Yellowstone National Park
by Lucy Wiley
Grand Tetons, Wyoming (June, 2011)
There are plenty of attractions for outdoors types in this lovely treasure. Flying in to the Jackson Hole airport is a quaint and pleasant experience.
We stayed in both the Old Faithful Inn and the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel. If I had it to do over, I would have stayed in Mammoth first, then Old Faithful. Mammoth is nice enough but Old Faithful is a fascinating place both inside the inn and outside where boardwalks lead you among the geysers and bubbling mud pots.
The most upscale hotel is in the Grand Tetons, which also is adjacent to Yellowstone. The less-traveled is the Lake View lodge but it has an awesome view. If you go in high tourist season, be prepared for long waits on the road that circles around in the park. When a herd of bison or elk decides to roam across the black top, they stop traffic - sometimes for hours.
The hiking can be rigorous or not, depending on what you like. Many of the most beautiful sites are just off the road and worth taking the usual souvenir photos.
Our family meets every other year. We've been to Angelfire, NM; Branson, MO; Lake George, NY; San Francisco and San Antonio; Estes Park and Durango, CO. We like the cool, wide-open spaces best. But the school age kids need things to do.