<p>We took a 1 week family vacation and of all our trips, this remains one of the highlights.</p>
<p>I agree with trying to stay in at least one other location in the park--IT IS HUGE and you will want to explore other areas of the park without doing all that driving. It's true it's tough to get a reservation but be persistant--people DO cancel and I'm betting you'll be able to make some changes, even if only for a couple of days. It is worth it. We had a similar problem when we went, during high season, and were able to get into some different lodging. Again, I highly recommend you keep at it at places where the lodging might fit your budget. You will not be sorry.</p>
<p>I also agree with the advice about allowing more time within the Tetons area. We spent one day driving down there, did a boat trip across Jenny Lake, and a hike. We REALLY wish we'd made arrangements to stay in the area even just one night. It is spectacular and although close to Yellowstone, it has a very different, wilder kind of feel. All of us (2 kids, H and I felt this way).</p>
<p>Also, as one other poster mentioned, do take advantage of the rangers walks and lectures. I had to drag my family to do this and in the end, wow, we were ALL glad we went. We learned so much and especially by doing a couple at the very beginning, it helped us look for some of the wildlife, etc that we'd learned about. Lots of tips and very helpful info. It, without a doubt, made the single biggest difference in enjoying the park as much as possible. Our kids were younger, and so they participated in the Junior Ranger program. (8 and 10 at the time).
The geyser walk from Old Faithful Inn was really excellent and you know you'll spend time there so might as well learn something!</p>
<p>We went to the Lamar Valley and saw an incredible amount of wildlife in that one evening. I think it was some kind of barbecue/trail ride but just the drive there and back was spectacular.(This trip was unbelievable overall: we saw EVERYTHING from grizzlies to wolves, packs of coyotes, antelope/elk/deer, big horn sheep, baby owls, eagles, etc etc). </p>
<p>Anyway, we loved Yellowstone and have truly fond memories of this most amazing trip. I'm jealous!</p>