a VirtualTourist member from Burbank asked on Feb 27, 2009
I am planning to stay at Gardiner 3-4 days. I want to go to Hayden Valley and North Entrance. Are they far apart? What will be a best place to stay few days to cover these places? What are the must see places in Yellow Stone? Is Grand Teton National Park a must see place after we see Yellow Stone?
The Hayden Valley isn't too far from the North Entrance, at least not by Yellowstone standards. But maybe you should split your trip up and spend a couple of nights in the southern part of the park, or even Jackson. (Yes, Grand Teton is a must-see.)
The park road is a figure 8. You should cover the entire road, with maybe the exception of the east-west connector in the middle. The Lamar Valley (eastern side) is beautiful and is a good place for wildlife sighting and has some nice geothermal features and Lake Yellowstone. The western side has the most dramatic geyser basins. Hayden Valley is off to the northeast - good for you for wanting to go there. Lots of people miss it and it's really something.
This will involve much driving, but it will be on one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Check out this link - [original link] - there's lots of good advice. Check out the wildlife sighting forum for a week or two before you go. It helped me find bears, baby foxes and moose last time I went to the park.
When in Yellowstone, you should see Old Faithful geyser, as it is the most famous of all the geysers. It is a nice one, but I have to say there are a few I like better. Beehive Geyser is my favorite in the park. It is located in the Old Faithful area, but unfortunately this geyser can be dormant for long periods. Check at the Old Faithful Visitor Center, to see if there is a prediction on when it may erupt.
Be sure to go inside the old log lodge at Old Faithful, it is the most outstanding log structure I have ever seen.
The Yellowstone Canyon, with its wonderful waterfalls, is a MUST see. The Lower Falls drops 308 feet, and is one of the highlights of the park, so don’t miss it. All of the look out points of the canyon and falls are nice, but Artists Point is my favorite look out point, and a must see view. Inspiration Point is also one of my favorites.
Our favorite wildlife viewing area is Lamar Valley, which is the northern most road that runs from Mammoth to the Northeast Entrance. And of course, when I say this is our favorite place, this only means we have had the best luck there, not that we always see large herds, wolves, or bears. No specific place in the park is a guarantee viewing spot.
Check this interactive map for a look at the park road, which is a loop of 142 miles in size to see where things are located:
As far as the Tetons go, this mountain range for me is the most scenic that I have seen in this country, and I have seen a lot of mountains. If you love mountain views, it is worth your trip down there to at least take a look. Spend most of your town in Yellowstone, however.
Since I live about 50 miles from the east gate of Yellowstone, I have loads of information about Yellowstone on my VT pages.
You can check out my Yellowstone pages at:
[original VT link]