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The Yellowstone Handbook: An Insider's Guide to the Park: A Related by Ranger Norm Paperback – March, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is primarily in question and answer format. Most of the answers range in length between one paragraph and a couple of pages. This isn't too bad when using the book for reference but it does not make for great readability.
My biggest complaint is that the book claims to be "an insider's guide" but it provides limited guidance. For example, there are ten pages of outfitters listed. But for the most part the only guidance to them is the category the outfitter is listed under. There is no information on what the differences among the outfitters are as far as what they offer or the quality of their services. A couple of outfitters are mentioned in a general description of guide services, but again there are no reasons given for why you would want to select one of them.
Another example of this lack of guidance is the description of the lodging available in the park. The descriptions are very limited and would not be enough to make an informed decision on where to stay.
I later purchased "Yellowstone - Grand Teton Handbook" by Don Pitcher (Moon Handbooks). I found this book to be much more helpful. Instead of giving a long list of outfitters, Pitcher provides descriptions and opinions about some of the outfitters. He also provides a much better description of what the different lodging options are like. These two examples are representative of the general difference between these books. As an added bonus, "Yellowstone - Grand Teton Handbook" also provides much more information about the Grand Tetons and other areas around Yellowstone.
It's a great format because it makes for easy reading beforehand, but it's also quick as a reference when you're there because they're arranged in an intelligent order. There's also a huge reference section at the end with lists, copies of permit forms, and so forth. So the thing to do is read the FAQ before you leave but bring the book and refer to it once you're there.
I've only been to Yellowstone once and had no idea where to stay, or which hotels were near which sites and so forth. This book really cleared it up for me and we had a great time.