Wednesday 20 July 2011

10 best to do in Yellowstone in July (and 10 worst things)

Top 10 best things to do in Yellowstone in July
  1. Plan your day to include as little driving as possible.
  2. Take walks through flowering meadows and young conifer woods (there was a big fire here in 1989, so no old forest), passing blue ponds, streams and waterfalls.  Several trails start or end in geothermal areas which is a good way to see those.
  3. Find a bison to look at, but without getting too close.
  4. Play at scaring yourself that a bear is going to come and join in your picnic.
  5. Watch the squirrels, chipmunks and groundhogs beg pathetically to be allowed to join in your picnic and say very rude things to them while refusing.
  6. Stay at Mammoth Springs (it's much nicer than Old Faithful).
  7. See the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn, even though it involves putting up with the madhouse that is the Old Faithful area in July.
  8. See the Old Faithful geyser go off from the viewing platform of the Old Faithful Inn.
  9. Try out the cocktails in the bars or restaurants of the main park hotels.
  10. Have dinner in the restaurant of any of the main park hotels.
  11. Bonus game to play: see how many people you bump into from your state/country, or see if you can spot a license plate from every US state.

Top 10 worst things to do in Yellowstone in July

(disclaimer: #4 is not from personal experience!)
  1. Try to do drive and stop touring of the main geothermal areas, along with everyone else.
  2. Forget to take warm and waterproof clothing with you when going on walks.
  3. Get caught in a traffic jam caused by people trying to look at a bison.
  4. Have a bear come and join in your picnic for real.
  5. Have a chipmunk unexpectedly climb up your leg in its determination to beg some of your picnic.
  6. Set foot inside the Old Faithful visitor center.
  7. Look at the ridiculous assortment of hokey souvenirs in the park 'general stores'. 
  8. Let your hat (or other personal items, such as children) blow or fall off the boardwalk into the geothermal areas.
  9. Try to make picnics day after day from the pathetic and unhealthy assortment of ingredients in the park 'general stores'.
  10. Be in a hurry while trying to get seated and served in one of the park's restaurants.
  11. Bonus game to play: keep track of the most appalling instances of rudeness and arrogance you encounter from staff or from your fellow visitors and pin them in an album to tell your grandchildren.

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