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Yellowstone in Two Days!
Yellowstone in Two Days!

Yellowstone in Two Days!

While we would have loved to have stayed in Yellowstone for longer, our trip this year only allowed for about 48 hours in the park. Hopefully, we make it back there soon. If you are also short on time, here is our Yellowstone in Two Days Itinerary!

Where we stayed

After driving for two days and visiting the Badlands National Park and the Devils Tower National Monument, we arrived late to our campsite just outside the east entrance of Yellowstone. Before entering the park, we stayed overnight at the Clearwater Campground about halfway between Cody, Wyoming and the park entrance. For our two nights in the park, we camped at the Bridge Bay Campground. Both were rustic but nice.

Clearwater Campground
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Clearwater Campground

The Clearwater Campground is a rustic campground with no running water and pit toilets. There are firepits, picnic tables and bear boxes at each site. Our site was a beautiful walk-in tent site right on the river.

The Bridge Bay Campground is a massive. There are hundreds of sites. Each site is equipped with a fire ring and picnic table, but I don’t think any have electric or water (at least not in the area we stayed in). There is also restricted use of generators during quiet hours, so if you are traveling in an RV that would be something to consider. There were however flush toilets, a dish washing sink, bear boxes, and water taps. The showers and laundry facilities were not at the the Bridge Bay Campground, but all guests (not just campers) are welcome to use the shower facilities throughout the park. We used the showers at the Grant Village Campground on our way out of the park. They were way nicer than expected and cost $4.50 per person.

Bridge Bay Campground Yellowstone
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Bridge Bay Campground

Day 1 in Yellowstone

We started the day with a nice slow breakfast, yoga, and relaxing before driving into the park on the first day. Andrew wasn’t not feeling well so we didn’t get to see a lot day. You could probably do more on your first day depending on where you stay!

Mud Volcano

The Mud Volcano area has a short 1 kilometer loop around a series of muddy, bubbling geysers. This area of the park developed in the 1950s when the temperature of the soil rose into the 90s and killed much of the fauna is the area. Shortly there after these open hot springs began to form. You will see many hot springs throughout the park, but the Mud Volcano is a great introduction.

Hayden Valley

As you are driving north through the park to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, you will drive through Hayden Valley. This is where you will encounter the most Buffalo. They are gathered in herds here along the river. It might take a while getting in both directions as they also like to cross the road and can hold up traffic. You might also have a chance to see a grizzly or wolf here.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone South Rim

The grand canyon of Yellowstone is gorgeous. The waterfall is breath taking. There are a few short hikes at Artist Point. I started down the hike to Lily Pond before turning back to the van in a hail storm. A hike we wish we would have done is Uncle Toms Trail. We didn’t see the trailhead at the opposite end of the parking lot from the Waterfall viewpoint until we were driving out. We heard that is stunning but be prepared form hundreds of stairs if want to give it a try.

With Andrew feeling under the weather, we only drove a bit further north before heading back to our campsite for the night. A bonfire, dinner, and elk were a great way to end our first day in Yellowstone. There were several elk staying in or near the Bay Bridge Campground.

Day 2 in Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs

We started our second day feeling refreshed and ready to go. After a quick drive through Hayden Valley for more buffalo sightings, we drove all the way to the north to check out the Mammoth Hot Springs. I recommend parking near the upper terrace driving entrance and walking down. It is about a half mile figure 8 boardwalk through and around the lower terrace. When you are done take the short drive through the upper terrace. If you would like to grab lunch, you can head down to the village area, but be prepared for a lot of people.

Norris Geyser Basin

South of the Mammoth Hot Springs on the west side of the park is the Norris Geyser Basin, home to the largest most active geyser in the world, Steamboat. If you are active, I recommend parking on the road and taking the trail in. It is easier and nicer than trying to park in the lot. There are two short hikes here, the back basin and the procelain basin. Steamboat is on the back basin which is approximately a 1 mile loop. The procelain basin is much shorter, but more crowded. We opted for the back basin and then viewed the procelain basin from above.

Grand Prismatic Spring and Fairy Falls

You can stop to see the Grand Prismatic Spring up close from the boardwalk, but we decided to do the hike out to Fairy Falls instead. If you head south from the spring parking area, there is a trailhead for Fairy Falls. The hike to the overlook is about 1 mile. After catching a beautiful view, continue on for another 1.5 miles to Fairy Falls. It is a flat an easy hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end. This 5-mile round trip hike is definitely worth doing.

Old Faithful

Our last stop in Yellowstone was a the famous Old Faithful Geyser. This area is set up for hundreds of spectators. You can check the National Parks App for an update for the next eruption. Old Faithful is the most predictable geyser. It erupts every 60-90 minutes for 1.5-5 minutes. We arrived about 25 minutes before the last predicted eruption before sunset. It started about 10 minutes earlier than predicted so definitely make sure you arrive a little early. I would recommend the last eruption of the day as the traffic and parking was not too bad.

Before Leaving the Park

Before leaving the park to head to the Grand Tetons National Park. We got up early and found a quite pick spot on Yellowstone Lake to enjoy a quiet breakfast. I highly recommend taking a least a few hours of your time to simply rest and take in the scenery.

Enjoy your trip to Yellowstone! Let us know what your favorite thing to see was.

Thanks for following! ~KiteBikeVan

8 Comments

  1. Love this! We love the beauty of all the national parks and hope to visit them all someday. Yellowstone definitely ranks at the top of our list of places to see, so I appreciate you sharing your experience! This will be helpful information when we finally plan our trip. Thank you for sharing!

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