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I have been to Yellowstone 4 times but all times from Oregon. It was always a pleasant drive. One can spend two days and see a lot but miss a lot too. It really depends on how much you want from your visit. If you want the most from your visit, 4 - 5 days would not be too much. It can get very hot and high altitude can make an extended stay uncomfortable, especially for kids.

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The gysers are interesting and there is a lot of variety but can get old fast. Many are not active during your visit. Right place at the right time.


Make sure you have good insurance on rental car. Hot one minute and golf ball size hail storm the next. Car will look like some one hit it a hundred times with a ball teen hammer.

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If you make it to Yellowstone, don't think for a minute that the animals are tame.  I've seen people do the stupidest things. One gentleman with his camera got within 3 feet of the head of a grazing bull elk. They try to keep the bears away from humans but on a rare occasion you might see one, keep your distance.  The bison/buffalo are cantankerous, don't trust them for a second. If they are grazing close to where you need to walk, be aware that they can loose their temper at the drop of a hat.  They are everywhere and it is easy to let your guard down but give them space, always have an exit plan. There is a bridge at the north end of the Yellowstone lake leading to the East entrance. People fish off that bridge and mistakenly think that when a bear comes along, being on the other side of the bridge is safe enough. It is not, you cannot out run a grizzly or black bear.




Edited by rocket
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To answer a few of your questions.. the drive from SF to the west Yellowstone entrance is fairly easy and takes about 19 hours. If you map it don't go thru Salt Lake, go through Wells NV. I've driven it over 20 times. Drove to Montana when I lived in Cali and drove to Cali when I lived in MT. As far flights costs go... the smaller the city the more it costs to fly there. Denver to SF is way less than Billings to SF and so on.... Try Google Flights then tell it to also choose choose close by alternative cities. SF to Bozeman or Boise or Billings and then rent a car. For car rental try Tero (Google it)where you are actually renting from the car owner. Yellowstone is HUGE so plan on at least two days or even 3 to 4. Have fun!

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1 hour ago, Dove said:

That reminds me of when we visited Texas; the tour bus driver said the only people that ever wear cowboy boots and hats there are the tourists....😁

Not in Montana... CW boots on the stage is common. CW hats, yup. Spurs? Only on Sunday.

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This is a repeat but it seems appropriate to tell it again.

Brother _____ served as as a DO in Texas, he was from the NE part of the country. He had served us in N California as his first assignment as a CO, we became good friends. He was talking to me about how the brothers are quite different in different parts of the country. He became a DO and one of his first assignments included part of Texas. During a pre-assemby meeting one of the local brothers asked if he would approve cowboy boots on the platform. Brother _____ said he looked around and decided that either he would have to do all the parts or allow cowboy boots on the platform. Done deal, he didn't do all the parts.:D

Edited by Old
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