I enjoyed doing nothing my first day at Hebgen Lake then headed out early for Yellowstone NP the next morning. Let me interject --- my 1st two nights in the tent, it was 34 degrees! and my camp site just had vault toilets & potable water. Back to nature, baby, after being spoiled just a bit these past few weeks.
While I saw some amazing sites (see photos!) in my 6 hours at Yellowstone NP, it was not an enjoyable park experience. I didn't see the Grand Prismatic Spring because I gave up after circling the parking lot 3 times looking for a spot. The mobs at the Visitor's Center near Old Faithful were painful, and I almost had to slap a surly ranger from Jersey. On my way out that first day, traffic was backed up for as far as I could see in both directions. Why? Because tourists didn't pull over; they simply stopped the car to take a photo from the window. This is the NP of yahoos!
I knew that I would only see a small speck of Yellowstone NP (it's 3500 sq miles) but I never imagined how poorly managed the park is or how out-of-control the tourist situation would be. There are no shuttles, no bike lanes, and limited hiking (many trails were closed). If you love driving hundreds of miles; sitting in traffic; circling for parking spaces; and interfacing with hordes of ornery tourists, you'll love this park! I did just read that visitation was up 24% this year.
I did see some geologic wonders and bison were everywhere but this was no outdoor experience after what I have enjoyed in the past month. I tried to go into the park 2 days later and after moving 1.2 miles in 35 minutes, I simply turned around (road work that day).