West Yellowstone, Montana – Take Two

June 2017

Yellowstone is the natural next destination after the Tetons, considering the two parks essentially butt up against each other. Being people that love doing what others do (if you believe that…), we headed to the West Yellowstone area.

Targhee Creek Trailhead

Because we were so early in the season, many of the Forest Service roads in the immediate West Yellowstone area were closed, which means boondocking opportunities were limited. Therefore we ended up staying at Targhee Creek Trailhead, which is actually in Idaho.

Quick geography lesson. We were staying in Idaho. The town of West Yellowstone is in Montana. Yellowstone National Park (or the vast majority of it) is in Wyoming. So when we visited Yellowstone National Park, in a span of the 15 miles it takes to get to the west park entrance from where we were staying, we touched 3 states.

Targhee Creek Trailhead has an upper section (where the actual trailhead is) and a lower section (which is right on the creek). Our first week staying here had us at the lower section, right next to the snow melt swollen creek.

During our stay down ‘in the hole’, we ended up camping with 4 other rigs (for a total of 6 RVs) in an area that was pretty tight. Fortunately we knew all the other rigs, so we had a little compound going on.

After 7 nights down by the creek, we relocated up next to the trailhead, which gave us an actual view and better cell service. It also was right by where people parked during the day to go hiking, and where overnighters camped (often coming in late at night). By the time our second week was up, I was beyond ready to move.

During our stay ‘up above’ we were joined for a few nights by yet another friend (yes, it was a very social beginning of the season).

Yellowstone National Park

I’d been to Yellowstone before, as had Kelly. Even though Yellowstone is a crazy busy National Park, we figured we had better go inside at least once while we were there. So one morning 5 of us loaded into my Jeep and headed into the park, to deal with the masses. Ugh. That was ‘fun’.

It didn’t take long before we were in the typical Yellowstone traffic jam. We did cover a lot of ground, but spent most of the time in the car. I definitely saw a lot more of the ‘features’ of Yellowstone my first time around, and I wasn’t disappointed we chose to not fighting the crowds this time.

Yellowstone, you might be a great place, but you bring the masses. Maybe next time I’ll visit you in the dead of winter.

2 thoughts on “West Yellowstone, Montana – Take Two

  1. Next time, try getting up and out at first light. You will have the park to yourself for at least a few hours. And the light is awesome for photography!

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    • Yep! That’s what I did two years ago when I first visited the park. Crack of dawn is DEFINITELY the time to go and get out by 11. If it was just Kelly and I this time around, that’s how we would’ve done it. But the others we went with weren’t, um, morning people. 😆

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