Six of one, half-dozen of another

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Posted by Rick ( on 06:38:39 03/23/14

In Reply to: What Entrance Is the Best to Stay posted by Kammy

The dilemma here is that each of the border towns are a LONG way from some parts of the park. So it really depends on what your biggest priorities are as far as seeing and doing things.

My favorite of the entrances is the Northeast (Silvergate or Cooke City), and it's great for the Lamar Valley, pretty good for the Canyon area (as close as any of the towns are to Canyon, anyway), and not too far from Mammoth Hot Springs. It's a LONG way from the Northeast Entrance to the Lake area, though, and even farther to the geyser basins around Old Faithful. On the other hand, my LEAST favorite town, West Yellowstone, is easily the best for the Old Faithful area, not too far from Mammoth, and as close as anything is to Lake--but a long way from Canyon and even farther from the Lamar.

The best compromise town might be Gardiner at the North Entrance. It's right beside Mammoth, with Old Faithful not too far to the south and the Lamar off to the east. Long way to Canyon, though, and a long long way from the Lake.

If I'm understanding your itinerary right, it sounds like you are staying four nights (arrive one day and night, three full nights, and then leaving). I would personally recommend splitting it into two nights at either Silvergate/Cooke City or Gardiner and two nights at West Yellowstone. Do the stuff in the north for a day or two (Lamar Valley, the Canyon, Mammoth) from the first base, then make your way to West Yellowstone for the last day or two and spend the time visiting the geyser basins and the Lake. That would cut down on some of the longer drives just to get across the park and still let you visit each of the major areas.

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