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Itinerary for Yellowstone and GTNP. Please comment.

Itinerary for Yellowstone and GTNP. Please comment.

Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 02:42 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 902
Itinerary for Yellowstone and GTNP. Please comment.

Ok all, thanks for all your help. Here’s my first try itinerary. Please let me know what you think.

DAY 1: Sunday.

*Fly in to Jackson and arrive at noon.
*Drive to Jackson Lake along Rockefeller Highway for lunch.
*Along the way, do the pullouts at Glacier, Teton, Snake River and Oxbow. No hiking, just a short stop for pictures.
*Drive to West Yellowstone. Arrive around 6:00 pm.

DAY 2: Monday.

*Drive to Norris.
*See the museum.
*Drive to Mammoth doing the quick stops/pullouts along the way.
*At Mammoth, do the upper terrace drive and the lower terrace walk.
*Lunch somewhere at Mammoth.
*Drive to Roosevelt and check out Tower Falls.
*Drive a bit through Lamar valley. Maybe about :30 minutes in, then back.
*Back to West Yellowstone. Maybe check out a few short stops around Madison.

DAY 3: Tuesday.

*Drive to West Thumb and do the geyser basin trail.
*Drive back toward upper geyser basin area. Check out Kepler Falls along the way.
*Spend the rest of the day in the upper geyser area.
*Back to West Yellowstone.

DAY 4: Wednesday.

*Drive to Canyon area.
*Drive along the rim and do pull out stops at the falls, Artist Point, etc.
*Hike for a bit along the N. Rim trail (maybe :30 worth).
*Do the Uncle Tom trail.
*Lunch somewhere in Canyon Village.
*Drive through the Hayden Valley and do the pullouts along the way (Mud Volcano, etc.)
*At Bay Bridge area, do a portion of the Elephant Back and Natural Bridge hikes (maybe :30 worth).
*Back to West Yellowstone.






DAY 5: Thursday.

*Drive to Norris area.
*Do the Back Basin and Porcelain Basin walks.
*Do the Artist Paint Pots walk.
*Lunch somewhere in Norris or Middle/Lower Geyser area.
*Drive to Middle Geyser/Lower Geyser area and do the walks in those areas, checking out Fountain Paint Pots, Execelsior and Grand Prismatic.
*Back to West Yellowstone.

DAY 6: Friday.

*Leave West Yellowstone for Jackson.
*Stop at Colter Bay and check out Indian Museum and also do a portion of the Lake Shore trail (maybe :30 worth).
*Drive up to Signal Mountain for a couple pictures.
*Drive to Jenny Lake and have lunch.
*Do the boat ride, Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point hikes.
*If time permits, do the hike back around the lake to parking lot.
*Drive to Jackson.

DAY 7: Saturday

*Drive to Blacktail Pond and do short hike.
*Take Moose Wilson Rd. to Teton Village.
*Have lunch, look around.
*Golf at Teton Pines.

DAY 8: Sunday

*Hang out in Jackson in the morning and for lunch.
*Afternoon, golf at Jackson CC.

DAY 9: Monday

*Fly out of Jackson.

I tried to keep most days at YSNP at 7 hours max, figuring that will give us 2-3 hours of sunlight to do all the "extras" that might pop up.

So there you have it. Please feel free to comment and also, if you have recommendations for where to eat, please share.

Thanks.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:05 PM
  #2  
maj
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,139
I would try, if possible, to stop at West Thumb on the first day. Not sure which part of the loop you are taking to get to West Yellowstone, but even if you go the Old Faithful route, it is a very short backtrack to visit West Thumb. Although, again my opinion, it is nice to travel along Lake Yellowstone (heading toward the Lake area) and also to go from West Thumb to Old Faithful once, both are kind of uneventful areas and it would be nice if you didn't have to backtrack on that route on Day 3.

Jackson airport is very small and you get out of it (usually) very quickly.

Rest looks good -- and you have left time for changing some things around if you want.
maj is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
Why backtrack to West Yellowstone on Thursday night?

Thursday seems like a fairly light day so why not head out in the afternoon to the Jackson Lake area and spend the night there in Grand Teton NP. Then, you don't have to drive so far on Friday.

Also, don't lock yourself into a strict timetable. You may run into traffic or road work conditions and will need to alter your schedule. You may also want to spend more time in some places once you've seen them. For example, you could spend a couple of hours in Lamar Valley if you luck out and the wildlife viewing is impressive.

Supercilious is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 09:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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On your 2nd day I don't think you can drive to Norris, do Mammoth and eat Lunch. That just seems like a lot to get in unless you are eating lunch late, like @ 2. You can't really expect to get much out of Lamar Valley in 30 minutes.

Personally on day 3 I would spend the entire day at the Upper Geyser area, maybe lunch or dinner @ OFI.
Day 6 seems like a lot also. I would do the boat ride first.


Rather than do just a portion of hikes or a portion of drives, just pick one and do the entire thing. It's kinda like having the choice between watching two good movies. You are choosing to see 30 minutes worth and not getting the full effect.

I still don't understand why you are not staying in the park (I can't remember what you said in previous posts the reason). It seems to me you are doing a lot of driving to and from West Yellowstone every day. I am not trying to be negative, I just want you to have a great time while there. I think you will see a ton even if you keep it exactly like you have it.

Here's where we ate at and enjoyed

OFI for dinner

Hamilton store next to OFI is good for breakfast or lunch. It reminds me of a waffle house somewhat. It is just a cook to order grill type of place with a good collection of T-shirts etc.

Lake Hotel was very good. Lobster Ravioli is very good there

Roosevelt Lodge for Dinner and breakfast.

Canyon Deli-sub sandwiches, get them to go and take them on you canyon hiking.

Mammoth Terrace Grill. this was just a quick burger place, but you can eat and watch the elk. if it is nice eat outside somewhere on the picnic tables. elk will eat grass right beside you.

We ate at Dornans and Jackson Lake Lodge Pioneer Grill in GTNP.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2009, 07:59 AM
  #5  
maj
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,139
Are you going to Norris twice?

Maybe turn the direction around on Day 2. Leave West Yellowstone very early (take breakfast with you). Go toward Canyon, then Dunraven Pass, stop at Tower (won't take long since you can't hike down it now) then on to Lamar Valley. This route will probably be the best route for seeing animals and it would be good to do it early in the day. Then come back the Mammoth way, stopping where you want on the way back to West Yellowstone.

We like the soda fountains in the general stores at Canyon and Lake (I think there may be one at OF also) for a quick breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, soup etc.

In Jackson we liked Gun and Barrel Restaurant and Noras Fish Creek (where the locals go) in Wilson. Bunnery for pastries.

maj is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2009, 10:07 AM
  #6  
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Posts: 902
Thanks all for the responses.

Maj: Doing West Thumb on the drive up is still a possibility. It will depend on how we feel after the flight over and the altitude change. To play it safe, I had us getting up to W. Yellowstone as quick as possible. Thanks for the idea about switching the route on day 2. Especially if that means more chances of seeing wildlife.

Super: I'll think about a Thursday night in GTNP. Never thought about that. Part of it is a budget issue as lodgings are much cheaper in W. Yellowstone than in the parks, but one night shouldn't make a difference. I definitely realize we won't stick to this schedule, but it's a starting point.

Spiro: The main reason we aren't staying in the park is economic. It's simply cheaper to stay outside the park. It's going to be an expensive trip for us, so wanted to keep things reasonable. Doing Jenny Lake in the morning would be preferable, but then we'd have to back track to do Colter Bay, and I was trying to avoid that. I'll think about that one though.

Thanks again all.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2009, 10:49 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 576
Do you have hotel ideas for West?

Also stop by the museum about the 1988 fire in the park. There is a cute little evening rodeo 7 miles to the west of West Yellowstone.

jnjfraz is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2009, 11:26 AM
  #8  
maj
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,139
Since everyone comes at this a different way (talking about eating now), I'm not sure what you are planning to do -- especially if you're trying to cut costs.

You talk about lunch at Norris and Jenny Lake -- were you planning on a picnic? Because there isn't any place to buy lunch at these areas. The main areas -- Grant, OF, Canyon, Lake, Mammoth (and a small deli type place at Tower)are the only places that I can think of that have places to eat, general stores, gas, etc. They are pretty well stocked with any supplies you may need. Roosevelt has some dining options also but may be closed when you are going.

Since you are staying in West Yellowstone you have the option of going to the grocery store there for stuff to take with you in the park. We always did that when we stayed there -- ate breakfast, took food/drinks with us for the day and then ate dinner there when we got back. But what we ate was low priority for us so this may not work for you. Once you get by the plane, car, and lodging, it can be a pretty inexpensive trip.

Same in the tetons. Colter Bay, Signal Mountain and Jackson Lake Lodge have places to eat (I think you can get lunch at Jenny Lodge also, but not sure of the price). Jackson Lake Lodge has a soda fountain and is worth a look just to see the view from the big window there if you have time.
maj is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2009, 02:08 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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travelin,

I think you are being a bit optimistic about how much you will be able to see each day. Driving in the park takes longer than you realize and adding the drive in and out each day to WY adds about an hour too.

At Coutler Bay, think about doing the Swan Lake Loop rather than the shoreline. It's a bit longer, but a great easy hike. You'll see wild trumpter swans nesting and probably moose. They are plentiful in this area.

At Jenny Lake hike to the falls, but don't hike back to the Jenny Lake Lodge. Take the boat. The hike is kind of long and not really very scenic, the views are at your back.

Do take a cooler with picnic items and lots of drinks. You will be a long ways from anywhere to eat when you get hungry.

Have fun!
Dayle is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2009, 12:17 AM
  #10  
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Thanks all. We do have reservations in W. Yellowstone.

Eating places seem to be plentiful all through the park and we've got some good choices.

I also moved some things around, and now, we'll be staying a night at Colter Bay, thus allowing us to do the Jenny Lake/Falls hike in the morning. I guess we'll pack a lunch, since I don't think we'll be done till early afternoon.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
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