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Trip Report Hiking, Horses, Having fun: Family Adventure in Yellowstone & Grand Teton

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(I started this last July just after we returned from our trip! Finally posting) We have just returned from 12 days in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. We stayed in both parks as well as in Jackson Hole. We are a family of 5, me, my husband and 3 boys ages 10, 10 and 7. I will summarize the trip then break down days (it went very long!) for those who are interested. We did a lot of research on this site and others as well as old fashioned books and personal experience from those we knew who had been there.
A few notes, we mostly stayed in the parks and we did cancel one day at Old Faithful Lodge (along with a 6:30 dinner reservation on a Saturday night) that we had reserved maybe 18 months ago. If you are trying to get in, keep trying. We cancelled Saturday morning for Saturday night; someone got a room very last minute.
We saw a lot of animals but we did make a pretty big effort to see them. We had binoculars, telephoto lenses and a spotting scope. This helped keep the kids interested in a dot a ¼ mile away which is really a bear. We saw bison, elk, marmot, osprey, wolves, deer, bats, ravens, ducklings, pelicans, hawks, beaver, moose, bald eagles—really everything but otters. I guess we’ll have to go back to see these.
We rented a Ford Expedition from Avis via Priceline. It was worth the money for all the time we spent in the car to have this huge SUV. I think my offer was $65 a day and it was accepted. My research seemed to show this was an excellent price for this car at the height of summer out of Jackson Hole. I was really surprised Priceline took my offer. (There was an effort to upsell at the rental place but we did not bite.)
As an overview, we flew into Jackson Hole, drove up to Canyon. We stayed several days at Canyon and saw several of the sites from this area. Next we went to Old Faithful and stayed 2 but had planned for 3 days here. We spend a night in West Yellowstone and then went back through the park and stayed 2 nights at Signal Mountain. Our last night was in Jenny Lake. We flew home out of Jackson. I have broken the trip into days. I hope this helps someone as much as the other trip reports helped us. Enjoy.

Day 1: Arrived in Jackson Hole, WY in the evening. We knew it was going to be too late to get to Canyon when we arrived so we arranged to stay the night in town. We headed for the grocery store and stocked up on lunch and breakfast stuff, drinks, snacks and a cooler. We decided to buy a big cooler (we had flown with a small drink cooler and really appreciated having cool drinks post hikes) even though it was pricey at Albertson’s. We figured the money we would save having picnics was worth the cost. Later we realized the time saved not having to go back to eat at the Park concessions really made this a good investment.
We stayed the night at the Angler’s Inn. On a side note there are 5 of us and there are only so many places in Yellowstone you can (are allowed legally) to stay with 5 in a room. The rooms they placed us in do not provide any bedding for the fifth person. We called the Angler’s Inn ahead of our trip and asked if we could ship, what we called equipment, to them. They agreed but suggested shipping UPS or FedEx as the mail doesn’t deliver on site; pick up would be a problem on a Saturday night. In the end we flew with the sleeping bag (logistics) but this may be helpful for others coming to the area with extra stuff and camping gear.

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    Day 2: Checked out Jackson, got the required pictures under the antler arches and headed to Yellowstone. We knew we would be back through GT so we enjoyed the sites but did not stop much. Came in south entrance of Yellowstone, and stopped several places (West Thumb Geyser Basin, Lewis Falls, La Hardy Rapids, Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley) on way to Canyon Lodge. We stayed in a Western Cabin at Canyon and our room was decent. It is rustic but they did have nice soaps etc. The carpet was pretty dirty but the rest of the room was clean. It is not a Western Cabin (also by Xanterra) like the one in North Rim of GC or in Bryce Canyon. Though they are all run by the same group they were built at different times by different builders. Here it is a lot cleaner than Bryce but not as big as NRGC—it is just a hotel room.
    We enjoyed a casual dinner at soda fountain in Canyon, basic burgers but they let you bring in a beer from the store. Hiked the brink of the Lower Falls trail—be prepared for a steep but not long climb back up. Great way to work off some dinner! Then we went back to Hayden Valley hoping to spot a few animals and watch a fantastic sunset.
    Day 3: We woke to a cool cloudy morning, piled on the layers and headed out to hike Mount Washburn. It was about 45 degrees and misty at the trailhead. As we climbed the wide gravel trail, the sun came out and the layers came off. The wildflowers were really incredible; later I learned they peak in mid July—this was the 16th. There were other groups on the trail but the early rain and cold kept it from being crowded. The views on the way up awed us: The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Lake, eagles, marmots, mountain goats and of course the carpets of wildflowers. By the time we reached the top, the sky was clouding up. We had a quick lunch and it started to rain. Aahhh, the other side of Yellowstone’s variable weather: it was a little exciting crossing the exposed ridge with the thunder booming and the rain starting to come down. We did not want to panic the kids but we were a little concerned about lightning. There was no way it was going to blow over so we put the layers back on and decided to look at it like an adventure. The “adventure” included pouring rain, thunder, lightning and 2 rounds of very heavy hail. I had always heard not to hide under a tree in lightning so we stayed as close as we could to the rock wall and hiked on. My kids now know that running outside in the hail hurts and they will never ask to play in it again. When we reached the bottom it was sunny again and a lot of things were drying out. I had heard the weather was variable in Yellowstone. We found this to be true: it might storm in one part of the park and be perfectly sunny in another. I was glad we had packed a lot of layers and been prepared for all kinds of weather. We saw all kinds!
    We had to change to dry clothes so on a whim I checked to be sure the horseback ride we had set for the afternoon was still on. It was cancelled—we were disappointed and never were able to get another one set up. There were time slots but not for the dinner ride. The park does not let the horses out on the trail after a heavy rain. Another reason to go back!

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    Not much response on this, busy time of year, but I will get it posted for future reference.

    Day 4 : Out early (okay like 7:30) and drove up to the Lamar Valley. This is probably my favorite part of the park. We spotted lots of elk and buffalo herds with babies. There were was another grizzley bear very far from the road. Then we stumbled upon one of the highlights of our trip: we watched a wolf pack hunt an elk! They were maybe a quarter mile away from us. It was fascinating to see their strategy; how they worked together to wear the young buck down. We wondered at the way they communicated and seemed to anticipate each others’ moves. Between the spotting scope, the binoculars, the telephoto lens on the camera and lots of help from the other wolf watchers all five of us were able to watch and follow the hunt. We followed the hunt perched on a hillside for a good hour and a half. One of the more experienced wolf watchers told us this was the Lamar Valley Pack. He could tell us which one was the alpha female, which was her daughter and her pup. He pointed out the Alpha male and explained their strategies. He also told us the hunt could go back and forth like this for four days. We eventually gave up and left. We later learned we missed the actual kill by about 5 minutes. We were not disappointed though. We had not just seen a lone wolf but witnessed the beauty and ferocity of nature in action. (On a very sad side note, in December 2012 this Alpha female was shot while briefly outside the park. She had a collar and researchers could tell she rarely left the park. We learned she was the most famous wolf, a hunter well known by wolf watchers and researchers for her skill and cunning. We are saddened by her loss.)
    There was no topping the wolf pack but there was plenty of day time left so we went to Trout Lake hike. This was one of my favorite hikes of the entire trip. It was a bit of a climb up to the lake but that and the fact it is not in a central location kept it from being crowded. Trout Lake itself was a jewel: a crystal clear blue lake surrounded by wild flowers. If you hit this hike just right, we did not, you can see otters. If you hit it just wrong, you can see bears there eating the same fish the otter are there for. We only saw a few people fishing and a bear management team checking to see what the bears were eating. They were very willing to talk to us. Trout Lake was picturesque and almost unreal.
    We found throughout the park, everyone from Rangers, hotel check in clerks, bear management teams, servers in the restaurants all had stories about the park and advice to offer. They were our best source for up to the minute animal spotting. They only need to be asked!
    We found a place for a picnic in the park then decided to see the Beartooth Pass. This beautiful drive out of the Northeast Entrance to the park culminated in a snow ball fight at the top of the pass. My boys loved this – it is the middle of July—it was a good way to stretch our legs and a lot of fun too. There was construction on the road but it did not hamper us too much. Heeding advice from this forum, we headed back to the Canyon area via Chief Joseph Hwy and on to Cody for the gunfight.
    The gunfight was basically a cheesy play. The best part was the kids asking for a root beer at the bar and getting a sasparilla. They had no idea what that was and laughed when they got it. The Irma Hotel is a basic tourist trap but there is a lot to see. We did not have time to see the Buffalo Bill Museum and knew we could not stay for the rodeo. There was a Wal Mart on the way out of town so we stocked up, again, and drove back to the park. I will say it was a two hour drive from Cody to Lake and then even further to Canyon. If you do go to the rodeo in Cody, which was recommended to us but doesn’t start until like 8:00, know that it was really slow going once we got back into the park. Interestingly it was not the animals, though there were a few buffaloes, it was the bugs. After dark the bugs were so thick on our windshield it was as if we were driving in a blizzard. We drove very slowly and hit hundreds and hundreds of them. We had to clean the windshield the next day just to see.

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    Day 5: Slept in this morning and did not get out until about 9:30. DH was able to check his email but had to pay for his WiFi access at the Canyon Lodge. Later it was free at the Snow Lodge. It was not outrageously expensive but you did have to buy it. While I am thinking of it we had heard Verizon got reception all over the park. We did not find this to be the case. I would occasionally get emails , updates and messages on my smart phone but I could rarely reply. Don’t rely on this if you need to communicate with home/office when you are here. It may be weather or location related but we could only get good reception in the parking lots of areas like Canyon and Old Faithful.
    We packed up lunch and hiked the 7 Mile Hole Trail, curiously an 11 mile round trip. I have mixed feelings about this trail. We only saw 3 other groups the whole time; it was great to enjoy the quiet of the forest and not fight with tons of people for a photo. We also found 5 hiking sticks about 100 yards into the trail—as if they had been placed there for us. This was a great stroke of luck. We used these the rest of the trip. I found mine to be really helpful. The first mile or so of the trail we were basically hiking along the ridge and we could see really great views of the Yellowstone River and the Grand Canyon. The forest was beautiful and there was a meadow pretty far down the trail that was worth seeing. However, there are about 6 weeks when the mosquitoes peak at Yellowstone. We were all covered with bug spray even DH who never wears it—and we all got eaten alive. We were practically running through the woods and killing mosquitoes all over us constantly. I had on long sleeves, a hat and pants but probably had 40 bites on my skin afterwards. When we got about 4 miles in the trail drops off very steeply. It is just gravel on the side of the canyon and drops all the way down to the river. We stopped for lunch and then decided it was just too much for the kids. We were disappointed but turned back rather than climbing down and having to climb back up. It really stunk to head back through the mosquito woods without having gone down the river. Did I mention we found the sticks on this hike? Win some, lose some.
    We took a short break then drove to the Specimen Ridge Trail. This is a very steep climb in the Lamar Valley. You will get beautiful views of the valley and see a lot of animals and evidence of animals all around. Eventually on this trail you will see petrified trees. Not The Petrified Tree with the fence all around it but individual petrified tree stumps. This trail has more than one trail head and connects with another trail where amethysts can be found. It is not well publicized because too many people took souvenirs home. We found petrified rocks, took pictures and left them there. I hope others will do the same. There was only one other group on the trail. We enjoyed the hike and the wildflowers and headed back through the Lamar Valley in sunset.

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    Day 6: Packed up our room and hit some highlights in Canyon area: Artist Point & Uncle Tom’s Trail. There was a ranger with a scope at Artist Point. She was showing everyone an osprey nest with chicks and eggs. We set up our scope and watched them too--it was a treat. I would not have spotted them without her pointing them out. The nest is in plain sight but only after you know where you are looking. The osprey apparently come back to it each year. Thanks Park Service for pointing it out! On our way to OFI we visited Artist Paint Pots & Norris Geyser basin. There was a ranger at Steamboat Geyser giving a talk that was worth hearing. I let a woman sit with her family to hear the talk, she proceeded to put a large sun hat and open a large umbrella to protect herself from the sun. As she was now at the front of the large crowd on a thin boardwalk, this blocked EVERYONE’s view of the geyser until someone yelled at her to put it down. The nature at Yellowstone is wonderful. The tourists are trying at times.

    We made our way to Old Faithful which was a little more confusing than we expected. It was PACKED here. The crowds in the lobby were really overwhelming, our room was the very last room on the end. It was very plain, I mean literally white walls with the only decoration being a stuffed buffalo they want you to buy. There was a live one less than five feet from our window when we arrived. The staff at OFI was really good. They dealt with so many people from so many different backgrounds with class and kindness. They helped us change our dinner reservation at the OFI Dining Room that I had booked months earlier. Everyone visited and told us about where they were from and how they got to Yellowstone. Dinner at OFI Dining room was fair at best. The prime rib was really dry, the orzo was really heavy and creamy and cold. Our server did not know what 2 items were on the menu (there were maybe 10 choices) and did not know what wines they served. Wish we had paid a lot less and eaten in the cafeteria for a view of Old Faithful instead of the parking lot and the construction.
    I should that OFI was calm at night. It was beautiful. Everyone climbs up into the inn and rocks on easy chairs. People sit on a deck and watch Old Faithful erupt at night. (No they don’t turn it off at night and no the deck does not have heated seating but most of these questions are easily laughed off by the staff.)

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    Day 7: Fairy Falls This was a great day for us. This was a popular hike, but the trail was easy the kids were in no danger of falling off the edge or falling into a boiling mud pot. They ran and played while we visited. The beginning was so easy that there were groups riding bikes for the first 2 miles or so. Near the start of the trail we took a side path up the hill to get a bird’s eye view of Grand Prismatic Spring. This was a very steep climb up a dirt hill but REALLY worth it. Our best photos of GPS are from here. The climb was exciting too because of a very large buck elk that showed up on the hillside with us. We had to keep going way out of our way to avoid him. He was magnificent.

    We enjoyed a snack on a log that faced Fairy Falls. There were only a few people there at any given time and it was pretty nice. Even better were the geysers less than a mile beyond the falls. Both Spray Geyser and Imperial were going off; Imperial was the prettiest geyser we saw the whole trip, like a mini Grand Prismatic. There was only one other family here—crazy that all of those others turned around and missed this.

    It was a warm day and we enjoyed a late lunch picnic at Fountain Flat: feet in river, boys throwing rocks in the water the temperature was perfect. Beautiful day. There were several flat open parts of the river near here where people were swimming (it was cold!) or just putting their feet in to cool off. One of the best downtimes we had in the park.

    Back at OFI with the crowds, we attempted laundry. A word of advice, know where you are going before you start the hike around the construction, across parking lots and to the second floor of the Snow Lodge to do laundry. Have quarters ready as both the change machines were out of order. If both the soap dispensers are out of order ask at the front desk. They were able to help. The bags for dirty are tiny so be prepared with a back up. Ate in a small diner at OFI and took our food out to watch geyser erupt.

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    Day 8: We knew the kids needed a break from hiking so we decided to step out of the park for a different type of adventure. We checked out of OFI (someone called Saturday and got a room that night!) and headed north. We planned to go white water rafting and zip lining (Zip and Dip Tour) on the Gallitin River between West Yellowstone and Bozeman, MT. The company we used was Montana Whitewater. The day before one of the workers had called me 4x (thanks to lack of coverage it was just 4 vm messages) thinking our reservation had been for the prior day. Not a big deal, but we were surprised when we arrived, almost an hour early, that the people at check in were rude and short with us. It was a pretty expensive day and we had driven more than 2 hours to get there. They acted like we were wasting their time.
    Our guide did a nice job even though I got the feeling he could run this river in his sleep. He tried to make the ride exciting for the kids but safe too. The river was really cold but the air was hot so it was good. The trip is sold as Class 2-3 with a 4 at the end as it has been a dry winter and a really dry summer the water was pretty low. It was a great way to introduce the kids to rafting but it was pretty tame by most standards. The rafting trip lasted about 2 hours and was followed by a terrible lunch. It was complicated, expensive, wrong and not good. Just bring your lunch if you do this trip. After lunch we met up with George who ran our zip line tour. There was a storm rolling in it was dicey until the last minute if we were going or not. The whole tour was windy, an added level of excitement, but the rain and lightning stopped before we went up. The course is a ropes course a few miles from Montana White Water. There were only 3 zip lines and 2 ladders that made up the course but you do cross over the river 2x. The worst part was waiting on the swaying platform while each person arrived on the zip line. The ladder was pretty uncomfortable too, think of open plank stairs 50 feet above the ground climbing 20 feet more. Did I mention it was swaying the whole time? As they wanted us to stay between our kids, I was instructed to go first every zip, ladder and step. It was a little crazy. Our guide, George, gave us a lot of confidence and made the whole tour a lot more fun. I would work with him again but since he was a college student I don’t expect him back there every summer.

    After our Zip and Dip, we stopped at a pizza place in West Yellowstone. It looked like this busy place, I think it was called “Gushers” but the food was average and the waitress did not want to give us a box “just leave what you didn’t eat.” Well we paid for it so we could eat it for lunch…
    Basically everyone I know would have been done at this point but it was Saturday night and there was a rodeo just outside of town. We could not resist. In case you head this way, know that this is not the Cody “semi-pro” rodeo. This is a rodeo (maybe Enis rodeo?) with a bunch of locals who say something like, “I could probably stay on that bull for 30 seconds for 50 bucks, Heck I’ll try.” There were NO cowboys who stayed on the bull for even 8 seconds. They had to try to rope the calves about 26 times because no one could even get the lasso on the calf to have a first, second or third place. People sitting around us were cheering for their husbands, boyfriends, sons or whoever while they sipped their beer and watched the Montana sun set. We laughed and laughed. Our kids were allowed to go out and chase a calf. Each of them got a golden dollar. It was a slice of Americana; definitely worth the trip, not for the actual rodeo but the experience.
    We had decided the drive back to OFI was too far and stayed in West Yellowstone at the Days Inn instead. It was clean and the people were helpful. Honestly we weren’t here very long but it was much more comfortable than any of the places we stayed at the park.

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    Day 9: We had a relaxing morning in West Yellowstone; shopping and checking out the town. We visited the Grizzly Rescue Center where rescued grizzlies, wolves and raptors can be seen up close. We saw several bears at Yellowstone but this was much closer than we were in the park. It was worth paying for if only for the good work they do. If you arrive early you can hide the food for the bears that they will seek out that day.
    Late morning we headed down into the park again; visited a few more sites and took one final look at Old Faithful. While we were there we were treated to a “surprise” eruption of Beehive Geyser. It was REALLY impressive; so much so that one tourist ran across the area near Old Faithful to get pictures of it (remember OF was getting ready to erupt—the rangers called him off but you do sometimes see people who aren’t thinking!) We were caught in a terrible storm afterwards and the OF area was evacuated. We enjoyed huckleberry ice cream in the OFI while we waited out the storm. This was a great treat.
    As the rain slowed, we made our way down to Grand Teton and Signal Mountain Lodge. I have a lot of good things to say about this place. First it the view was beyond reason. The mountains, lakes, sky—it doesn’t even look real. This is a very green hotel. They were very nice and welcoming. Our room was actually a cabin with two bedrooms and a bathroom that connected them. The cabins sit right on Jackson Lake, did I mention the mountains don’t even look real? Signal Mountain’s staff have activities planned each night and friendly crowds.
    We enjoyed dinner that night in the dining room (the restaurant had a name it was the casual of the two choices) overlooking the lake and the sunset. The food was very good and for local flavor I tried the huckleberry margarita.
    After the kids turned in for the night we went down by the lake for a “star tour” lead by a couple of local astronomers with amazing telescopes. They could have used 3x as many telescopes. There were a lot of people there. Most guests visited pleasantly while we waited to see star clusters, Saturn’s rings and other wonders of the night sky. I wish the kids had still been up to see it but the tour couldn’t start until about 10:00. I wish this very green hotel had turned down the lights in the dining rooms, the lobby/main building and the store. They use a yellow toned bulb in Bryce and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to keep light pollution from obstructing the view. I never would have thought it makes as much difference as it does. Over all it was a very good day.

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    Thank you Starrs! You only look for a report when you need, have been somewhere and want to go. The achives were really helpful when I was prepping for this trip. So here goes the next day!

    Day 10 : Jenny Lake Hike. By this point in the trip everyone was slowing down. We left the hotel a little later than we should have this day to Hike Jenny Lake. If I were doing this again, especially on a summer weekend, I would start much earlier and go much further. Easy to say in hindsight but there is only so much you can ask of the kids. It was maybe 10:00 when we got to the Jenny Lake parking lot and it was very crowded already. We waited for the boat (maybe got on about 10:30?) and crossed the lake. The first part of this hike was just wall to wall people. You could not move faster than the person in front of you and could not stop without the person behind you bumping into you. There was nowhere to step off the trail and go to the bathroom. The views were nice but it was REALLY crowded. Everyone stopped at Inspiration Point and took pictures. It was well named. A lot of people turned around here or just a little further at a nearby waterfall.
    We continued on into Cascade Canyon. The second part of this hike was really nice. The trail gradually cleared up we were able to find a huge boulder to climb on and have lunch. There were still several groups on the trail but only every 5-10 minutes or so. Further down the trail we came to a gem of a lake: beautiful, perfect, peaceful. There was an area where the side of the canyon had maybe 5 or 6 waterfalls you could see all at the same time. I was putting my pictures together from this hike and wrote “the only way I know places like this really exist is that I have been here.” It looks like something an artist made up. We estimate we went about 4-4 ½ miles into the canyon. We would have liked to go further but the skies had been getting cloudy and when the rains began we decided we had a long way back. We did a fair job of staying dry hiking back, but after Inspiration Point there were still so many people coming up—by now it was pouring rain, thunder and lightning. We had to go down slow to keep from slipping and to work our way around them. We were pressing ourselves as close to the rock as possible hoping lightning would not strike. Why people would climb to a high exposed rock in these conditions is not clear to me. We waited, in the rain, but at least under the forest canopy, about 35 minutes for the boat. We would have hiked back but the kids were low on water.
    By the time we actually reached our car we were mostly dry and the skies were clearing. We followed a tip from the ranger at the Jenny Lake station and were able to see an active beaver dam with at least 3 beaver swimming in and out. They were much bigger than I had expected, maybe 4 or 5 feet including their tails. They were within feet of us at times. Fun to watch! On the way to Dornan’s for dinner we came across 2 bull moose relaxing in the shade at the edge of the road. Great treat. My boys enjoyed the Chuck Wagon line at Dornan’s. It was reasonably priced but low on choices for vegetarians. We watched the sunset on top of Signal Mountain.

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    Thanks for continuing the report.

    DH fishes in a place near where beavers live and when he throws a lure too close they slap their tails at him, fun to see him get wet.

    As for the folks who climb rocky peaks in thunderstorms, that's just mother nature culling the stupid ones out of the herd.

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    @ Hang20 -- how far in advance did you reserve your car through Priceline? I have never used Priceline for anything, but because the cost of renting an SUV is ridiculous, I thought I would try. What was the listed rental of the Ford Explorer on Avis?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me with Priceline.

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    I think we reserved the SUV about 2 months before we went. We put in the bid on a whim just to see how low they would go. It really worked out for us. I can't remember the price for Avis but having rented other SUV's and not having a lot of choices in Jackson Hole we were very happy with the results.

    Day 11: We spent the morning on a horseback ride at local place recommended by Signal Mountain. Our guide was grumpy, not particularly helpful and told us he would rather be back on the ranch then taking kids on rides. We had plenty of laughs and my kids pushed every button that poor wrangler had: fidgeting for place in line, trying to trot the horses, needing a bathroom break, losing a hat on a tree branch, losing a stirrup somewhere on the trail, splashing the horses in the water while they tried to get a drink, having trouble with bees…I’m sure he is looking for a job back on a cattle drive after our ride! Maybe we wouldn’t do this ride again.
    We spent the night at Colter Bay, just the way the reservations worked out. This was no where near as nice as Signal Mountain. There were mouse traps all over our cabin and only one room was heated (40F in July at night) the stars were amazing and maybe it would have grown on us if we had stayed longer. Dinner was pizza and Moose Drool at Leek’s Marina. We did have have big two bedroom cabin which was nice after Yellowstone. Nice place to watch the sunset over the lake.

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    Here is the last day! I wrote this for the ReStore and the alpine slide in Jackson.

    Day 12 : Drove down to Jackson Hole We saw a nest with a bald eagle on the way down and another with an osprey—don’t forget to look up even on telephone poles. We gave the cooler to the local ReStore (the Habitat for Humanity store) and all drinks (case of bottled water, Gatorade, Diet Coke, Moose Drool etc.) to them. Better than throwing away and their volunteers can use it. We checked out Jackson the rest of the day, fun shops and even did the overpriced alpine slide. The discount coupons everywhere don't really do much to make this affordable but I was too tired to say no to the kids. Basically it was $10 to go down the slide per person. Pretty much a rip off.

    After such a long active trip we were looking forward to an uneventful trip back home. No such luck it took us more than 30 hours to take a 4 hour trip. If you are flying east in the summer fly early if you can and take whatever flight they offer you out of Jackson. We spent the time reliving our memories and hope to return soon.

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    thanks so much for this. will be taking kids to YNP and GTNP next August. I did not think the 3 nights would be enough at YNP and your report proved right.
    Is there any way to avoid Jackson? Is Signal Mtn as rustic as the lodging at Yellowstone? We have 3 nights in Snoiw Lodge Western Cabins and 2 at Canyon. Was thinking of staying last 2 nights at Teton Village for a bit more upscale experience.

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    Plumbers I just happened to see your questions. Too late for you but if someone else is planning My parents flew into Bozeman, my neighbors came to Yellowstone Billings. Jackson was just the least expensive the time we went in. Signal Mountain is on par with Yellowstone lodging: nicer than Canyon and OFI, not as new as the Snow Lodge at Old Faithful. We had some friends who stayed in Teton Village this summer pros are yes it is upscale and really nice. Cons they only went to Yellowstone 2x bc of the distance. Just depends on what you are looking for. Just returned from Yosemite and Sequoia. Yellowstone and GT still my favorite parks.

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    Hang 20, we just got back and had a great time. Started posting. We found your report really helpful so thanks very much.
    We did 2 nights at SML, 2 at canyon western cabins, 2 at snow lodge western cabins and then, when we were parked out, 3 nights in a lovely house in driggs, Idaho. perfect mix!
    ps-we got pelted by hail and I remember your line on that while you were hiking washburn!

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