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Have you visited Yellowstone National Park yet? This week we had an absolutely amazing week in West Yellowstone! We created a Vlog documenting our first time visiting Yellowstone but there is so much to explore in this amazing National Park we had to write about it too!
Check out the hidden gems we found and suggest that you see if it’s your first time visiting Yellowstone too!
West Yellowstone, MT
It’s safe to say this has been our favorite destination yet. We drove up from American Falls, ID, and passed through a snowstorm as we were climbing the mountain!
Even though we were in the park most of the week, we really enjoyed our time at this resort. They offered coffee and hot chocolate every morning! On top of that their facilities were very clean and are conveniently located less than a mile away from the west entrance to Yellowstone. Carmen also loved the fact that the resort was bordered on two sides by the Gallatin National Forest. We took her on long walks through the forest and she had a blast!
We also were able to experience the first snow of the season. It was the first time we had been in snow in the RV so we were excited to see how she did. We ended up finding out that our slides are horrible at keeping cold air out and we are horrible at conserving propane. At least the snow added to the winter vibes we wanted in Yellowstone!
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in West Yellowstone but these were our favorites:
- Taqueria Las Palmitas: This Mexican restaurant is in an old school bus! You enter through the school bus doors and ordered in the back. Seating is a converted bar stool facing the windows so you can people watch while you eat. Not only is the food delicious (I think we ate here at least four times) but the environment is really fun.
- Wild West Pizzeria: We pre-ordered pizza from here after a long day exploring Yellowstone and it really hit the spot. We occasionally still think about this pizza and salivate.
- Slippery Otter Pub: We had dinner here twice and came mostly for the local beer. The food was good, but the beer was better. It’s one of the more popular places so make sure you get there early to avoid a long wait time.
Our First Time in Yellowstone
This park is absolutely breathtaking! We tried to take in as much as possible during our stay but missed out on the whole east side of the park. Give yourself some leeway when visiting Yellowstone. The park spans almost 4,000 square miles, so it’s impossible to see it all in just one week. It’s the kind of place you will want to return to anyway. We know we will be back!
What did manage to take in will forever be in our memories. On the first day entering the park, we wanted to see Old Faithful. We rushed down there to see the last eruption before sunset but missed it by one minute 🙁 However, we were able to catch a breathtaking sunset at the Grand Prismatic Spring and soak in all the colors.
There’s so much to see simply driving through the park too. We rolled down the windows, filling our car with the smell of sulfur, and drove slowly along windy roads. We ended up seeing one of the geysers alongside the road erupt! I can’t explain how cool this was. We headed home for the night feeling completely satisfied with our first afternoon in Yellowstone.
We drove into the park every day (except one) after work. Each day was an adventure! One day we came across a huge herd of bison on the road. They slowly made their way across the path snorting and huffing at each other. One even shoved another bison into the back of our truck! Thankfully it didn’t leave a dent.
Another day we drove to the north side of the park and tried to spot wildlife. We were really looking for bears and moose, unfortunately, we didn’t see either. We did see a ton of bison, deer, elk, a fox, and a variety of birds. Since we were there the first week of October, it had snowed for the first time in the park. This just added to the majestic vibe going on.
The park is so vast, but if you are coming in from west Yellowstone like we were, be sure to plan a couple of days for longer drives. You don’t need to see all of Yellowstone in one trip, but it’s worth driving out to Mammoth hot springs and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It’s crazy how much the landscape can change across the park!
Grand Teton National Park
We spent our last full day in West Yellowstone driving south to Grand Teton National Park. Mountains have never impressed us much since we’re from Southern California, however, these mountains took our breath away! We couldn’t stop staring at them. We spent about 5 hours in the park taking pictures of the Teton from different angles. We were lucky enough for it to be a windy day, as it blew all the cloud coverage away from the mountains.
Overall, this week was one for the books. We can’t wait to return to Yellowstone to explore the areas we missed. We packed up and headed south for Salt Lake City, UT.