Banff Springs, Canada or Yellowstone Park

(Mary) Poway, CA(Zone 10a)

Has anyone been to both? Which did you prefer, and why. We can only afford to go to one this year.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

wow, it's been decades but, yeah, I've been to both!

I was unable to do much sightseeing in Banff however.

In Yellowstone, we stayed at a place just outside East gate. We drove in to the various geothermal areas each day. They're are miles between mammoth Springs, Old Faithful and the mud pits, etc. Also, to me, there was noticeably more wildlife at Yellowstone.

We were in Yellowstone in late Sept. Nice because there was less crowds, but it was still kinda warm.

It was extremely cold when I visited Banff in the winter (it was actually a side trip on a working visit, that could explain the lack of wildlfe too lol!) but it was beautiful. If it helps, my impressions is that Banff is more - 'resort-like' and Yellowstone more 'natural wonder sightseeing' if that makes sense.

I'd love to go back to either.

Tough choice.

(Mary) Poway, CA(Zone 10a)

Thanks! Wish I had the time and money to go to both.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Go see Yellowstone before it blows up again. As is often stated, "It Could Happen Tomorrow."

Like 1_Lucky_Texan, my wife and I have been to both places - but it's been years. October 1986 is when we drove from the Seattle area up into Canada and across on the Transcontinental Highway to Banff and Lake Louise. That was an amazing ride - due in no small measure to the rickety little rental Renault Alliance that was continuously passed going uphill by dual trailer fully loaded logging trucks. The Canadian Rockies are beautiful, and the resorts of Lake Louise and Banff are practically fairy tale locations. I imagine that the cost for visiting may be steep, since choices are not immense. If you like mountains, lakes, and forests - you could do worse.

Yellowstone National Park will certainly have much more variety. We were there in September 2006. You can venture out in different directions everyday, and see entirely different things. The geological wonders are unsurpassed, and the access to wildlife (keeping a safe distance) is supreme. Bison, wolves, elk, bald eagles, bear - you would have to keep your eyes closed to miss them. Depending on your resources, you can camp or pick the price point of the various lodgings available both inside and outside the park. Depending on your mode of travel...if you drive, you can probably pass other national parks and incredible landscapes both coming and going.

You don't say whether you are traveling alone, or with others. Kids would likely have the most rewarding experience (always age-dependent) at Yellowstone, but that's going to have to be your judgement.

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(Mary) Poway, CA(Zone 10a)

We decided on Yellowstone for September 10th -17th 2011. No children, so we can go when they're back in school and the park is less crowded.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Have a big old time! Send us images of what you get to see.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Last I heard there are a whole lot of Oriental people visiting Yellowstone now. One hotel manager in particular told my BIL that he had a contract with their tour bus company to stop there so they had hundreds of buses. Don't know what time of year is best.

You have picked after the kids are in school, but when are the tourists picking as their best time? I don't know who you would call to find out.

I don't mean to say that I don't like Oriental people, I just mean MORE people. There were so many people there that they had to stay outside the park.

(Mary) Poway, CA(Zone 10a)

It was beautiful. The weather was great during the day - just long sleeve or a light jacket needed. Compared to July (the last time we went there) it was a lot less crowded. I think the hotels inside the park are very limited and are often booked up a couple years in advance. We stayed in the little town of West Yellowstone, a couple blocks from the park entrance. It's basically a town full of hotels and restaurants that support the tourism of the park. We enjoyed it a lot, and I hope to go back again someday. Didn't notice any one type of people. Seemed pretty varied. We were having dinner in town one night at a popular restaurant - just two of us at a table for four - and a couple asked if they could share our table. We love meeting new people, so of course we said yes. They were on a bus tour of the western states. They were from the United Kingdom. They mentioned that there were all types on their tour, but they all spoke english. Some were from Australia. She mentioned that the bus tour company will try to link up all the people that speak the same language so they'll all be comfortable with each other.

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Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

That sounds like a real cool tour company doesn't it? More and more foreigners visiting here. I think that is interesting. Maybe my imagination or whatever, but it always seemed to me that Americans were traveling to other countries more than their citizens coming here. I felt that is the way it used to be. Sounds like more and more people coming here. From all over.

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