Packing for your Fall YNP trip

Fall in Yellowstone National Park is amazing. There is so much wildlife to be seen! The Fall colors and the snow on top of the mountains. It is literally perfect ! ❤

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But this time of year means the weather can change in a flash and being prepared is always key.

So, what do I pack for my overnight stay at the Park?

Clothes:

Starting with shoes I will pack 3 pairs. I know this seems excessive, but I wear a comfortable, yet stylish pair of shoes. Ones that I will want to wear out to dinner in Gardiner.  😉  I pack hiking boots, obviously, and my Chacos. The Boiling River is an awesome place to stop and soak in the hot springs. Having sandals with you will come in handy for this! Also for your feet grab enough pairs of socks. I always have 2 pairs of hiking socks with me.

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Pack leggings and jeans. If I am doing activities in the Park leggings are great, but again if you don’t want to wear hiking clothes all weekend having jeans will be nice.

LAYERS! I will wear a t-shirt and then have a flannel over that and pack a Patagonia fleece. Different elevations throughout the Park can be colder, but you may get warm while hiking. You will be happy when you can put on a jacket or remove a flannel. I also always pack a rain coat! Seriously, the weather in the Park is so unpredictable. I have been there in July and it has snowed!

I like to grab a beanie and a ball cap for my head. Ball caps are great for hikes, especially if you like to keep the sun off your face. The beanie is for warmth in the event you do get caught in that late Summer snow storm!  😉

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Cooler:

We invested in a Yeti Cooler pretty much for our Yellowstone trips. We never know how long we will be hiking or fishing so, having provisions is important. Any cooler will do the trick though.

I grab a bunch of Clif Bars before heading out. If you are hiking around you will be happy to have some of those guys. I will also pack hummus and pitas, veggies, fruit, and chips.

There have been many times where we have gotten off the trail and just hung out watching some bison while snacking. World’s best dining view! 🙂

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Packing multiple water bottles is a must! There are plenty of fountains around the Park, but you never know how far away you will be from one. So, having 3 or 4 with you is always a good back up.

Some of the other miscellaneous items you will want to have in the car are portable chargers, bear spray, chap stick, and a back pack.

The more prepared you are the more enjoyable Yellowstone is!

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Happy wandering,

Morgan 

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Big Sky shoulder season

shoul·der sea·son
noun
a travel period between peak and off-peak seasons.
Before moving to Montana I did not know what shoulder season was. So, I figured I would give you the definition.
Now, shoulder season is exactly what the area where I live is experiencing. The Bozeman/Big Sky area is a very popular summer tourist destination. Both places are located very close to Yellowstone National Park. I know that Bozeman sees about 5.2 million visitors in the summer months.
Things don’t really pick up until June. Sometimes not being surrounded by tourists is nice, and that is why I decided to do an overnight in Big Sky this weekend.
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Big Sky Resort closes basically for the month of May to prepare for the summer. So, a lot of the restaurants and shops in the Town Center and Meadow Village aren’t open.
Don’t let that discourage you! There is something spectacular about having Big Sky to yourself!
Since, the resort is closed during this time I just used Air Bnb to find a place to stay.
(Even in the off-season Bg Sky is still pricey, so just be aware.)
One of the restaurants that does stay open is Ousel & Spur. This is Italian cuisine. They have excellent pizza! We usually get a pizza and a salad and have never been disappointed!
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Another place that is open is Lotus Pad. If you like Thai food this place is a must! Here we usually get Green Curry and Drunken noodles. I have never heard anyone complain about their meal at Lotus Pad, so I would definitely check it out if you get the chance.
During peak season it is almost impossible to get into Lotus Pad, so another great reason to go now!
Be sure to stop in and get a brew at Beehive Basin. This brewery has more of a local feel to it, and I am a fan of the Green Bridge IPA.
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There is also plenty of hiking around Big Sky. You will need to be aware that there is still a lot of snow covering the trails this time of year, but just talk to the locals and they will point you in the right direction. I recommend Ousel Falls if your looking for an easy hike. The views are great, so perfect photo-op.
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Also in the area is Lava Lake which is very popular as well as Storm Castle Peak.
When the Gallatin River isn’t raging and blown out like it is now there is primo fishing in the area. With the crazy snow pack we had this year, fishing is unfortunately not an option.
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However, another great activity in the area is mountain biking. If you don’t have a bike don’t worry head to Grizzly Outfitters. They rent them out!
If being outdoors isn’t your thing some of the shops remain open now, including my favorite Montana Supply. Plus these stores have a lot of stuff marked down to 50% off. Who doesn’t love a good sale ?!
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I absolutely love Big Sky, and it is a place you can enjoy year round… even during shoulder season.
*Note shoulder season will end in Big Sky on June 8th