It's already been over a month since our family trip to Yellowstone, but I refuse to not recap the trip and give the recs that no one asked for.
We're getting straight into it, because our itinerary was PACKED.
Disclaimer: I will start by saying this trip was not my definition of a 'vacation'. It was a lot of time spent in the car, hiking, etc.
Disclaimer part II: Yellowstone was so gorgeous, stunning, beautiful. If you have the opportunity, it is an absolutely a must see. The views were the type of views that make you take a step back and realize life is really not that serious.
Day 1 | September 10th: We (my parents, my niece Mackenzie, and I) flew into Bozeman, MT. We had some time to walk downtown and explore. We ate dinner at Montana Ale Works, and it was 10/10. We stayed at the Residence Inn Bozeman Downtown, which was also 10/10 for our one night stay.
Day 2 | September 11th: We woke up bright and early and ate breakfast at the hotel. We packed up and headed into the Yellowstone park to pick up my brother and his wife. They did an REI hike before our portion of the trip started. This day was a lot of time in the car, but I was able to knock off three states from my list in one day - Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. About an hour into our trip heading towards Jackson, WY, we got a flat tire. Thank god for an engineer dad and brother. We ate dinner at Dornan's Pizza Pasta Co. Oh my- I know I keep saying everything was 10/10, but this pizza place was all around a great atmosphere. Very busy, but they had the views, and the pizza was probably some of the best pizza I've ever had. Dornan's is a cute little resort in the heart of Jackson Hole; full of cute shops, live music, lodging, dining, etc. We stayed at Teton Shadows for three nights.
Day 3 | September 12th: We went to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and took the tram to the top of the mountain. We did some hiking, went to the point of Corbet's Couloir, ate some waffles at Corbet's Cabin, my mom went paragliding, we got hailed on, and then we enjoyed some nachos at RPK3 at the base in Teton Village. That evening we walked around downtown Jackson, paid a visit to Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, stopped in some shops, and ate at Roadhouse Pub. And this is where my 10/10 ranking stops.
Day 4 | September 13th: It was a rainy, gloomy, morning and we all decided to have a slow start to the day. My brother, mom, niece, and I went into town to get tea and hot chocolate at Cowboy Coffee. I get the hype. The Divinity Chai was chef's kiss - que the 10/10 ranking again. We hiked Jenny Lake and went up to Inspiration Point. Before sprinting to the boat, we hiked higher to see some buffalo. On our way home we saw the most stunning rainbow, which turned into a double rainbow. This was another 'life is not that serious' moment.
Day 5 | September 14th: This day was jam packed and it was one of my favorite.
stop 1: Lake Yellowstone
stop 2: Thumb Geyser Basin
stop 3: Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
We ended our day at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. We checked in at night, so we ate dinner at the lodge and went to bed.
Day 6 | September 15th: We woke up around 7:30am, got coffee/tea, and walked outside to the back of the lodge just in time for Old Faithful to go off. It was incredible foggy since it was early in the morning, but it was still really cool to see. If you want to see Old Faithful, this is the best way to get the full experience in my opinion. The lodges are also super cool. We saw more geysers (Grand Prismatic Spring), and then headed to Under Canvas North Yellowstone, which I cannnnnnnot recommend enough.
Grand Prismatic Spring
Location: Southwest on the Southern Loop, Midway Geyser Basin
Day 7 | September 16th: We left Under Canvas and saw a couple more sites. This was my least favorite day, mostly just because I felt like at this point I had seen 1m geysers and they were becoming less impressive. I was also on a high from Under Canvas, so in my head I kept thinking 'I could be hanging out at Under Canvas still'. We saw the Minerva Terrace and then drove back to Bozeman to overnight closer to the airport.
Day 8 | September 17th: This was go home day for everyone. My family flew home, and I flew to Cabo for a work trip.
Under Canvas North Yellowstone
UC deserves it's own section, because seriously, I was OBSESSED. We spent time at the lake nearby. I went to the lobby with Mackenzie because they had postcard making. We sat by the fire for a long time - the vibe was immaculate. We listened to music, drank wine, and made s'mores. Around 11pm we headed back to our tents and my brother, his wife, and I stargazed for a while. Que, 'life is not that serious' thoughts and I became emotional, probably because of the wine.
The food at UC was so good. The staff was so friendly and nice - I genuinely miss them. The concept was unique and I absolutely want to go back at a different location.
Overall, this was a great trip. Traveling for work often makes me miss vacations with my family, so it was fun to spend time with them and explore Yellowstone.