First, thanks for all the help.
One of the most successful parts of the trips was the many recommendations for the ROUTE and to mimimize backtracking. We saw and went to more places than we had planned. Restraunts were much better than expected.(we skipped Canyon for this reason--but we did stop there for coffee--and ran into a sceen at the cash register with a manager and a group complaining not only about the breakfast but also about the last night's dinner.)
Excellent meals at Roundevoux Bistro, Lake Lodge and the Rossevelt.Inn(we are foodies). Bkft was good to excellent everywhere.(we did do yogurt and trail mix half the mornings. Terrible meals at the Carbon County Steak house, cold soup and tough Elk tenderloin at Sydneys. The Cowboy BarBQue cookout steak was tough.
We went to see the geology and sights and fell in love and spent most of our time sighting the wildlife--especially seeing the wolves hunting, the herds of bison, elk and pronghorn and the various bears on the prowl.
The Haden , Lamar valley, CJH, and the Cody-YNP sights are not to be missed.
Good thing we had dinner reservations at most places.
Binoculars are a must and will have telephoto lens and camera next yr.
Layer clothing a must.
Bear Spray if hiking in small groups. We saw a video of how to deploy and latter talked to rangers about it. It works, a bullet will only make a bear mad.
JAC--buckrail lodge-delightful-convenient-computer-ice-location. Great value for Jackson. We stayed two nights for the wife to checkout the shops--Dinner a must at Rondevous Bistro, especially the Ahi tartar with flying fish eggs. Had Elk chop--perfect. Great Argentenian wine. Profiteroles. Sweet Waters--average.. lunch at ThaiMeUP--OK
To Roosevelt via outside loop--3,4 stops on the east loop of Yellowstone. Our mission was to get there early for the Cookout at 3:45. Would not recommend cookout unless they change the steak to a elk burger. And take a horse not the wagon. Would not recomend this for adults and not for kids unless they offer burgers for the kids-and me too.
First morning--Black Bear 75yds from cabin.. Cabin was our second favorite. Great woodstove, brook by cabin, close to all facilities. Coffee at 5:30 at the lodge--- on to Mt Washburn and .back for Bkft at the lodge, waterfalls and sights on NE loop in the AM.. Quick trip to Mommoth for the Bull Elks taking over the town. Dinner at the lodge--Bison, Elk.-excellent. Evening to sight wildlife in the Lamar valley(Bison, badger, elk, pronghorn, mt. goats.).
2nd morning. 5:30 coffee at the lodge, Lamar valley and Sloth creek at 6:30-bison and only a few elk--no bear or wolves(griz and wolves were sighted 5 days latter for 4 continuous days at a kill.--while we were in the south part of the park.). Roosevelt was a joy, beautiful cabin with woodstove, inexpensive, AM coffee, good food. No crowds; quick to many destinations west, east, south. Service exceptional.
3rd morning coffee, Sloth creek, lamar valley repeat --on to Red Lodge. Will not do this trip again. Rain sleet, stupid drivers and I have been to the alps-2hrs of switchbacks.
Pollard hotel-excellent, Carbon Steak house bison steak pathetic. Doubt if I ever go there again but would eat at the Pollard. Bkft was great at Pollard.
4th morning on to Cody by south route, north up the Chief Joseph Highway and back down the same--beautiful drive both ways and twice as fast as going back over the beartooth mt. Cody, we spluged with Irma suite-great room. Museum is great, we spent about 3 hrs there. had lunch at the museum and a takeout burger from the Irma.
5th morning- back to YNP and Lake yellowstone. The drive to YNP is very interesting and will spend more time on our next trip. Picnic lunch on Pelican Creek--beaucoup bison, golden and bald eagles, white pellicans, honkers. Did the waterfalls, thermals in the area.Saw cyotes, otter, bison, elk, wolves, black bear in Haden valley.
Pioneer cabin was like a 1960 trailer-could do without bathroom. We rejected the first cabin . Worst cabins in the park. Worst service in the park. One of the best meals though. The Bison Sirloin tip was the best steak I have ever eaten.
Coffee--non existant before 7:00--anywhere.. Bought instant for the next day. I don't function without coffee and chocolate in the morning
6th morning--pellican creek-same wildlife --more elk(30).Bison herd crossed road at 7:00, stopped traffic for 30 minutes and we spent an hr surrounded and watching the alpha bull do his job. Did Storm Pt hike. Nap in PM. Pelican Creek evening.
7th morning-on to OFI thru Madison. Did Sheepeaters, thermals with ranger guided hike at Norris. Saw a 18Pt Bull Elk, less than 60ys from road calling for the ladies. Wife has video and calls. OFi cabins were our second favorite. Clean, similar to Roosevelt, with a sink. Did buffet--great. Coffee at 6:00. If you want to get the best sites of the wildlife it is the hour before dark and the hr after sunrise. Amazed at the inconsistency of coffee availability at the park. And free at Roosevelt--2.50 everywhere else?
wife had Idaho trout--only OK.
8th morning. Ranger guided hike to Lonestar gieser(just the two of us). easy hike and since we were it, the ranger gave us many interesting things that would not be shared in a crowd. (example-recent Griz -camper was due to a photographer baiting over a long time period and then stopping. Subsequently, the campers were in the area and the bear came to feed. PM- wife did Hotel tour. I went to the bar. We heard may complaints from people staying there because of crowds, noise , bus tours, hotel tours, reservations. Recommended to go to Sydneys in W. Yellowstone for dinner. Since we were interested in going to the Bear/Wolf Retreat there we decided to go. Sydney restaraunt is Yery expensive---gave their elk back to them-so tough I could not eat it. The onion soup was terrible and ice cold and we sent it back. They did nothing to compensate for the bad food. Do not go there!!!!!!
On the way out we went thru a radar trap-speed in the town is 25, YNP is 45. In between is the trap--must be W. Yellowstone revenue source. I was 35mph.
9th morning, snowing, down to GTNP and Signal mt. lodge. many elk along the way.
Buffet Bkft at Mural Room, L.J Lodge. Hiked up Lunch Trail and spotted Elk and mother and baby moose.. cabin---fireplace, bathtub-we soaked.... bottle of wine, nap. By far the best cabin of the trip.
Dinner was so so at main dining room. Saw black bear and cub on the way to Oxbow bend for evening wine and wildlife show.--Elk, Griz,--one guy with telephoto camera had about 15 pics of the griz across a field, swim, across another penisula, swim again and back onto another field where the Griz stayed another 15 min.
10th morning AM--oxbow bend, 70$ bkft(w/tip) at Jenny Lake lodge. expensive but good value. Was sorry I asked to see the dinner menue--80$/person-ouch. We decided to pass here. Did perspiration and inspiration pt. with ranger. fireplace, tub, wine.nap. Back to Coulter Bay and the Indian Museum and joined the ranger at Oxbow Bend for evening wildlife. Dinner was popcorn over the fireplace, leftover Bison stew, cheeze, apples,penut butter crackers, and more wine.(cleaning out the cooler)
11th morning--quick stop at oxbow bend, mormon row, antelope flats--4 herds and we saw 3 wolves hunting--2 black and 1 gray. To JAC via inside loop, and to the Buckrail Lodge. Looked for Teton Tai but was closed on Sunday. Dinner at Rondevous Bistro--as excellent as before.
We left our bear sprar at the Buckrail--If you stay there and ask--they will give you one. they have at least 6. There are many multiple rtn customers there. Enjoy
Looking forward to take my kids and grandkids there next year in late June.
Plan on 3 days at roosevelt, 1 Lake, 2 OFI, 2or 3 at ranch for riding.
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First, thanks for all the help.