected light effectively blocks clear viewing of the night sky in much of the United States, but at night in Yellowstone, the stars are displayed in their full majesty in the rich, dark sky.