Change of plans for Yellowstone trip

Nov 8th, 2008, 07:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5
Change of plans for Yellowstone trip

Hey eveyone I've changed my plans due to better airfare and closer airport. I will be flying into Billings on July 2 and driving to Little Bighorn, something I always wated to do. From there leave for Sheridan.(stay in Wingate Inn) Drive to Cody the next day. Check out museums and the Cody Stampede on July 3 and July 4th. ( stay in Cody Cowboy Village 2 nights) Drive into Yellowstone on July 5th. Stay in Canyon Lodge western cabin for 4 nights. These cabins were recently updated and look pretty nice. On July 9 drive to Grand Tetons. Maybe take a float trip on the Snake river. Stay 2 nights in Jackson at the Cowboy Village. On Sat. July 11 drive back to Billings, maybe by way of Beartooth Hwy.Stay in Billings overnite fo a 6am flight on Sunday. I think this trip would be easier for my kids (7&10). Would appreciate any suggestions or advice since this my first trip to the area. Thanks Rob
rknapp17 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,368
When you get there, buy a cheap cooler. Use it for drinks, lunch, snacks for kids. There will be lots of days on your itinerary when someone will be hungry or thirsty and food/drink is miles away. Sounds like trivial advice - but of all the trips we have taken, our Yellowstone trip was the one we most wanted such a snack source.
gail is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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sounds good. only thing I would do different would be 2 nites at canyon and 2 nites at old faithful area. I would stay in the Tetons, not Jackson. Your kids would like the Alpine Slide in Jackson. Colter Village cabins, or tent cabins are a good option. I would stay @ Roosevelt Cabins over Canyon if they are available. I would stay at Old Faithful Inn if it is available We did the historic section this past summer, so no private bath there, but it was only around $100 a night.
spirobulldog is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Be prepared from some road delays due to road repairs. A local told me last time we were up there that are two seasons in Wyoming -- winter and road construction!

Also, be sure to pack with dressing in layers in mind. It could be really cool in the morning and warm up to t-shirt weather in the afternoon.
jayne1973 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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We were in Cody, Yellowstone and Little Bighorn last summer. You will have a great trip, your kids are at the perfect age. (Mine was not at 13!)

I second the recommendation for a cooler. We bought one in Billings. When we got to the grocery store we saw that they were selling them right there. We shopped at Albertsons which is a great grocery store, good deli, and good customer service.

We thought the food in Yellowstone was pretty bad. We ate out of our cooler alot. The best meal we had in Yellowstone was at a counter grill in a store in the Lake area.

At Little Bighorn we took the guided tour run by the Crow Indian tribe (Somethhing like Apsaloppa Tours I'm not sure of the spelling. Very reasonable and well worth it both for the history and the airconditioned van. The Tour guide was a descent of one of the scouts)

We could have spent more time in Cody. The museum was fabulous. I'm sure it will be very hectic during the stampede.

I think your plan to spend 4 nights at Canyon is a good one. Moving constantly gets tiring. We did a combination whitewater and horseback trip with Montana Whitewater out of Gardener. I would recomend them.

kencolian is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 07:02 PM
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We enjoyed the food at Yellowstone. Two meals at Roosevelt. Two meals at Store next to Old Faithful Inn. Dinner @ Old Faithful Dining Room. Dinner @ Lake Hotel. Lunch @ Dornans in the Tetons, and Lunch at the Diner in Jackson Lake Lodge. And yes, we got a cooler also.
spirobulldog is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 07:31 PM
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Thanks everyone fo the advice. I will definately purchase a cooler when we land. We didn't have much choice with Yellowstone lodging, not much else available. We're not too picky about food so while we're in the park any cafeteria will do. I think a guided tour of Little Bighorn sounds great. Also think the kids will love Cody and the stampede. Thanks again Rob
rknapp17 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Food - even if you are "not too picky" the point of a cooler is not quality but logistics. You may be happily viewing a herd of buffalo that have decided they own the road and it may be an hour before you can be on your way. And then you spot a moose and baby a mile up the road - and still be miles from "any cafeteria" And in the summer it is hot - do you want to ride around with kids saying, after a short hike "I'm thirsty" followed by "this water is hot"
gail is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Have you booked a trailride/cookout from Roosevelt Lodge? I have never thought ahead in time enough to get a reservation for that, and I still regret it. The kids would totally LOVE it.
jayne1973 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 158
A second on the cooler. Great way for breakfast. You also never know what might wander through the picnic area if you eat in one of them. We used it for breakfast and lunch. We left it and its remaining contents with a group staying at Jackson Lake Lodge just below us.

Nothing wrong with 4 nights at Canyon. Its probably our favorite area but we like Roosevelt too. Just make sure you leave time to hang out at the Old Faithful Inn for a bit. Its a cool place too. We try to get there in the afternoon after watching wildlife in the morning. There's some neat picnic areas between Norris and Old Faithful too.

I don't know if it will help but here's a link to an itinerary we put together in case anyone wanted one. It might give you something to think about.

I think you've got a nice trip laid out. We get hung up on Yellowstone and don't leave time for other things. What I've read makes me think your kids should like it.

The kids may enjoy the Roosevelt cookout. I thought it was OK but a little pricey. I'm not a kid though. I enjoyed talking with the kids working the ride as much as the meal itself. You'll need a reservation though.

Get up early and drag the kids out. Our first trip we didn't see nearly as much wildlife as on the next 2. The first trip was July and the day warmed up. We also had trouble getting to Hayden / Lamar Valleys from Old Faithful. From Canyon it will be easier.

Have a great time.
AlJ is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 855
Sounds like a good plan, but I agree with Spirobulldog about trying to stay at Roosevelt and OF. Even though you have to pack up and move, you will save driving time by staying in different areas of the park. There are often cancellations, and you may be able to get rooms there. Roosevelt is my favorite area of the park--much quieter and more wildlife than any area. OF Inn is such a wonderful historic place. You walk in and gasp!

Even if you don't stay at Roosevelt, be sure to drive up to the Lamar Valley early in the morning. We were there in early July two years ago, and we saw fabulous animals every morning. This was the highlight of my boys' trip. There were grizzlies at Dunraven Pass every morning. Staying at Roosevelt means you can get out earlier than if you have to drive from Canyon.

If you get a cooler, be sure to pick up food in Cody before heading into the park. The groceries in YNP are limited and much more expensive.

We stayed at Cowboy Village for 1 night. It is a great place to stay with kids, but I agree that you would be better off staying in the Tetons. It is so beautiful with so many things to do, and you will save driving time from Jackson. The Colter Bay cabins are two bedrooms, which is nice for a family. Then go into Jackson for the Alpine slide, dinner and the shootout.

Take the Beartooth on your way back to Billings. It is a gorgeous drive!
Digbydog is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Here is an idea. I don't know that I would do it, but you might want to.

If you type in 2 people instead of 4 there is vacancy everywhere in Yellowstone including Old Faithful Inn and Roosevelt. Yes- you would have to get two rooms this way. But, they are only $67 and, no, they don't have private bath. You could stay at Canyon three nights and then 1 night @ Old Faithful Inn. You might even be able to get rooms next to each other.

There is a 1 room cabin available @ Colter Bay Village in Grand Teton that has 2 dbls and 1 twin bed. $145.

I didn't notice that you were going to be there over the 4th originally. Is this the only time you can go? I can only imagine how crowded it will be.
spirobulldog is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 855
We were at Yellowstone over the 4th two years ago. While it was more crowded than when we had visited in June, it was not overwhelming. However, Canyon is the busiest area of the park. There are 4th of July parades at the Lake Hotel and at OFI that your children might enjoy.
Digbydog is offline  
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