Are you planning a visit to Yellowstone?
Whether it’s a summer vacation, family reunion, or bucket list adventure, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. You’re not alone. Yellowstone is a big place with wild animals, wild weather, and wild terrain. I’m here to help you work through the overwhelm so you can move forward with confidence.
I’m Natalie. Once upon a time, I lived and worked in Yellowstone. Today I live in the midwest so, every time I visit the park, I have to make a plan–just like you. Forty years and 30 visits to YNP have taught me how to navigate the challenges and complexities of mapping out a satisfying experience. I’d love to help you do the same.
My free Beginner’s Guide to Mapping Out a Satisfying Yellowstone Experience will help you make your plan. I also offer both phone and email guiding packages to help you make your plan better.
Yes! I want to work with Your Yellowstone Guide to make my Yellowstone vacation plan better.
Field Notes for Planning Your Yellowstone Experience
- When is the best time to go to Yellowstone? I get this question a lot. Here’s the simple answer: Whenever works best for you. While simple is good, you may want something a little more, shall we say, helpful. Here it is: There is no bad time, no wrong time to go to Yellowstone. Every season is simply different, with unique characteristics, challenges, and gifts. Year to year, week to week, and day to day, the weather within each season varies. (Case in point: One year my husband and I visited Yellowstone in early September. We had rain, snow, cold,Read More »
- Soon after I started working in Yellowstone, I received a package from my dad. It contained his trail guide with a letter tucked inside. In it, he shared a list of nine trails he thought I might enjoy hiking, along with the page number where I would find the trail listed and why he included it on the list. He ended with some fatherly advice: Please remember to observe all the precautions mentioned in the book–even in the summer, you are in more danger from hypothermia than bears. Be careful and have fun. Love– Dad I still have the letter.Read More »
- Because each of our children made their first trip to Yellowstone when they were toddlers or younger, we’ve developed some favorites over the years, along with some strategies for keeping everyone motivated and mobile on the trail. Below are some tips for hiking with littles, along with a few of our favorite kid-friendly hikes. Tips for Hiking with Kids Distance: There is a limit to how far little ones can walk, especially in the mountains, where the trails almost always seem to go straight up—or down. One guideline I came across for how far kids can hike is this: oneRead More »
- By temperament, I am hard-pressed to choose a favorite anything. Ask for my favorite food, color, or book and I’ll give you two. Or maybe three. Sometimes more. So here are not one, two, even three favorite short hikes in Yellowstone. Here are my favorite five, all 2.5 miles or less: 5 Short Yellowstone Hikes 1. Red Rock Point | 1 mile, there and back, ending at the same trailhead: Offering a view of the Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, this trail takes hikers down a shady path through pine, rock, and even ferns to aRead More »
- “He’s a good big brother, helping his little sisters like that,” said an older woman as she walked past us on her way to her picnic table. “Thanks,” my husband and I mumbled in unison. Our kids were playing together—quite happily—along the shore of the Firehole River while we made lunch at a nearby picnic table. Just moments before, they’d been snarling at each other. While I was busy wondering how I would survive this vacation—and possibly their childhood—my husband simply turned in at the nearest picnic area. It was a good move. The kids ran off some energy andRead More »
- What’s the best way to get to Yellowstone? Here’s the simple answer: However you want to. But, with five entrances and the fact that life is never really that simple, here are a few questions (and entrance highlights) to help you sort it out. What is your mode of transportation? Bozeman is the closest airport. Jackson is reasonably close but relatively small. Many people fly into Salt Lake City and drive the remaining distance to Yellowstone. What direction will you arrive from? Yellowstone has five entrances. (More information about that, below.) Which direction you will be arriving from influences whichRead More »