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JULY / AUGUST 2017
There is no better time to road trip than July and August, and in my opinion, there’s no better destination than Yellowstone National Park. For the last 10 years, my family has headed that way at least once a year, and we’re big fans of all that region has to offer. Nothing beats hitting the road with the kids in the back and some music on the radio. That’s what my family did when I was growing up. As much as things have changed since then, I still believe the great American road trip has a lot to offer families of every kind. Although we’ve been all over the West, including great destinations like Brian Head and Zion National Park in Utah, Yellowstone is the place we keep coming back to. Usually we head that way through Idaho, and then enter the park in West Yellowstone. We’ll do the whole loop, hitting favorite spots like Grand Prismatic and stopping at the Firehole River when it starts to cool down in the evenings. The kids have always loved spotting wildlife. We’ve noticed more bears in recent years, although we haven’t been lucky enough to spot a wolf for a while. The kids also enjoy Old Faithful, but that could just be because of the ice cream at the lodge! Part of the allure of Yellowstone is that there’s a lot to do in the surrounding area as well. We’ve spent a fair amount of time just outside the park in Island Park, and we also get down into the Tetons and head toward Jackson Hole, which is a few hours’ drive south of Yellowstone. Last summer we had a great time on a zip line and ropes course at the ski hill near Jackson Hole. We climbed trees and had fun on what was basically a giant
jungle gym. It’s the perfect mix of enjoyable and just a little bit dangerous, and we’ll probably be back soon.
To the north, you can visit Mammoth and then Gardiner, and we’ve made trips up to Jardine as well. It’s not in the park, but my wife lived there for a while as a kid, so we enjoyed our trip there. That’s the cool thing about Yellowstone — there is a wealth of experiences to be had both in and outside the park. You’ll never lack for something to do! What’s your family’s tradition? Is it a favorite road trip, a picnic location, or maybe a summer activity that everybody loves? Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it during the second half of this summer. And don’t forget to get the family in for their cleanings before school starts!
-Dr. Vince Rigby
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