6 days out West with 2 teens. Where to go?

May 14th, 2019, 06:19 AM
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6 days out West with 2 teens. Where to go?

I'm thinking of a 6 day trip out West. I know it deserves longer but can't be away from my 94yr old mom for too long.
We live in South Florida and I'd like a quick trip out West, last week of June. Kids are 16 and 18yrs old but never been west of Houston. When I was in college I got to Bryce and Zion. DH and I have been to Vegas.

Flying from South Florida, is Frontier the airline? Grand Teton is my first choice . Can we cover Teton and Yellowstone? I'd look for Airbnb. We aren't mountain climbers but do like hiking. Can you narrow it down for me?
I think 3 days in one town and 3 days in another works best,

Kristinesonja is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 06:44 AM
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Grand Teton would be great.
Rocky Mountain National Park and the Colorado Rockies would be a good 6 day trip.
Gretchen is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 06:53 AM
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The Tetons and Yellowstone are certainly feasible, but it's a big and very spread out area, and finding accommodations inside the national park (Yellowstone) are going to be difficult at that time - things book up early. I think the pickings for airbnb are also going to be slim - the towns where you'd find them aren't particularly convenient to the interior of the national park(s.) It's also going to take a long time to get there from south Florida; you'll have to change planes to get to some nearby airport like Jackson, Wyoming, and then it will be a longish drive to anywhere. With six days total, you'd be burning two just in the to-and-from.

Let me throw out an alternative idea that might be appealing, certainly worthy of some research. Fly to Portland, Oregon, get a car, and spend your days in the Mount Hood/Columbia River Gorge area. This is a spectacularly beautiful area, but the main thing (for you) is that you've got enormous variety (different landscapes, things to see and do, experiences) within an incredibly compact area, all of it within an hour or two of PDX airport. There are waterfalls along the Gorge walls, hikes through old-growth forest, windsurfing and kite boarding at Hood River, as well as white water rafting out of White Salmon, WA (across the Columbia from Hood River, Oregon.) You can visit Timberline Lodge on the side of Mount Hood (used in The Shining) and take the chair lift up to where there's year-round skiing on the side of the big volcano. There are lakes with views of Mounts Hood and Adams, wineries and U-pick orchards and farms to visit in the glorious Hood River Valley, the funky Maryhill Museum (Rodin in the sagebrush) and nearby copy of Stonehenge set on the cliffs overlooking the great river. Visit the Bonneville hatchery and say hello to Herman the Sturgeon... In the early summer, the waterfalls will be full of water, the sagebrush landscape east of Hood River won't have dried out yet (the transition from wet to dry as you travel along the Columbia is striking) and the weather will likely be spectacular. Base in Hood River, a very pleasant town, and everything's in easy range for day trips.

it's a terrific area and very convenient. Google the places on this map - https://goo.gl/maps/Vw7i57fnq2H4j5kaA

Columbia Gorge

Mount Hood from Hood River Valley

Latourell Falls along the scenic Historic Highway

Mount Hood from Portland

Last edited by Gardyloo; May 14th, 2019 at 06:56 AM.
Gardyloo is online now  
May 14th, 2019, 07:06 AM
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THANK YOU!!!! I knew folks here would present alternatives! I'm going to look at this.
Kristinesonja is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Kristinesonja View Post
Flying from South Florida, is Frontier the airline?
Depends on which airports you're using.

I would pick Colorado. RMNP or anywhere in the Rockies would be a great 6 day trip in late June. Fly into Denver.
WhereAreWe is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Kristinesonja View Post
Flying from South Florida, is Frontier the airline?
For Portland, Southwest might be the better choice..
sludick is online now  
May 15th, 2019, 06:43 AM
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I agree totally with Gardyloo. There is a lot less driving from the airport to where you want to go if you fly to PDX. If you tire of Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge, you are within a few hours drive of the Pacific Ocean.
There is plenty to see all the way from the Astoria Column to the Oregon Coast Aquarium south of Newport. The other main airline into PDX is Alaska and its partner airline.
tomfuller is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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I've got two teens in the same age range. We're also East Coasters (although further north as you can see from my name lol). Gardyloo's suggestion is one I have on my "to do list" and sounds amazing. Two itineraries I can recommend based on personal experience:

Teton/Yellowstone - we did this as part of a larger road trip but spent one night and two days in Teton, then four nights in Yellowstone. I can't recommend Yellowstone enough. Easy hiking...amazing animals...no cell phone service so expect complete freakout from your kids, which then morphs into semi-enjoyment as they actually engage with you and are aware of their surroundings instead of buried in their phones. We spent two nights at Old Faithful Lodge and two nights at Canyon Lodge. I will say that staying in the park is key to taking advantage to the time you have, and that lodging is tricky to get last minute. So I'd aim for this only if you can get the lodging straight first. If you click on my name there's a trip report.

Moab area in Utah - another part of a larger trip, but we spent four full days in Moab. ATV riding, hummer trip up Devil's Revenge, whitewater rafting plus Arches is an awesome NP. There's also Canyonlands and a host of other parks in the general area. The whole area is so incredibly different from the East Coast and if I was going for scenic "shock effect" this is what I'd recommend. It will be hot though - we went mid-June and it was 98-105 degrees.

Wherever you decide please post a report after and have a great time!!
capecod73 is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 12:04 PM
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tomfuller, sounds good. I'm going to look at these options also. Thank you.
Kristinesonja is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 12:05 PM
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capecod73, I think you're correct about saving the Teton/Yellowstone for another time when I can book farther ahead. Great info. Thank you.
Kristinesonja is offline  
May 16th, 2019, 09:52 PM
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Another Oregonian here and it's a good length for a trip here. You've gotten great input from Gardyloo. I would do 2 nights at Cannon Beach and 4 nights in Hood River if it were me. If you change your mind, I think Colorado is your other good option for your trip length.

About the flights: I have kids in the Midwest and East for college and for trips. I check all the prices.For sure, Alaska Airlines and Southwest are strong here, and yes, I really love Alaska Air too. But honestly, we get a lot of flights from United, so much so, I got the card for a year. Delta is also reasonably strong. I see far fewer flights on American Airlines. Be careful of JetBlue. Their coverage is so thin here, that if there's a cancellation, they have no flight to move you to. They ultimately reimbursed us and we bought a ticket on United.
5alive is offline  
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