Yellowstone National Park is a travel destination that seems to be on everyone’s travel bucket list, deservingly so. I was happy to mark it off of mine and am excited to share the highlights of what you can expect from a trip there with your family.
When I was a kid, I saw places like Yelllowstone National Park on telelvison and it seemed like it was so far away that it may as well have been located on another planet.
I never thought I would get the opportunity to travel there and knew very little about the park other than what I would hear from a sitcom or movie. Even then you would just see a flash of a beautiful place surrounded by trees and waterfalls, that kind of place almost didn’t seem like it could exist to a girl living in a small town in New Jersey.
When the park was mentioned, I took in bits and pieces but was not really absorbing anything I heard mainly because it seemed like there was no point.
Afterall visiting the park in person was certainly never going to happen for me and most of what you hear on television is made up anyway, so Yellowstone National Park remained an exciting mystery to me for years.
In June of 2017 my family took a trip to Central Colorado and after that trip, traveling a little further away from home didn’t seem so out of reach anymore. On the way home from that trip we took a different route than we had taken into Colorado and that allowed us to spend a little bit of time in Wyoming. We immediately decided that we wanted to see more and started planning a trip for when we had the time to travel again.
It was so exciting thinking about heading back out West and Yellowstone National Park was at the top of our places to visit. We planned this trip to give us a little bit of time in Montana as well so we were able to see what the “Big Sky Country” had to offer.
That’s the best way to travel in my opinion, seeing as many things as you can along the way. Who cares if you’re tired? You can sleep when you get home! Well, that is easy for me to say since my husband does all of the driving, I just sit back, eat snacks, and take pictures of all the cool things we stumble upon along the way.
I also grab brochures from everywhere we visit and try to read up on the history of each place. I also read and take pictures of all of the signs we come across then I fill my family in on the more interesting facts that I learn along the way. This is a great way to keep everyone’s interest and when someone asks a question about where we are, I can fill them in as if I didn’t just learn all of these facts minutes ago. I am kinda like a roadtrip Alex Trebek.
One of my pamphlets told me something interesting about Yellowstone National Park that I never knew before visiting.
I was really shocked to find out that Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first National Park.
It was founded in 1872 after early explorers stumbled upon the trip worthy geysers, gorgeous mineral ponds, abundant wildlife, and serene waterfalls.
That means that the 3,500 plus square mile wilderness known as Yellowstone National Park has been a destination for family travel for almost 150 years despite its location atop a volcanic hot spot and forest fires.
Even with all of the fires and volcanos, little has changed other than the addition of hotels, campgrounds, and more visitor-friendly stops along the way.
There are places to park your camper, cabins for rent, places to get some food, and so many little parking areas that make sight seeing simple.
Driving through Yellowstone you will see some fire-damaged areas but it still amazes me how dense the forest is there. There are many turn-offs along the roads where you can get a better view of things should you happen to come across wildlife or a waterfall that deserves a closer look.
We were hoping to see moose, elk, bison, and bears among other wildlife that we don’t usually see in Iowa.
While we didn’t get to see all of the animals on our list in their natural habitat, we were happy to spot the animals that we did.
While a lot of the animals are harder to spot it seems that no matter what time of day you head into the park, you have a great chance at spotting bison, which is really cool in my opinion.
A popular phrase we have heard from frequent visitors to the park seems to be that “there are so many bison there, eventually, you will get sick of them!”
Locals, amirite? I don’t know about being sick of bison after a trip to Yellowstone, people definitely, but not bison. In fact, I challenge you to put any amount of bison in front me and see if I ever get sick of seeing them. I just can’t see a time in my life where I am all maxed out on bison sightings.
That goes for most animals actually. I have seen about a million different deer and herds of cow but I still turn my head at record speed when someone points one out as I drive by. Which is why we traveled out to Wyoming and Montana in the first place, to get involved in nature and generally get to the top of some mountains. We wanted to get to experience Yellowstone National Park for ourselves, take in the sights, see a lot of animals, and check it off of our travel bucket list.
What’s on your travel bucket list? Have you been to Yellowstone National Park? Tell me all about it by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear your travel stories.