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Gilawi02 Apr 29th, 2010 01:05 PM

Grant Village for the south portion of Yellowstone?
HI !!

About a month ago I've posted a question inquiring of the limited possibilities to find 3 rooms in Yellowstone for September. I knew I was a bit late, but thanks to some Fodorites recommendations I kept calling Xanterra for reservations inside the park. I've called today and, luckily, find 3 rooms for three (3) nights in Canyon and two (2) nights in Grant Village. Now to my questions: after Yellowstone we will be heading to Grand Tetons for two days. Is Grant Village a good option for the south portion of the park or should try the Lake or other area instead? In Grand Tetons, is it a must to stay inside the park or stay at Jackson Hole and do day trips? Again, thanks for your answers and recommendations.


maj Apr 29th, 2010 03:06 PM

IMO Grant Village (location wise) isn't the best option. Lake and Canyon are only about 20 minutes apart. I would keep trying for Old Faithful area for the southern part. You actually can get to the southern part easily from Canyon also. I would probably try to get two nights in the northern region instead (like Mammoth or even Gardiner).

There are many different opinions on whether to stay in GTNP or Jackson -- people do both. Depends on what you like. Jackson is only about 15 minutes or so away from the south entrance of GTNP and actually the southern part of the park is closer to Jackson than anywhere you would stay in the park. It is not a big park and you can easily drive to any of the areas. After staying in Yellowstone in park facilities you may be ready to stay in a place with choice of restaurants, etc.

Gilawi02 Apr 29th, 2010 03:54 PM

Thanks maj. Xanterra gave me another option: to stay the five nights in Canyon. Does this make sense? Or is still better to find lodge on the north portion of the park or in the Old Faithful area. Which areas has the most and must see attractions? On the other hand, looking at the map of GTNP, Colter Bay Village is on the north portion of the park, nearer to YNP. If I stay at Jackson Hole, would not be anti-climatic seeing the whole park from north to south on my way to the lodging at the south end? Just a thought.

maj Apr 29th, 2010 04:47 PM

I'd grab the five nights in Canyon. IMO you don't gain anything by switching to Grant Village. You can always switch to another location after researching further if you decide you want to stay in another area. People like staying at Old Faithful (there is lots to see on that portion of the figure 8). We have done both and there is an advantage being there when the crowds are gone. As far as staying in the north -- when in September are you going? There is road construction between Norris and Madison and Dunraven Pass between Canyon and Tower can close due to snow in September which could limit your access to the north.

You will get very different opinions on must see areas. Which can make planning for this confusing. Just figure out what interests you -- I don't think there is a right or wrong way to see these parks. Generally the northern part has the most animal activity.

As far as being anti-climatic you can go down the John D. Rockefeller parkway stopping at the viewpoints along that road and then next day go back up the Teton Park Road. We go up and down those roads many times while there -- the first view of the Tetons is fantastic, but wouldn't call it anti-climatic seeing them over and over again. LOL

maj Apr 30th, 2010 02:34 PM

After thinking about it and your questions (we are going there in early June), I changed our last night in Yellowstone to Old Faithful area (so thanks for that). Mainly because of the road work between Madison and Norris. We are staying at Gardiner, Canyon and OF. I'm not sure where you are coming from, but ideally if you can get a night in the north (Mammoth or Gardiner -- which is only about 5 miles from Mammoth) and a night or two at Old Faithful with Canyon in between that might be the best option for you. It doesn't take long to visit Mammoth Hot Springs. There are different ways to go after that. You can go south to Norris or over to Lamar Valley. On the way to Canyon you can go by Tower and Dunraven Pass (my favorite road in the park).

Staying at Canyon you can go many different ways. You can go north, west to Norris -- then either up to Mammoth or down to OF area (remember there may be a wait that way for road work), or south to the Hayden Valley and Lake area. Probably the least interesting part of the loop as far as things to stop and see IMO is the route from Lake to OF. Lake is fantastic to see but except for West Thumb there aren't too many sights to see along that route.

Hope this helps you but at least it will top it so others will see it and respond.

Gilawi02 Apr 30th, 2010 05:25 PM

Thanks again for your input maj. We will be arriving at YNP from SLC on September 16. Will consider your recommendations and contact Xanterra if the are rooms available for OF or Mammoth. Another question: Which you consider to be the highlights in the park? I Asked this because when I travel I usually start visiting the less significant or important areas and try ending with the highlights.

aliced Apr 30th, 2010 05:50 PM

We did GT and Y'stone in September; Grant Village was probably the least attractive; we stayed at Lake Yellowstone but would have selected Canyon. Old Faithful area under alot of construction and that is the area where the most and the largest buses stay. We were very glad we did not stay there. In Tetons, recommend staying in Jackson Hole;lots of choices and amenities, it's an easy ride into the Park. Think our favorite area in Yellowstone was around Canyon & Painter's Point; and driving from Lk Yellowstone north; the buffalo were amazing. Also the Terraces up at northern entrance at Mammoth were fascinating and very worth the drive.

maj May 1st, 2010 04:06 AM

This web site may help you out-- it has a map with travel distance and times (travel is slow in the parks).

Also Janet Chapple's book Yellowstone Treasures is a favorite to take with you. It explains different sights along the way in pretty much detail so you can decide if you want to stop or not.

As far as highlights, Yellowstone is a very large park and takes a while to drive through it. You don't want to backtrack (although it is almost impossible not to do it at all) any more than you have to or all you will be doing is driving. I think it is well worth it to drive all around the figure 8 loop (with a side trip up the Lamar Valley), definitely stopping at Old Faithful, Canyon, Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs. Doesn't matter in which order -- depends on where you are staying that day. They are all different and each has its own appeal (which is different for everyone). You can spend a day at Canyon, stopping at all the viewpoints and walking down some of the trails. It doesn't matter where you start -- probably at the beginning of the north rim then the south rim, ending with Artist Point (which is the most famous viewpoint).

I understand your statement about the Tetons and being anticlimatic now. The Teton mountain range runs the whole western side of the park. You will see it all the way down and from almost everywhere in the park. It doesn't matter if you go north to south or south to north. I would still take the Rockefeller parkway route first to stop at the viewpoints from there.

Gilawi02 May 1st, 2010 03:47 PM

Indeed is a great website. Thanks for recommending it. The same holds for Yellowstone Treasures. Checked the book in Amazon and looking at the content and readers opinions it seems is the best. Thanks again to all for sharing your opinions. My next move will be to check where to stay at Jackson Hole, nothing fancy, just a good place to rest with restaurants on the premise or nearby.

Gilawi02 May 6th, 2010 02:45 PM

Need your help again. If is not possible to find rooms in another place besides Canyon in Yellowstone, will staying at the West entrance be a good option?

RedRock May 7th, 2010 05:11 AM

If you cannot find lodging in the park the only other places are Cooke City, Gardiner or West Yellowstone outside the park. Any other place will require a lot of driving, considering YS is a very large Park and the going is slow..

maj May 7th, 2010 07:10 AM

We've stayed at Canyon for our whole stay and found it accessible to all areas of the park. We've also stayed at West Yellowstone -- it is also an option and convenient to the part of the southern loop between Old Faithful and Madison (and Norris). I don't really think you will be saving anything driving wise by staying in West Yellowstone as opposed to Canyon. The only problem this year is how much impact the road construction between Madison and Norris will have on travel time. Not sure if that construction may be over by the time you go.

Gilawi02 May 7th, 2010 03:31 PM

Got it. Will take the five nights at Canyon if reservations are still available.


travelinandgolfin May 7th, 2010 04:52 PM

If you're going to stay in Canyon for the entire time, just make sure no roads will be totally closed.

We went last year and stayed in Canyon. But the road between Madison and Norris was COMPLETELY CLOSED due to the replacement of a bridge. As a result, we ended up staying a couple nights at West Yellowstone to make the driving to the OF area a bit easier. If not, we would have had to drive all the way around the south end and back (from Canyon to OF, then back to Canyon). For us, that would have been too much driving.

If you can cut through the center of the park from Canyon to Norris then down to OF, it would be much easier.

aliced May 7th, 2010 06:31 PM

Aah, I previously forgot to mention we too found
extremly helpful. Hope you can get reservations you desire.

maj May 7th, 2010 08:40 PM

I do agree with travelinandgolfin that it is much nicer going from Canyon to Norris then down, but the problem is knowing if a road is going to be completely closed. And also this far ahead of time, how much the delays will impact you. If you feel better, make them at West Yellowstone for a couple of nights. (I've double booked, but then you probably have to pay a deposit at each place). Also, you have to pay a one night deposit for each separate place you stay in Yellowstone. These are all refundable if you cancel per their cancellation policies.

I still think you should get the reservations at Canyon (you only pay a deposit for one night and can cancel or change without penalty right before you go), then you can see if you can get them in West Yellowstone (can also make cancellable without penalty reservations there) or Old Faithful if you want (there are lots of accommodations there also so chances are probably pretty good that something will turn up before you go). At least then you will have reservations you can work with and see what they're saying about the construction as it gets nearer. We're going in June so I'll "try" to find out for you what their expectations are for that section -- may be done by the time you go. But I will warn you that roads can close for short or long periods because of road damage or snow at any time -- so you just have to adapt. The road south of Canyon closed for a while a couple of years ago because a pipe (or something like that) caused part of the road to collapse.

Gilawi02 May 8th, 2010 03:04 AM

Wow ! So many variables when you travel to YNP. At this moment, the scheduled construction projects indicated in their website includes Norris to Madison through Gibbon Canyon (30 minutes delay); East entrance road in Sylvan Pass and one sector of the Beartooth Highway. I suppose this will be changing as days pass by. As always, appreciate the updated recommendations regarding lodging. Will keep you informed.

maj May 8th, 2010 05:14 AM

Don't forget the ones in the Tetons -- especially between Yellowstone and the Tetons (no real way to avoid this one).

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