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Park City/National Parks - need help with itinerary

Park City/National Parks - need help with itinerary

Old Dec 30th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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Park City/National Parks - need help with itinerary

We are planning a family vacation for July 2014 - 2 weeks. We're thinking of spending about a week in Park City (timeshare). Would like recommendations for must-do attractions nearby. We're in our 40s and children will be 18 and 15 and enjoyed easy hikes, nature walks, scenic drives, and open to new experiences. Can we take in any national parks by situating in Park City? We will then want to head over to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, and would love recommendations of what to do there, where to stay, recommended time. We like to take in free activities when possible, and include paid activities where warranted (entrance fees for Timpanogos Cave, boat rental fees to see nature). Would you suggest including a trip to Glacier National Park as well or too much? We're not afraid to be in the car for long drives ... thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 30th, 2013, 01:31 PM
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The closest national park (or similar institution) is Dinosaur National Monument, 2hr51min one way.
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Old Dec 30th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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You're pretty far from any national parks. I would suggest taking a couple of days and sleeping there.
Yellowstone N.P. - 5.5 hours
Glacier N.P. (Many Glacier area) - 10.5 hours
Arches N.P. - 4 hours
Zion N.P. - 4.5 hours (add Bryce Canyon N.P.)

They are all spectacular in their own way.
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Old Dec 30th, 2013, 03:09 PM
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July would be great for Yellowstone, Tetons, and Glacier. The Utah parks would be brutally hot.

You can buy a National Park Pass(good for 1 year). This will get you in all the monuments, rivers, historical sites, parks, etc. You will still have to pay for some "extras" (some cave tours, guides, boat rides, etc).

Your already very very late for reservations in Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier. Get those ASAP
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Old Dec 30th, 2013, 03:10 PM
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If your adventurous, perhaps a river trip/raft down Cateract Canyon would be a consideration
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Old Dec 30th, 2013, 06:03 PM
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Park City is not a good base to see the parks in Southern UTah. But a overnighter would be possible to Moab for Arches OR Zion and Bryce. And yes, July is perfect for that river rafting trip. There is the Moab Daily that is relaxed and enjoyable, or the rapids of WestWater would be another day raft.

That said you can spend a week in Park City without the parks.

Be sure to visit the Olympic park, and museum.

During the summer there is the Silly Sunday Market, make a point to visit.

Check out the Park CIty events schedule, there are concerts, art walks, theater, movie screenings etc. The art festival is earlier in June I think.

All the resorts there have ziplines, alpine slides and other fun stuff. You can rent a mt bike and take one of the many trails through the mountains. (yes they cost money)

The Weber river near Hennifer is great for tubing. There is a place near Taggert you can rent tubes, and they offer shuttles. relatively cheap for a good fun day. That is a good kayak river as well if you want to learn.

Plenty of gorgeous hikes that time of year. Best one is Mt Timpanogoes, though it is a doozy (I'm talking the mountain, not the cave ). Also the Stewart Falls near Sundance is nice. You can also head up past Kamas to the Uintas, fish, hike to any of a number of lakes ... get a map for trails. Long Lake is great, but sometimes overcrowded.

Rent some jetskis at Jordanelle.

It isn't too far for a day trip to Antelope Island for the Great Salt Lake (though it can be hot)


THEN
For Yellowstone / Grand Tetons another week would be ideal. Glacier might be pushing it a bit too far.

Stay in the park for both parks. Traffic is just too hard to fight. Cancellations do occur but you need to keep calling for the days you want.
Signal MT Lodge is the nicest in Tetons, Colter Bay a little quieter. Two or three different places for Yellowstone such as Old Faithful, Canyon and Mammoth seem to work to experience all the different areas of the park. If you only want two then I'd do Old Faithful and Canyon. Give Tetons 2 days and Yellowstone 4-5 and a day to travel there and back.
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 09:34 AM
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Highly-highly- recommend visiting Mormon Temple, Tabernacle where their choir performs, and .... In Salt Lake City and it is all free.

http://www.lds.org/locations/salt-la...-temple-square

Vaga

PS. Glacier - primarily a hiking park, but a scenic drive. Been there twice. Yellowstone is really the jewel.
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 04:44 PM
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thank you everyone for all these helpful tips and advice!!! I will check into lodging for YNP and GT ASAP!
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 07:28 AM
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I am now planning to stay 3 nights by Yellowstone, and 2 nights by Grand Teton. I'd love suggestions and advice of highlights from these two parks. This would be our second week of the trip.
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 09:27 AM
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If you skip anything in Yellowstone, skip Mammoth area. It is worth seeing, but is the least spectacular, IMOP.

I would spend a full day in and around the geysers at Old Faithful. Old Faithful goes about every 90 minutes. You will probably see it a couple of times. I liked seeing it with the 1000+ people there in the afternoon-but then in the morning at 6AM when it was just myself and one other guy.
Check with visitor Center for Eruption times for Riverside Geyser and Castle Geyser. Riverside goes about every 4 hours(but you might have to wait as long as 2 hour on it) Castle goes twice a day(you may have to wait 3 hours or so on it). I think both of these are even better than Old Faithful, IMOP. There are a couple of other geysers that they predict(besides the ones I mentioned). But, the rest of them are pretty much a crapshoot. Old Faithful is the most reliable and easiest to see.
Don't miss Fountain Paint Pots, Dragon's Cauldron, Grand Prismatic Spring, Morning Glory Pool.

Spend at least 1/2 in and around Canyon area.
Spend an early monring(yes get up early, it's so worth it) and see wildlife in Lamar and Hayden Valley.
I like Tower Falls, some people don't.
You could spend 1/2 day or so on or around Lake Area too.
Have a picnic lunch in the park on 1 or 2 of your days.
We enjoyed riding on one of the Historic Yellow Bus tours.


For Tetons, the classic hike there is to take the boat across Jenny Lake-from there see Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. This is one busy spot, so don't expect solitude here.
Consider having a picnic here as well. Dornan's has good picnic supplies. Perhaps, do a Snake River Float trip. They do Mild or Wild. They do breakfast or dinner on some of there floats.
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 02:14 PM
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spirobulldog thank you so much!!! this is fantastic info and much appreciated. I have now switch my itinerary around to do YNP and GT first, have booked rooms at Three Bears Lodge and Signal Mountain Cabins (lake front wooo hooo!) and then spend the second week at Park City to recoupe ...
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 05:14 AM
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Depending on what do you mean by "easy hikes" there is a lot to "do" in Yellowstone or Tetons...
In Yellowstone a lot of hikes are "easy" : for us, it will be not too denivellation but sometimes "long"...
In Yellowstone, the Lone Star Geyser hike is easy and if you catch the eruption it's terrific.
The Imperial geyser is also with no denivellation.
It began at Midway Geyser basin and pass by Fairy falls...
So on the same hike you have Polychromatic basin, a fall and a nice small geyser which erupts permanently...Nice spot for a pic nic.
Lamar and Hayden valleys as said by Spiro are highlights for wildlife.
In Canyon the lower brink is a must but the north rim is also a nice hike not too difficult.
To choose, you can go on the website/nps and on the "things to do" chapter click on Day hikes and you have a small description of the hikes..
In Grand Teton, hikes are more challenging and it will be good to hike after Inspiration point and hidden falls...
The hike to Solitude lake is one of our favorite, not too difficult because the slope is "gentle"...and it's also a nice spot to pic nic...
In all case, be "bear aware"...but also bisons aware...
And finally if this year give you idea to hike more a week in Glacier is absolutely the must ...
Erik.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 01:33 PM
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Erik, thanks for all the suggestions. we've done hikes all over Hawaii including the first 2 miles of Kalalau Trail in Kauai which challenged us, but so worth it. Your recommendations sounds spot on, and will add to my itinerary. thanks!
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