I've looked through the old spotting scope posts and would like to revisit this topic. Have people who brought a spotting scope felt it was not worthwhile if animal viewing was just a small part of your trip? If you didn't have a spotting scope, did you feel like you missed out? We have decent quality binoculars and will have a high end tripod (for mainly photography use).
The consensus seems that its worthwhile for wildlife viewing in Lamar and Hayden. We will spend 2 days around Lamar and drive through Hayden on a third day. If we aren't there at dawn or sunset maybe there won't be much wildlife to look for? Do people find spotting scopes useful elsewhere in YNP or GTNP?
We would rent from Lensrental and pick up at a Fedex in Bozeman and then drop off at end of the trip in Jackson at another Fedex - so we'd be paying for many days where the spotting scope might just be sitting in the trunk. Though maybe we could drop it at a fedex in West Yellowstone prior to heading to grand teton. Rental including shipping and insurance is about $100 so not much in the scheme of things for a new experience.