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Yellowstone Explored Book

Trip Planner and Resource Guide for Exploring Yellowstone's 14 Road Sections

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Wondering What to do When in Yellowstone? Yellowstone Explored is the Book for You!

When we take a trip to a new or often visited destination we always plan ahead. We want to know what there is to do so we can plan our trip by prioritizing what we most want to do and where we will spend our time. Once we are at our trip destination, we want an informative “ready reference” with information to help us navigate around and be aware of important feature, event, or historical information. We want an enhanced experience and that is exactly what our new book, Yellowstone Explored, provides when in Yellowstone National Park.

What is in the Book?

There are 14 road sections in Yellowstone National Park, each with a variety of iconic features, lesser-known features, and many hidden gems that most people have never heard about and will never see or experience when visiting the park, all of which can be considered points of interest. Opportunities for exploring, experiencing, photographing, learning, and memory making.

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A detailed map of each road section identifies the points of interest along the way. An informative description of each point of interest is provided in subsequent pages. With the location identified and pertinent information provided, you have what is needed to plan your trip by choosing those areas/features that are of most interest for you to see or do as well as a very handy “ready reference” when exploring in the park.

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What are the Points of Interest Provided in the Book?

  • The Famous and Iconic Features: Information on the accessibility, associated amenities, unique opportunities, and other considerations of visiting places like Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone Falls, Geyser Basins, Roaring Mountain, Boiling River & Firehole swimming areas, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs and its Travertine Terraces, etc.

  • Hidden Gems: While it usually requires some hiking, there are features to be seen and experiences to have in the park that most visitors will never even now exist. Such as, Duck Rock and the unique photo op it provides, the remnants of the first bridge built over the Yellowstone River and his history, the large boulders of an early Native American fish trap built in Yellowstone Lake to name just a few, etc.

  • Picnic Areas: Some picnic areas are located in the most beautiful settings, such as next to rivers and streams or flower covered meadows, or with majestic mountainous backdrops. Some are located in less beautiful settings. Some provide great shade, and others not so much. Some are more family friendly with unique features that kids will enjoy. Some have several picnic tables, and others only a few. This and other information are provided for each picnic area.

  • Campgrounds: The setting of a campground, where you park your trailer or pitch your tent, sit around the campfire and enjoying the star-lit sky, and simply enjoy the opportunity of camping in the great outdoors, is an important part of a trip to Yellowstone. The book provides you with information such as its outdoor setting, the details of facilities offered, select regulations, what is available for purchase (e.g., firewood, ice, vending machines, etc.), if the site has a fire circle for cooking, bear-proof food storage boxes, and if an amphitheater with nightly ranger programs is adjacent.

  • Hiking Trails: When you come to Yellowstone National Park, you really need to leave the beaten path and enjoy some of the more beautiful scenery in the backcountry and wildlife viewing opportunities. Trails of a multitude of lengths and types, unique features, challenging aspects, destination views (waterfalls, geologic features, lakes, historical markings), etc., help you decide which trails are best suited for your liking, time requirement, and individual capabilities, including family friendly. These details help you select the best trails for your desired adventuring.

  • Hydrothermal Features: Yellowstone is famous for its hydrothermal features, with over 10,000 located within the park, of which more than 500 are geysers. Which are the most spectacular, the most colorful, the loudest, the most consistent erupting, etc.? Information is presented to help you learn of these uniquely Yellowstone icons.

  • Historical Landmarks/Exhibits/Sites: Where are the sites of the first motels built in Yellowstone, locations where early Native Americans built shelters, pitched Teepees, built fish traps, and left signs of their prior presence, the earliest roadways, early US Cavalry sites, etc. Learning of the individuals and groups that lived, explored, and traveled through Yellowstone is fun and delivers a unique perspective on the life and activities of early inhabitants and visitors of the area. 

  • Grave Sites of Early Park Residents: Knowing a little bit about the early park residents and their deaths sheds more information to help one appreciate the rugged toughness of those who once called Yellowstone home.

  • Fish Migration Locations: Catching the show of native cutthroat trout trying to lead up rapids along the path back to spawning grounds is a treat worth watching. Learn the where and when of this truly Yellowstone event.

  • Fishing Spots and the Flies to Use: Catching one of Yellowstone’s native Cutthroat trout can be a breathtaking experience. Anglers come from all over the world to fish the rivers, streams, and lakes of Yellowstone. Each road section in the book highlights the fishing opportunities that can be accessed and lists (and shows) the flyfishing flies to use during the Early/June, July-August, and Sep-Oct seasons of fishing in Yellowstone National Park.

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Journaling Your Yellowstone Experiences

Your Yellowstone adventure will certainly provide you with much that you will see, experience, and do. At the back of each road section part of the book is a page to record your unique experiences, memories made, or anything note worthy for future reference. Included is a check-off list of wildlife you saw and fish you may have caught.

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The Major Hub Sites in the Park

There are five major hub sites within the park – Old Faithful, Mammoth, Canyon, Lake Village, and Fishing Bridge. Information is provided for all the amenities and offerings available at each of these. Information on lodging, visitors’ centers, Yellowstone General Store, gift shops, gear and equipment venues, bookstores, restaurants and eateries, bars and lounges, service stations, medical clinics, etc.

Old Faithful - Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Resource Page

Best Places to see animals in Yellowston
Yellowstone Explored Trip Planner and Tr
Yellowstone Elk Rut - Yellowstone Explor

What are people saying about the Book?

"Good morning. I recently purchased this guide and I just wanted to say thank you for writing it! My husband and I are making our sixth trip to YNP in a couple weeks. I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to this trip with your guide in hand!!! I do tons of research before each trip but realize we’ve passed up many cool places just because we didn’t know they were there! We have a spotting scope and a new camera and are planning to get off the “loop road” and find a cool place to just sit and watch and see what we can see! Thank you, I’m sooo glad I read about your guide!"

Sincerely, Jan Hodge

A Family Affair

In 1970 I began traveling to Yellowstone National Park with my parents and siblings, a wide-eyed adventurous kid so happy to be experiencing Yellowstone in my youth. It was our favorite summer vacation destination. We were fortunate to live just 75 miles from the West Yellowstone Entrance to the park. I am fortunate to still live that close to Yellowstone. As my life progressed, I found my sweetheart and we adventured together, and then with our children, never missing a summer of family exploring in Yellowstone.

Over the many years of exploring and experiencing Yellowstone National Park – camping, hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, taking photographs, researching – I and then our entire family started recording our wonderful experiences and our never to be forgotten memories.

Now, all our children have left home as they progress along their own life’s journey, but each continue to participate in the ongoing development of Yellowstone Explored, the website and our book. Both are the journaling of our experiences, our researching of park history and unique features, and the many photographs taken. All family members have contributed to the book in various ways.

Tyson is the geologist in the family and writes the Yellowstone geologic and geothermal information found in the book. Trevor is the geographic information system (GIS) specialist who creates the maps and provides the technical development of the website. Rachel, her husband Michael and their children love vanlife, immersing themselves in nature, documenting their adventures with their kids on Instagram @beboldlittleones, with occasional northward trips to Yellowstone from their more southern home. Tanner is an award-winning photographer known for his wildlife photos and adventures on his Instagram @perkes_of_the_outdoors and has provided all the photos for the book. Ryan is developing his skill at videography of wilderness and wildlife to capture the motion perspective. My wife and I love the adventuring and exploring, the researching, and then writing about it.

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