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I'm currently in Vancouver and for a long time have wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park. On maps, from Vancouver it is not too far but still a 12-hour drive according to Google. And I would assume that time has to be added for the border crossing.

So what I want to know is if it is feasible to visit Yellowstone National Park and for that, I have three subquestions:

  • If so, what are my options to get there? Should I drive? Take the bus? Fly there?
  • How long do I need to see the sights in Yellowstone? Would it be enough to spend one day to travel from Vancouver, two days sightseeing there and then another day to travel back?
  • Is the Easter weekend particularly crowded and should I avoid it?
  • What do you want to do specifically? Are you fine with a backcountry trip on skis, sleeping in a tent when it's -20°C and storming outside, or do you wish for something more civilised? You might want to ask on The Great Outdoors. – gerrit Mar 5 '15 at 23:08
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    I'd say that Google is being wildly optimistic in claiming it's a 12-hour drive. Based on personal experience, the Seattle to Spokane segment of the route it's showing me is a 5-hour drive, while Spokane to Mammoth is 9 hours. I don't know the Vancouver-to-Seattle driving time, but I'm certain it's not negative. (This is assuming good road conditions. If there's snow in the passes, all bets are off.) – Mark Mar 6 '15 at 3:31
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Yellowstone National Park won't be open on Easter, other than the road from Mammoth to the northeast entrance. Yellowstone's winter season winds down in early March and the interior roads don't open until mid to late April. So Easter is not really a good time to go.

Hotels and campgrounds don't start opening until the first of May.

  • That is factually incorrect. See Visiting Yellowstone in winter, or cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Winter is a marvellous time to visit famous places when nobody else is around. Get a backcountry permit and a good sleeping bag and enjoy. – gerrit Mar 5 '15 at 23:06
  • How is my answer "factually incorrect"? As per your link, the winter season ends in March, same as I mentioned. Easter is early April. Read carefully grasshopper before contradicting. btw I worked in Yellowstone several winters so have a good idea of what is going on. – user13044 Mar 6 '15 at 1:26
  • Entering the park is permitted, right? So, it's not closed. – gerrit Mar 6 '15 at 4:11
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    The OP asked about driving to Yellowstone and sightseeing for a couple of days. The interior roads are closed, the hotels and campgrounds and restaurants in the park are closed. So for the OP's situation the park is essentially not open. But yes, bowing to your nitpicking, IF you have proper camping gear and ski touring gear for extreme conditions AND IF you have the necessary backcountry winter ski touring experience, yes you could enter the park on skiis. But with only two days there is insufficent time to visit of the park's famous features. – user13044 Mar 6 '15 at 10:32
  • The OP did not specify exactly what he wished to do. I asked in a comment and until this is clarified, we don't know if the park is closed for the purposes of their visit. – gerrit Mar 6 '15 at 15:43

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