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Thread: Yellowstone near Cody

  1. #1
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    Yellowstone near Cody

    I will be in Cody from 8-24 to 8-28 .... we are visiting a cousin of my wife who is ill. I won't have a ton of time but thought I would ask for recommendations as to photography places we could drive to in Yellowstone. Im sure there will be no significant hiking but I hate to be so close and not try to see a little of it even if it's just from a car.

    Thanks for any thoughts you might have.

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    Joel, have you ever been to Yellowstone? Advice is best given if we know number of days in park and what you really want to shoot.

    The park highway is laid out in two loops like a giant figure 8.
    Do upper loop one day and lower on second for drives.
    You could spend days watching water boil if you want to do Geyser basins, and if you have never been that is the thing to do. It is what makes Yellowstone, Yellowstone.
    For wolves and wildlife Lamar Valley, elk and buffalo on the Madison, Big Horn in valley by North West entrance.

    Road hunting abounds, bring the big lens and keep it out of the case.
    Landscape ops are everywhere, to ask where to go in Yellowstone is to find where others found inspiration. Honestly it can be all over the park.

    Give some info, days in park? Priorities, wolves, waterfalls, geysers, landscape or a mixed bag?

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    Thanks for the reply .... I am guessing we will have only 2 1/2 maybe 3 days ....I have never been there. We are staying in Cody, Wyoming. Google maps says its about 120 miles from Old Faithful. It looks like hwy 14 winds through the park from the entrance just west of Cody. I don't have any particular priorities .... I enjoy wildlife and scenic landscapes too. Due to illness of the folks we are visiting I suspect what we see will be 99% from the car.
    Last edited by Joel Eade; 08-12-2019 at 02:37 AM.

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    Joel,
    With two days I would do the lower loop one day and the upper the second.
    There is much to see without to much walking.

    For limited walking I would take 14 in to the park, when you hit the loop just after the Fishing Bridge, turn North to Canyon Village. You will go past Mud Volcano area but I wouldn't stop there, it would require a bit of walking. In the Hayden Valley you will see quit a bit of wildlife on Yellowstone turnouts on road for viewing. In July I saw a herd of 120 elk one day and another five huge bulls on another, all seen from the road. As you get close to Canyon Village turn and drive in to Artist Point. Artist Point will require a few hundred foot walk and it is an iconic view. Once you leave Artist Point take the North Rim Road, many places to stop and see the canyon right next to the road. From Canyon head to Norris, right before Norris take the one way Virginia Cascade road it is worth the view. When you get back to the main road head toward Norris, pass on Norris to much walking. Head South toward Old Faithful and stop at Gibbon Falls it is right on the main road. Pass on both of Paint Pots you see going South, to much walking.

    After Madison Junction Do take Firehole Canyon Drive, head South again and do take Firehole Lake Drive. On Firehole Lake Drive, the Fountain Geyser is just off the road and if you are lucky you might get to see it. Next is Grand Prismatic and it is Iconic, but you will walk several hundred yards on the boardwalks to get to it, it might be to much walking. At Old Faithful as you are on the access road take the first road you come to. Do not go to the main parking lot. You want the access that takes you to the Old Faithful Inn and it is a must see. It is the Largest Log Hotel in the world. Old Faithful is a hundred yards away and you can see it from parking lot, plus the rest of the basin is somewhat in view. I would finish the loop if you are heading back to Cody. You just spent a long day.

    If you follow the same root to the Upper Loop the next day you get to go through Hayden Valley again, then head north to the Roosevelt Tower. At the tower head East in to the Lamar Valley. No walking here as the Valley is huge and you will see most from the road. Spotting Scope or Binoculars are a must. Turn back east and head to Mammoth, drive the loop around the top of Mammoth then head in to Gardnier, Big Horns can sometimes bee seen in the valley going to Gardnier. They have a few good restaurants to. Returning that afternoon I would do the same course back if I wanted to see wildlife, but completing the loop to see it all is good as well. Also there is a road between Mammoth and Roosevelt Tower called Blacktail Plateau Drive, it is somewhat primitive and if your car is up to it you might get a few wildlife views. Day two is full at this point.

    For the third day you can return to some of the favorite points.

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    Wow .... thanks so much for such specific info .... amazing and very much appreciated!!!

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    Joel, if you have never seen the Tetons on the third day I would suggest going down. It is a day trip and I would recommenced hitting the Grand Teton Lodge at lunch time. Go to the dining area that has the windows that view the Tetons.

    In the Tetons you have the best chance of seeing a Moose. They are rare in Yellowstone but not uncommon in the Tetons.

    This is the true Yellowstone
    Yellowstone 2012 (1 of 1)-2 by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr


    At Madison Entrance
    IMG_5351.jpg by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Joel,

    This is the true Yellowstone
    Yellowstone 2012 (1 of 1)-2 by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr


    At Madison Entrance
    IMG_5351.jpg by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr
    I was afraid of that

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    Wish you where on a trip for a better reason. Need to find some time to get out there.

    My daughter and I had a great time years ago and we would venture off on a logging road on the outskirts of the park and find some nice little quite spots.

    We focused more on the Tetons/Southern flank of Yellowstone.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

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    Rick covered it. Yellowstone is one of my favorite places. I can't believe I haven't been back in 20 years. But, growing up, we went every couple of years. You definitely want some power for Lamar valley. I remember watching coyotes working the edges of elk herds, but everything was very far off. Most people had spotting scopes, as Rick mentioned. If I recall I had binoculars which were better than nothing, but left me wanting more.

    Artists viewpoint of lower falls was another favorite. But, just in general, beautiful drives, crazy smells and something to see very frequently. I am not sure what you are bringing, but I can see most focal lengths getting used from UWA to super teles, and shots off tripods to handheld. I know photography isn't the point of the trip, but you'll get some great pictures no matter what you bring.

    In Cody, I remember the Buffalo Bill Museum was also very impressive. From the collection guns to the history of Buffalo Bill himself.

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    Certainly appreciate all the advice .... since photo's will not be the priority of this trip I will have to bring a limited amount of gear.

    Under consideration: 5DS-R, 5D MKIV, 100-400 + 1.4 TC, travel tripod, for wide angle either the 24-70 or 16-35 (not sure yet), ND filters

    This will fit in a small bag and not be too cumbersome with a car full of people.

    I can get out to 560mm with this arrangement.....unfortunately I think bringing the 600mm will have to wait for another trip dedicated more to photography.

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