This would probably be my last holiday in the USA until I get back...… (Fingers crossed that I do get back to this country...moist eyes).
Few friends and I planned to visit Yellowstone National Park during the Labor Weekend of 2017. It was one of the best trips and yes I say this every time I go on a holiday but this one will remain close to my heart, I guess :p.
Normally, my holidays will be planned last minute but this one we all planned 3 months in advance. The entire trip for 5 days cost me about $600-650 including the flight. Perks of traveling with friends = “you share” :p
If you are a person:-
1. who loves to hike;
2. can afford "no phone network coverage" during holidays then Yellowstone is for you;
3. Looking for an affordable trip to Yellowstone; then you have come to the right place :D
P.S- Please carry route maps with you since finding coverage in your phone will be an issue.
All of us landed in Salt Lake City, Utah on 31st August’2017. Post landing, we immediately got our rental from Fox Rental and started our journey towards Bonneville Salt Flats. At about midnight, we reached Super 8 Wendover. Yes, my friends and I are the ones who wouldn’t spend luxuriously after a hotel, especially if we just have to sleep on a bed for a night.
Remember:- It is in your best interest to reach Salt Flats the night/day you land in Salt Lake City instead of spending the night in SLC and driving to the Flats next day.
After about clicking some bazillion pictures at Salt Flats, we drove back to Salt Lake City to grab lunch and to do some Walmart shopping. You will know later in this post, what and why we shopped at Walmart.
Later that noon, we started our drive to Teton National Park (about 9-10 mins drive from Yellowstone National Park). During the course of our drive, we stopped at breathtaking spots in order to admire the beauty of nature….nah, just kidding…in order to click pictures, lol lol!!
At about 10 in the night, we reached Teton and stayed at The Hostel. The idea behind staying a night in Teton was because it was difficult to drive through Yellowstone during the night. In fact, locals say it is not advisable to drive through the park during the night because of bisons and grizzly bears.
On September 2nd’2017, after a good heavy breakfast, we left for Yellowstone National Park…..woot-woot. There is a minimal fee you pay before entering the park. The park has 4 entrances and for that night we had our bookings right outside East Entrance in Cody, WY. Along the way, we stopped at different locations in order to devour the beauty. The major attraction on that day was the Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. See below.
That night we stayed at Peheske Tepee Resort. Such a cozy cute resort in the middle of the forest. Loved my stay here.
On September 3rd, we drove towards west and south entrance to cover other spots such Lamar Valley, Mud Vulcano, etc. Look at those bisons .....
This night we camped. We had reserved a spot on a campground. Yes, the Walmart trip in Salt Lake City was to buy food, supplies and most importantly comforters in order to survive the cold in the night. We did not have to invest behind camp tents since my friends had already got that. The camping night included some bonfire, some whiskey, and loads of memories. The campgrounds have facility of restrooms and showers :)
On September 4th, we finished Lower and Upper Falls hiked to Grand Prismatic Spring and left for Salt Lake City. Have a look at the Falls (heart eyes).
About 11 in the night we arrived at Salt Lake where we had booked Airbnb. All good things must come to end and therefore next day we flew back to our respective destinations (sigh).
A lot of people say that you need 6-7 days alone for Yellowstone National Park if you actually want to cover each and every place but 3 days are enough to cover major places at the park. We covered all the major attractions in 2.5 days. Started our day way early, though :)
The night stays at all the places mentioned above hardly cost me anything. If I combine then it would have cost me some $150 for all days. This is also because I went with 5 other friends.
Try renting an SUV or full-size car as compared to a Sedan. Drive will be more comfortable and will save you from grizzly attacks as well :p
Take a lot of sunscreen if you are sensitive to sunburns!! I still have sunburns on my arms :(
Weather in September is unpredictable. Carry summer as well as winter clothes.
Please please buy 3-4 comforters or carry 3-4 comforters if you are planning to camp in the Park, especially during the time of September. The weather in the night is freezing as compared to the daytime. I was so smart that I did not get any comforters that I ended up sleeping in the car (LMFAO).
Lastly, ENJOY THE TRIP :)
-Esquire (you can direct message me on Instagram if you need more details on the trip- Happy to Help)