I just returned from a three day work trip with a 30 hour layover in Bozeman, Montana. So what’s a adventurous girl going to do with 30 hours in Bozeman? Yellowstone National Park! But let’s start from the beginning.
Arrived around midnight and headed for our hotel, the Best Western Grantree Inn. It’s a decent three star hotel. Room was clean. Had a large sized room with double beds and a sink area with separate shower toilet stall. Bathroom was average but clean. Beds were comfy. A pretty good average hotel. I did not eat at the hotel but the crew said it was pretty good. I headed to the gas station across the street for coffee. There’s also a small casino with an atm machine.
The next morning I met the crew who rented a car. Six of us went together. One person rented an Escalade. The total cost for the car including gas and the $35 parking fee came to a grand total of $300. So each of us paid just under paid $50. We put a total of 351 miles on the car that day.
We left about 9:30 a.m. It took 1 hour 15 minutes to the north entrance of the park. We drove by the visitor center and headed to Mammoth Springs. Beautiful hot springs. We probably walked around for a half an hour and took some photos. The next several hours we spent driving from the north entrance towards the west entrance stopping along the way at various waterfalls.
We then headed towards Old Faithful. We missed the geyser spout by 1 minute. Here was our biggest planning mistake. Once you get in the park there is no cell phone service. So we couldn’t check times of geyser. We should have had a better idea. If we had a time table we could have made a plan. Thus we missed Old Faithful by one minute.
So we headed off for the Grand Prismatic Spring. The hike is about 20 minutes to the View point above the springs. We then headed towards the west entrance around 5:30 pm. It took roughly 2 hours 40 minutes to complete the drive back.
We then returned the rental car at the airport and grabbed the shuttle back to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel about 9pm and headed for bed for our early pickup. Keep in mind that a return trip to the hotel after returning car will add roughly an hour to your day.
I had brought snacks to eat throughout the day. I wish I had brought more substantial food. We never stopped for lunch. There were a couple hotels in the big areas of the park (Main visitor center and center at Old Faithful) with some restaurant choices but we never agreed on anything. We were all so hungry it got to the point where we didn’t even want food when we got to hotel. So plan accordingly. There were several bathroom spots all along the major stops so that was nice.
All in all, it was a great Layover and I highly recommend heading to Bozeman and Yellowstone! Any layovers over 24 hours is ample time to visit Yellowstone.