A Special Family Adventure
This was a really special adventure in America’s first national park for our family as it marked the 20th anniversary of John and I meeting…in Yellowstone. That’s right, John and I met in the summer of 1998 where we worked as housekeepers at the Old Faithful Inn inside Yellowstone National Park. We were paired up to work together the very first day, and we haven’t stopped laughing yet! What a wild adventure that summer was and an incredible way to start our life together. We had always talked about taking our kids back there, but the timing was never quite right.
A multi-family adventure in the National Parks
We had 2 families of close friends who really wanted to go and had asked us for tips and advice. So instead of handing it all over, we took them on a guided tour. What a fantastic way for our kids to experience this special place. 6 adults and 9 kids trounced our way through America’s first National Park and even out to Cody, WY. We saw abundant wildlife, waterfalls, hiked a lot of miles, saw (smelled) geysers aplenty, enjoyed the open spaces and fresh air. Ultimately we loved taking our kids and friends down memory lane.
Adventure in the park: What to know Before
A few things to know about staying inside a national park. Many of the parks have lodging inside the park, but you MUST book these rooms about a year in advance. We booked at 11 months out and had slim pickings. There are no deals during high seasons or coupon codes for the lodges. Prices won’t be better by booking further in advance. There are, however, places to stay outside the park if you need to work within a tighter budget.
The advantage, of course, to staying inside the park is getting more time at locations and better parking options. Yes, the parking lots can fill up by 9:30 am. You also save yourself from having to criss cross the park and be in the car for longer amounts of time. Although the park isn’t huge, the roads are slow and you may find yourself caught in a traffic jam due to wildlife activity.
Adventure Outside America’s First National Park
We spent over a week moving from lodge to lodge within the park. There are endless trails to hike and so many sites to see where wildlife abounds. If you are willing to take a drive outside the park area, Cody WY is a fabulous town to visit. You could spend all day at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West learning about the history of the cowboy/rodeo life. If you have time to spend the night in Cody, buy tickets and get the real rodeo experience each night at the Cody Rodeo Stampede.
Check out the rest of our adventures that trip. We road tripped parts of Colorado and Wyoming to visit other beautiful areas of our country including Rocky Mountain National Park and the area of Medicine Bow in Wyoming.