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Finding Real Food in Yellowstone National Park!

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After our night at Chico Hot Springs, we followed the family south into Yellowstone National Park. We’ve visited the park enough times to know that our food options are limited… restaurants accompany all the main attractions and packaged foods are readily available, but look for fresh produce and you might be searching quite a while.

Kate in Yellowstone National ParkIt’s best to plan ahead and stock up on food before you enter the park. Lunch is easy enough if you’ve got a cooler. To save money and eat well, we packed healthy snacks like carrot sticks, apples, cheese, and homemade trail mix.

We had a little more difficulty when we were looking for something hot to eat for dinner. A last-minute change in plans left us wandering West Yellowstone (just outside the west entrance) looking for something to eat for dinner. Prices are high and vegetarian fare is hard to find, but we settled on some noodle soup from a Chinese place and a couple tacos from another restaurant across the street.

The next day we passed back through the park on our way to Wyoming. Stopping at a gift shop and grocery in Grant Village, we were surprised to find they offered potatoes, onions, and bananas at a good price, as well as organic grapes and local wines. They even had stickers denoting some locally sourced products. So there is good food in Yellowstone!

Real food in Yellowstone National ParkGrant Village Grocery and Gft ShopI went online to find out more about this exciting new development. As it turns out, we arrived just in time – the National Parks Service announced in June that they are launching an effort to bring healthier fare to the national parks.

In Yellowstone, select restaurants will use Montana-grown lentils and split-peas, as well as lamb and grass-fed beef from local ranchers. Food vendors at parks all around the nation are being encouraged to source locally and add health-conscious options to their menus.

We’re proud of our parks for their natural beauty and for the wildlife that call these places home. Now the experience can come full-circle when we also pay tribute for the nourishing food that the land provides. Next time we visit a National Park we’ll pay closer attention to the food that’s available and show our support for good food wherever we find it!

Read more:

National parks dishing up healthier fare this summer
National parks to offer healthier food under new standards

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2 comments to Finding Real Food in Yellowstone National Park!

  • I haven’t actually visited Coulter Bay. If it’s in one of our national parks, you should be able to find some healthy options in restaurants and convenience stores. Still the cheapest option would likely be to bring your own food. Are you tent camping, staying in an RV, or at a nearby hotel? It looks like there is a small grocery at Colter Bay Village. If you are cooking your own meals you can plan ahead – bring some dry staples that won’t spoil (bread, noodles, bouillon cubes, granola, even apples) and while you’re there you can pick up some veggies to throw together a quick stir-fry or soup with grilled cheese. For breakfast on the road we throw some of our home-made granola in a yogurt cup, with a banana or whatever fruit is available.

  • Jan /eby

    Please share any good ideas for food for 2-8 year olds and their parents while staying in Coulter Bay at Yellowstone Park. Also any suggestions for our family adventure this summer.