Notices

Bozeman vs. Billings?

Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:28 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 90
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bozeman vs. Billings?

I'm just so confused and the more I look at the map, the more confused I get.

Allright, out of a world of possiblities, we've decided to take our 2 elementary-aged children to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone this July. Yes, it will be crowded but it'll be crowded everywhere but that's when we need to vacation.

We have 2 weeks...and I'm just paralzed with how to start....first, where should we fly to? I hear a lot about bozeman and billings...should we pick one of those towns to start? Should we fly into one place (say, a Salt Lake City) and then fly out of another? But does that cost a lot more to do?

I don't know...I wish I were smarter than I'm sounding right now!
Garvin222 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:47 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 90
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Or maybe we should just fly to Jackson Hole and end/begin there?

Oh experts of the west, help us.
Garvin222 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 12:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The standard airport for GTNP and Yellowstone is Jackson, but I would first start by shopping price from your hometown. You will likely find that SLC could save you a good amount of money, and with 2 weeks that might work well - it will take 5-6 hours to drive from SLC, so you balance time and money.

We flew into Jackson last summer because cost was almost identical to Bozemand and Billings and the connections were far better. You could also check Idaho Falls. Often flying into one airport and out of another is more expensive, but check that as well.

Now to further unparalyze you, after you have the airfare set, get a map of GTNP and Yellowstone. With the amount of time you have (perhaps 10 days might be better depending on whether or not you hike, etc.) I suggest you stay in 3 different locations - the first near/in GTNP or in Jackson; the second in one half of Yellowstone, the third the other half (divide Park either N/S or E/W - there is a figure-8 shaped loop road thruout. For lodging, go to Xanterra.com and check what is available - probably not much at this date, but don't get further paralyzed over this.

If in-Park lodging is not available, go to your map and look at what towns are in what half of the Park. We stayed in West Yellowstone and Gardiner, but there are other options. When you have picked 2 places, go to whatever hotel booking sites you like and book cancellable reservations for 3 lodging sites (GTNP and 2 in Yellowstone)

Then take a few days off and congratulate yourself that the hard part is done.

Get a couple of guidebooks - there are several that describe what there is to see in a linear fashion as you drive thru the Parks. Do some research on this site - more here than you could imagine.

If you really want to stay in the Park, keep checking on website and by phone for cancellations - always a possibility.

Have a great trip - it was one of our favorite vacations. And the crowds were not awful, so don't worry about that.
gail is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 12:36 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 90
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
this detail really helps me! Okay, off to research.
Garvin222 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 12:55 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another great website is www.yellowtone.net. Go to the forums here. There are an unbelievable amount of YNP and GTNP experts on that site. Post questions back here as well.
odie1 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 01:54 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 442
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might want to consider a loop. Fly into Billings. Could visit Little Bighorn Battlefield NM first or on your return. Enter Yellowstone by the NE entrance by driving over the Beartooth Hwy. One of most spectacular drives you can take. In Yellowstone will be driving through Lamar Valley on your way to Mammoth Hot Springs. Good area to look for folks pulled over looking for wolves. Usually bison & elk in area as well. Stop at Soda Butte if you want to see cliff swallows nesting. Be sure to bring binculars as wolves are usually far off. In Tower and Canyon areas will see osprey nests on top of the hoodoos over the river. Depending on time of month you arrive may still have young on the nests. In Gardiner be sure to stop at Helen's and get a buffalo burger. It is 90 miles from Gardiner to Bozeman which has the National Computer Museum and the excellent Museum of the Rockies (dinosaurs if the kids like them. Returning to Billings take the Greycliff exit. There is a state park just off the interstate which has a prairie dog town. If you like prehistoric "drawings" visit the Pictograph Cave State park in Billings.
Might want to consider getting a National Parks pass $50 (calendar year) if you will be visiting more parks before July next year. Good for entrance fees at all national parks & monuments.
Photodog is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 02:38 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We drove from VA last summer and, after stops in the Badlands and Black Hills, visted Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons.

We (DH, son, 11, and I) arrived in Yellowstone around July 8 and did not feel that either there or GT was really crowded. The only crowded area in YP was the Canyon area. We stayed in park lodgings all nights and were very pleased. We stayed in the lodge at Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Lodge, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge. All good experiences. While in Mammoth Hot Springs, we did the Old West Cookout, which I think your boys would love. Even though it was early July, it rained and was cold. We were glad that we had taken jeans, sweatshirts, and coats.

In the Tetons, we stayed one night at Signal Mountain Lodge and two nights at The Ranch Inn in Jackson. Took the boat across the lake to hike to Cascade Falls. Another must do. Be sure, unless your children are small, to go beyond Inspiration Point. You will miss the best part of the hike if you don't.

Let me know if you need any other info. I'll be glad to try to help.

Lynda
lthompson is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 02:39 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
By the way, on the way to Old West Cookout, we saw 5 black bear very close to the highway. And lots of elk. This was a great drive.
lthompson is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 02:43 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Several years ago we flew into Bozeman and home from Billings, doing a driving loop. If you must choose one, Bozeman is closer, about an hour from West Yellowstone. Its a a wonderful trip. We flew into Bozeman, spent several days in Yellowstone, drove to the Tetons and stayed a few days in Jackson Lake Lodge, then back up to Yellowstone to the Lake area, out through Cody and up to Billings. Many people use Salt Lake for cheaper airfare. You will pay more for your car rental using 2 airports but I think its worth it. Once you get your airline booked, post for more information and people will give you lots of suggestions. I wouldnt wait much longer as lodging will be at a premium. Try xanterra.com and gtlc.com for official park lodging.
hilda is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 03:58 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS, before you buy multicity airline check car rentals. We've never had problems with renting one place and dropping off elsewhere. But people on this board have said it can be a problem.
hilda is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 06:21 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just my 2 cents again but flying into CODY Wyoming seems pretty good choice if fare is acceptable.
Delta from Salt LAke and United via Denver.
Delta usually has better fares and arrival/departure times.
Hertz, Budget & Thrify are the rental cars available.
Cody town is about 5 minutes away. Small town that has real street "Wild West shoot out" every night. Real Rodeo too.
Ermas (Cody's sister or aunt ran it) is the Hotel seen in a recent episode of Amazing Race. I prefer AmericInn with amazing wild west stuffed critters and big rooms.
Bubbas BBQ right next door.
Some people like to stay at HOliday Inn right next door to the Buffalo Bill Museum.
Road into Yellowstone (about an hour drive to East entrance)goes right past Walmart Superstore to stock up on cheap coolers, drinks, sandwich stuff and anything forgotten.

Yellowstone airport
www.flyyra.com
www.codywyomingnet.com

1JAR is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ostentatious

os·ten·ta·tious (ŏs'tĕn-tâ'shəs, -tən-)
adj.

Pretentious display meant to impress others; boastful showiness.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2007, 05:35 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops... wrong post. Nevermind.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
homeinvirginia2000
United States
5
Jul 19th, 2008 05:44 PM
georgiadot
United States
4
Jun 26th, 2008 07:31 PM
LuvToGo
United States
7
Mar 31st, 2007 07:57 AM
ClaudiaD
United States
6
Mar 20th, 2006 02:37 PM
Matt1222
United States
7
Mar 29th, 2004 07:26 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO