I love Yellowstone National Park. The reason that I live in Montana is because my family vacationed in this Park for several summers. My Mom was a school nurse and my Dad was a Math teacher. When school was over in Maryland, we hooked up a 14-foot Winnebago trailer and trekked west! Our summers were spent in the Park.
If you are not headed to the Park now, you are missing the boat. OMG!!!! No crowds, lots of critters, beautiful, relaxing, stress free, oh and did I say beautiful?
We spent the night in West Yellowstone and trekked into the Park the next day, so we could make the loop. Some things are open in West but plan on bringing some food in the cooler. Most restaurants are not yet open. The Slippery Otter is practicing proper social distancing and providing great food and service. The trout shops are also wide open. Bob Jacklyn is on deck and welcoming all fishermen.
There are no lines to get into the Park or any other venue. Breakfast venues are open and in good shape. The KFC is closed, and the McDonalds requires pick up only but offer a limited menu. Many of the HUGE hotels are closed for the summer. No busloads of Asians waving flags and flooding the rest rooms.
When was the last time you drove in the Park for 10 minutes without seeing another vehicle? There were a few monster motorhomes but mainly SUV’s and cars. License tags covered many states. The most frequent were Montana, Texas, Wyoming, and a sprinkle of California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, and Oregon. Minnesota was also well represented. The folks we talked to were friendly, happy, and polite. Many were Baby Boomers that were flexing their freedoms.
We drove up to the parking lot in front of the Old faithful Lodge and parked amongst the other 5 cars in the huge empty lot. Old Faithful went off as soon as we arrived! Yahoo! Maybe 50 other guests were sitting along the benches as the geyser reached its wonderful heights. Everyone was kind, nice, and happy.
Politics was evident in the Park. As we traveled through the West Yellowstone gate, a lone protester was waving a piece of cardboard that said, “remember George Floyd!” At the pull off to Uncle Tom’s Cabin overlook of the Yellowstone falls, a small rumble had broken out. The only Black man we saw had gotten into an argument with a tourist over something racial. Several people jumped in and broke it up. Oh well!
We saw most critters. Lots of elk, bison, and waterfowl. A few fishermen were enjoying the Firehole River. Campgrounds are still closed but opening soon. NONE of the venue parking lots were anywhere near full. Most were over half empty. Park Rangers are on site and wearing facemasks.
The traditionally crowded Park is still as great as ever. Foreign visitors have canceled, other tours are small, summer visitors are going back to work, and crowds should stay thin this summer. This the least crowded that I have ever seen the Park in my lifetime of over 50 years visiting.
Don’t miss out on visiting our wonderful Park that is so uncrowded. It may never happen again.
For more Montana Grant, find him heading back to the Park soon at www.montanagrantfishing.com.