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Trip Report Yellowstone/GTNP kids and grandma too

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Thanks to everyone here who gave advice or added trip reports to help us plan a very memorable and successful first visit to Yellowstone.

I'll keep it short and factual- if you have specific questions i'd be happy to answer what I know.

When: july 10-18; 2 days GTNP/ 5 days YS/ 1 day Jacson

Who: 2 moms; 3 kids (6,9,12) and 1 grandma (65)

What we loved: Rafting the Snake River in Jackson- we used Sands
The gorgeous scenery at Ox bow bend- and Jenny Lake-
Teton Village/ areial Tram
Alpine slide at Snow King
Overlooking Willow Flats at Jackson Lake Lodge
The western cabins in the P loop at Canyon Village
The Roosevelt Cookout-Covered wagon ride in YS
the people we met at YS
being in the park before 9 and after 3

What we didn't like: people who were disrespectful towards nature by playing in the thermal features, touching the water, or picnicing where they weren't supposed to. Also, the people who didn't stay the apporpriate distance away from the animals...that's not fair to the animals... and HOT AIR Ballon Ride!!!! long- hot - and boring

What we would have done differently-
We stayed 2 nights at Jackson Lake Lodge- whcih we loved, but we were doing our excursions in Jackson on those days. We should have stayed in Jackson the first night to be closer to the activiites and Teton Village and then travled up to Jackson Lake Lodge.

Lodging: we loved all our choices: Jackson Lake Lodge- 2nd floor mt view room- it's a cabin not a hotel room- we knew that and were thrilled.
Yellowstone Park Hotel in West Yellowstone- nice change of pace from the cabins- generous sized rooms with AC and cable- we didn't use the TV- also has a pool and laundry-
western cabin in Canyon- luxury camping...electricity- hot shower and private bathrrom in the wilderness what could be better- also GREAT location for getting to Canyon or Hayden

The Lexington- in Jackson before our flight- another nice change from cabin style. it was quiet-large and comfortable with a separate sitting area and door between it and the bedroom.

FOOD:
we bought food and a cooler in Jackson- and planned lots of picnics- otherwise we mainly used the grills and general stores in the park....and they were fine- overpriced and park food but that's where you are...

Kids: espeically loved the covered wagon ride...it's a fun "chesesy" way to have dinner. and the food was good. they also loved finding the wildlife,

IF we go again- we will spend more time on the west side of the park and less in the busy OF area....we will also try to see Grand Prismatic in the bright sunshine...every day we where there it was rainy and foggy on that side so we didn't get her colors.

PATH: after staying at JLL for 2 nights (snake rafting trip/ aerial tram/ and balloon ride) we entered YS throught the south entrance- and went to West Thumb geyser basin and visitor center(with some stops along the way) - then over to OF for an evening (empty) view. then on to west Yellowstone that was a long day of driving.

next day we did the gyesers and laundry
day 3 we did Mammoth and included wraith falls and undine falls on the tower road...had a picnic at Lava creek. then headed back down to W. Y hitting all the turnouts we wanted and stopping at Norris and Mud pots before dinner.

day 4 we headed across to Canyon- did the rim drives and overlooks all before 9 (no trails b/c we had kids and didn't want them complaining) then to fishing bridge (vc) and lake area. hayden for the evening.

day 5 we did hayden early and then on to lamar- we did turnouts in afternoon and headed back for cookout- did lamar in evening and saw our bears and wolves.

day 6 we headed back to Jackson through the South exit :-( and stopped at Signal Mt along the way for a mamma bear and her 2 cubs.

Last night we were in Lexington and did the alpine slide- nice fun easy ending to a great trip.

let me know if you have any quesitons.

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