Visit Yellowstone this summer minus the crowds

According to tourism officials, advance bookings at Yellowstone National Park are down 13% this year which means that this summer would be a great time to put gas into a vehicle and head west. Gas prices are half of what they were last year and lodging is not particularly expensive anyway. With less crowds waiting for Old Faithful or the other geysers to do their shows or seeking out wildlife along the park’s miles and miles of roads, a vacation to Wyoming and Montana sounds more relaxing than ever.

When we went to Yellowstone six years ago, I don’t remember having to fight off that many crowds or search forever for a parking lot, although we made reservations to stay at the Rough Rider cabins in February even though our trip wasn’t until July. We weren’t able to get spots on the horseback ride that included a steak dinner, but my daughter and I were able to snag a two-hour trail ride for the day we were leaving. The day we hiked on a trail leading from the back of the Roosevelt Lodge, we only saw a couple other hikers.

With the numbers being down, I imagine that taking advantage of Yellowstone’s beauty will be easier than ever, and probably cheaper as various tourist spots vie for your dollars. [Jackson Hole Daily]