NOTE: This article is written in first-person as one of our writers’ experiences in Yellowstone National Park. This will include everything you need to know about Yellowstone National Park, including excursions and sightseeing, lodging/camping, weather and times to go, food, and other park facilities.
AN OVERVIEW OF YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK:
Lodging: 4 out of 5
My family stayed at Canyon Village Campground, while the rest of our party stayed at Canyon Lodge.
The campsite is very well kept. There is plenty of space to set up your tent, as well as ample privacy with the trees situated around your campsite. The bathrooms are amazingly clean. It’s probably almost as good as your bathroom back home!
And for the techies and phone-lovers out there, they have charging ports in the bathroom! (But service is not included… unless you have Verizon. Only Verizon has service in most areas of the park.) They also include a bear box for food storage and a fire pit for your campfire nights. The problem is, there are mosquitoes at this campsite. A lot of mosquitoes. So you need to be prepared with tons of bug spray because it appears that the bugs have built up some immunity to it. Another problem is that there is no hot water in the camp. So, simply boil water at your campsite for drinking and rushing. Otherwise, a great place to stay!
The lodging area is sprawling, covering multiple buildings and thousands of square feet. It has more than 500 rooms and cabins. The rooms are spacious and have a fully stocked bathroom. It is “one of the most civilized places in Yellowstone.” Canyon Lodge has a Lounge area on the bottom floor, and its rooms are located above. They have a multitude of types of rooms that are tailored to your needs. They have internet available as well, for a price of $24.95 for 3 days. It’s actually a quite impressive place for a national park lodge. The only complaint I have is that the prices are sky-high, over $350 a night!
Overall: Campsites at Yellowstone National Park are well kept and worth your stay. Go for a campsite!
Weather: 5 out of 5 (in the summer)
Our party went to Yellowstone National Park in the summer. It is open all 4 seasons, although the popular times to go are during the summer and winter.
Summer: The weather is awesome during the summertime. Warm afternoons and cool mornings and evenings make it ideal for venturing and sightseeing. Many animals are there to see in the park during the summer when the grass is green, such as bison, elk, and bear. All roads of the park are open at this time, and summer allows a more comprehensive experience of the park. But be prepared for some chilly nights, because it is, after all, in cold and windy Wyoming. (Go around the 3rd week of June)
Winter: Although I have yet to experience Yellowstone National Park in the winter, with some research I have found what it’s like in the winter. Winter has some restrictions. Many roads in the park are closed due to heavy snowfall. Hikes are not an exception, as trails can be barred due to hazardous obstacles. Animals, too leave the park in search of warmer weather south so you won’t get many animal sightings. The winters are exceptionally cold, and you will need to buy/rent a ton of special winter gear, like boots, jackets, backpacks, and masks. But it is a whole new experience, seeing Yellowstone in the winter. The landscape completely changes from summer to winter.
Overall: Really up to your preference, but summer is best for first-timers.
Food: 3 out of 5
Yellowstone National Park has multiple diners within its park limits, offering different cuisines and choices.
The food court we chose was The Canyon Lodge Eatery, including…
- Falls Cafe
- M66 Grill
- Fresh Woks
- Ice Creamery
Dining: We went with Canyon Lodge Fresh Woks, due to dietary restrictions (no beef, no pork). As you can already see, there isn’t much for people who have restrictions on meat. We looked at the menu, and the prices were overpriced. But, we weren’t prepared to make dinner by ourselves, so we had to go along with it. I chose my items, but the serving sizes were off. They put disproportionate servings of vegetables and meat, turning my noodles into mush. Finally, what shocked me was that after they put all the food on, they just passed it to me! I was unprepared, being very accustomed to eating hot food. Luckily, when I got to my seat, it was warm, but just barely. Even after heaps of sauce, the food was dry and caught in my throat.
Dessert: Ice cream can be purchased at many of the gift stores and facilities around the park. There are two types – the mass-produced ones and the creamery ones. The mass-production ice cream near our campsite was varied and still tasted good, ranging from Nutty Royales to Fudgesicles. But the creamery had a myriad of new, original flavors. They had fresh, Montana ice cream to fill our bellies. From Moose Tracks to Cream and Coffee Fudge, they had it all.
Overall: Make your food at your campsite or room. I would give this a lower rating if not for the many positive reviews and my lack of experience in the beef + pork dishes.
Public Facilities (Shower-house and Laundromat): 5 out of 5
Near our Canyon Campground, there was a facility for showering and laundry, just a few minutes’ walk from our site.
The facilities the park provides for campers are amazing. We were so satisfied with the quality of the amenities, we went there every day for a shower and laundry. The prices are very affordable here, around $2 for unlimited water in the shower, and $4 for laundry. It’s not very crowded around there so you can get your laundry done while you shower. The showers are surprisingly very clean and have a bench and soap inside. The floor might be a little dirty though, so wear your slides or crocs inside. There is unlimited shower time, so you can relax and lather yourself down after a long day of hiking.
Overall: Take a shower!
You’re now ready to take a trip to Yellowstone National Park! Keep this guide handy and enjoy!
Now, are you ready to see the world’s first and largest national park in 4 days of fun hiking, driving, and camping? Let’s get right to it!
If you really want to see Yellowstone National Park, you will need 4 days to cover it all.
To find day-by-day guides of your Yellowstone in 4 Days Trips, check out these guides that will cover all of the things you need to see in the world’s oldest national park:
- Yellowstone National Park: Day 1 (Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Upper and Lower Falls, and More)
- Yellowstone National Park: Day 2 (Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, and More)
- Yellowstone National Park: Day 3 (Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, and West Thumb)
- Yellowstone National Park: Day 4 (Lamar Valley, Norris Geyser Basin, and more)