Bozeman, MT, Yellowstone NP & Glacier NP

May 28th, 2013, 07:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2013
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Bozeman, MT, Yellowstone NP & Glacier NP

Traveling to Bozeman, MT at the end of June. It will be our base for travels to Glacier NP and Yellowstone. Any suggestions for things to do and see and restaurants while in those areas? Traveling with three daughters who are 17, 15 and 12. Thanks!!
bethl5 is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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What is your exact schedule ?
In other words how many time have you here?..
Bozeman/Gardiner(one of the entry in Yellowstone) is 1h20 drive.
It's the "mammoth entrance" and so far/essential attractions(geysers, canyon,...).
For Glacier it's 282 miles from Bozeman to east Glacier village.
You have to arrive in Bozeman and if you have only one week, choose between Glacier and Yellowstone(a full day drive between the 2 parks is generally the rule..).
If you have 10 days you can do Yellowstone and Glacier...
But beware it's crowded in summer and perhaps there are not avaibility in the hotel/motel in Parks..
Perhaps and certainly some rooms out of parks..but miles to drive in the morning...
Did your daughters like hiking..
If not focus on Yellowstone as Glacier is essentially an "hiking" park...
I know there is Going to the sun road and Lake Mc Donald but nothing can beat the hikes to felle the spirit of GNP...
In case of only one week you can have a day or 2 in Grand Teton if you choose the Yellowstone option...
If Glacier is preferred one or 2 days or in Flathead region(Bigfork,..) or Beertooth highway or Missoula...
monpetit is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 06:16 AM
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Erik knows the area well.

What I don't understand is Bozeman being your "base". Does that mean you intend to sleep there and drive to your day sights or will Bozeman be your arrival point.

How long have you allowed for the entire trip not counting days of arrival and departure?

What are your interests and physical capabilities?

The most desirable places to stay are inpark (unless a pool is required for kids) to keep driving to a reasonable level.

Other than driving the length of Going to the Sun Road and stopping at various viewpoints, much of Glacier is a hiking park. Especially the extremely scenic Many Glacier area.

Yellowstone & Grand Tetons
In my opinion Yellowstone is primarily an attraction park. Thermal features, some wildlife, waterfalls, etc.
Grand Teton NP is primarily a scenery park and it's spectacular.
That's not to say Yellowstone & Grand Tetons don't have hiking.

Lodging. People dream of these trips years ahead. So lodging is generally booked up a year in advance. That's the bad part.

The good part is that people book a year in advance and have no idea whether or not they'll take the trip. So there are cancellations that you have to be prepared to jump on.
Myer is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 06:55 AM
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We have friends who are letting us stay at their lodge in Bozeman so we are at least spending part of the time there and flying home from there. We have about 12 days total for our vacation.

We've also considered flying into Salt Lake Ciy and driving up into Montana and seeing Grand Teton and the southern part of Yellowstone on our way to Bozeman. We are interested in seeing the scenery, none of us are hikers. Sounds like Teton is a better idea for us than Glacier. Anything else to do/see in the Salt lake City area or on the way to Bozeman? Thanks!
bethl5 is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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It's a long drive between Glacier and Bozeman. You'd really need to stay a few days in the Glacier area to see it; it won't work to drive back and forth.

In the Bozeman area, I'd check out Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park and the Museum of the Rockies.
kureiff is online now  
May 29th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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If you want to spend more than a few hours of one day in Glacier, you should spend at least one night in the Whitefish or Columbia Falls area. I really liked the Meadow Lake resort in Columbia Falls.
tomfuller is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, which is one of the most scenic drives in the country, won't be compeltely open until late in June. Right now it's scheduled to open June 21st, but that can always change.

In fact, June is pretty early in Glacier due to the amount of snow they receive.
wave725 is offline  
May 29th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Personally, I don't think you can drive from Bozeman and see all of Yellowstone in day trips. You can get to the park in a fairly short amount of time but it takes hours to just drive the loops, not to mention making all the stops to see features. There is no point in going to Yellowstone if you aren't going to make those stops because you can't see most the features from the road.

Driving is very slow and you have to make frequent stops for buffalo and other wildlife.

Yellowstone has a liberal cancellation policy--I think it is 48 hours prior to your stay so check daily for cancellations if you don't find what you want the first time.

Late June is a little iffy for GTS road and, once again IMO, there is no point if you can't drive the road.
Connie is offline  
May 30th, 2013, 03:32 PM
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So as you are not "hikers" the best is to focus on Yellowstone..
You can arrive in Bozeman, relax here 2-3 days and do some day trip to attractions nearby( museums, ghost towns like Virginia city,...)
Then yoû drive to Yellowstone and if you are lucky find some rooms avaliable in Canyon or lake lodge, even at Old snow...check the website
Options can be Gardiner ,or west yellowstone but you have to drive in the morning..
From Canyon or lake or old snow you can organise your days to visit the highlightsn and also some short hikes.
Then back to Bozeman or by beartooth highway in 2-3 days, via red lodge and billings or more directly and lax by your friends before back home...
monpetit is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 04:11 AM
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It's nice that you have a lodge to stay in for this trip but to see the parks you are going to want to stay in lodging in/near the parks. It's just too much of a drive. We had the same situation and loved just "resting" for a few days on the ranch (not too far from Bozeman) between our visits to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone and then to Glacier. I hope to return this summer and do the same. If you are that close, definitely go to Glacier - at least for a couple of days.
starrs is offline  
May 31st, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Glacier is a hiking park but it also has some of the most fabulous mountain scenery in the U.S. You certainly don't have to be a hiker to appreciate this park. I'm certain that most of the visitors are there for the scenery, not to hike.

I love Yellowstone--have been many times and it is one of my favorite national parks but it is not particularly scenic. The draw to Yellowstone is wildlife and thermal features.
Connie is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2013, 02:27 PM
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In my opinion Yellowstone is more of an attraction park and the Grand Tetons is more of a scenery park.
Myer is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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Thanks everyone! We are flying in and out of Salt Lake City (flight and car rental prices dictated this plan). Seeing Park City, UT, Grand Teton NP and Yellowstone NP on the way up to Montana. May travel north to Glacier NP. On the return to Salt Lake City, considering stopping at Craters of the Moon area - if that's worth the detour?
bethl5 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Nice program..
Beware that fromYNP to Glacier it´s a whole day drive and so idem/back to Bozeman.
It´s true that GNP is terrific and scenery BUT if you plan only one day here it´s a lot of miles...
And I agree with Myer YNP is much more than a park with attractions( scenery, wildlife, hikes,...) and Grand Tetons has a lot do do in addition to see...
monpetit is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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Thanks Erik - trying to find a place to stay in Jackson area that isn't too outrageous in cost : ) What do you recommend doing/seeing in Grand Tetons?
bethl5 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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I don't know if you mentioned whether or not you're into photography.

I realize that you're really not into hiking but you may want to do the relatively short Jenny lake hike that start with a quick boat ride across the lake.

Some of the stops you can make. On the outside road: Mormon Row barns with Tetons in the background. Schwabacher Landing. This is a half mile dirt road drive off the outside road just above Mormon Row. It takes you lower than the on-road pullouts so that the Tetons are reflecting in the Snake River.

Oxbow Bend. Near the northern part of the Park where the outside and inside roads meet. beautiful scenery. Sometimes wildlife in the area. People gather there early morning and early evening for the views.

Either drive or walk up Signal Mountain. A couple of viewpoints on the way up. We saw a couple of black bears up there.

I suspect Jackson is a little outrageous. It's an upitty town.
Myer is offline  
Jun 5th, 2013, 12:34 AM
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Jenny Lake and trail around string and even Leigh lakes are easy and scenic.
Boat on Jenny Lake to Hidden falls and inspiration point is nice and some mile(s) in Cascade canyon cà
N allow you wild life viewing
Signal mountain and around lodge offers nice views
Traggartand bradley lakes trail is easy
And as Myer said Oxbow bend and also willow flats has nice scenixc views and wildlife.
In Jackson, we slept at Jackson village cowboy- not bad, large rooms, quiet.
But an ubit at Signal mountain lodge is an unique experience and can accomodate a family..
monpetit is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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Note that Animals of Montana is not animals in the wild. It's an animal farm where the animals are paraded out for a certain amount of time so that they can be photographed to look like they're in the wild.

Is that bad? I don't know. Is a zoo bad? I don't know.
Myer is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Note the orginal post is a year old!!
John is offline  

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