We headed west to Yellowstone Lake State Park recently. It was a last minute trip for us that really worked out well. Elliot had a lot of car work to do. I’ve found that the best way to handle those types of days is to go out hiking with the boys. Since this was going to be a longer project, camping seemed to be the perfect fit.
Nana and Grandpa Tod had already planned to go camping, so we hopped on board and headed west! To Yellowstone! Ha! There were a lot of yellow stones surrounding the lake, so the advertising was accurate.
The camping itself was great. You can tell that this is the second season of camping with the boys. They understood to keep away from the fire and there was a lot less direction that was needed. They were comfortable sleeping in the tent. I didn’t need to remind them to take their shoes off to enter the tent. It was a dramatically different experience from last year. They were also less anxious about Elliot being gone. It helped to have Nana and Grandpa there are familiar faces. Auntie Kate also rounded out our party and it was fun to spend time as a family.
The campground was nice. Most spots were nicely secluded from the road. A few were walk-ins or semi-private. There was a group of sites (81,83, and 87) that would have been perfect for a family reunion. I wouldn’t recommend the group sites themselves. Very close to the road, little to no tree cover meant your group wouldn’t have any privacy, and far from the showers.
We did several hikes and spent most of our time fishing. Graham and Warren both caught their very first fish with Nana! They were both Bluegills. It was quite impressive for their first time fishing. The hiking was lovely. A lot of different terrain from what we are used to. The southwest part of Wisconsin was unglaciated so it has rolling hills that we don’t usually get to see over by Milwaukee.
We used almost every piece of gear that I brought. The weather couldn’t make up it’s mind. We had rain, wind, hot and cold. The only thing I forgot was the kid toilet. We were at site 88, which wasn’t too far from the showers and flush toilets, but it was a bit too far for Graham. Ah well! Next time. The only thing we over packed was diapers-and I’m totally okay with that.
Pros: Gorgeous Lake. Nice variety of hiking (and skiing in winter trails. Most sites very secluded. Hot showers. Even when full the campground didn’t seem too noisy and most trails were still uncrowded. No cell service at all.
Cons: Drive to the campground is pretty but mostly on two lane roads that you really do need to pay attention to. Seemed to be pretty busy (we went Memorial Day weekend, so I’m not sure if that was vacation busy or if that’s the way it always is)
What you need to know: I’d totally go back. 2 hours from MKE is a completely reasonable drive especially for how secluded you ended up feeling.