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love_travel11 Mar 20th, 2006 06:03 AM

Planning a trip to Montana /Wyoming in august

My husband and I are planning a trip to Montana/Wyoming this summer. we went thru lots of sites with information abt places to see/activities in these states and we are totally confused now!!

We have 10-12 days and our interests are wildlife watching (may be a safari), geysers/hot springs, stay in a ranch with beautiful scenery (we love scenic places), culture (visit the native Indian places), a little bit of hiking (not long distances or tough hikes). We also read somewhere that there is a balloon ride in Billings, we would love to take that too...

With these in mind, can someone please give us an idea of where we should be staying and how our Itinerary should look like.

PS: we are new to the US and this is the first time we are planning to travel within this country and hence are not very comfortable driving long distances. (We might do so, if there is no other way out)

Thanks in advance!!

utahtea Mar 20th, 2006 11:04 AM

I would spend at least 5 to 7 days in Yellowstone National Park and 2 nights at the Grand Tetons. Lodging in Yellowstone fills up fast. I'd try for the Old Faithful area, Lake or Canyon area and maybe a night or two at Mammoth. If you can't get lodging inside the park, then try for West Yellowstone, Montana. It's really the best location outside the park for seeing Yellowstone.

You might want to visit Cody, WY. There is the Buffalo Bill Historic Center:

One of the best drives into the park is Hwy 212 known as the Beartooth Highway.

Good luck in your planning!


love_travel11 Mar 20th, 2006 01:49 PM

Thanks a lot for ur response!!
Are we late for starting to plan our trip to Montana?
also, i wanted to know if visiting the Glacier national park will be a good idea? Are there any good safaris that u would recommend in Yellowstone?
Will it be a good idea to stay in a ranch in Wyomiong and then move on to Yellowstone? In Yellowstone, are there any lodges that u would recommend?

Thanks a lot for ur help!!

RedRock Mar 20th, 2006 03:24 PM

Do not worry about taking a long road trip, that is all part of seeing this country. You did not say where you would be starting so don't know if the 10-12 days you mentioned are the total time you have for the entire trip or the time you had planned to spend in WY and MT. As was mentioned the greater Yellowstone/Teton area would take that many days to explore. Here are some sites to help in your planning, hope they will give you some information you can use.

It may be too late to get a place to stay inside the park. The GateWay towns of West Yellowstone, Cooke City, and Gardiner all have ample motels.

Anywhere in the park you may see wild life, some of the best places are the Lamar Valley (home of several wolf packs) and the Hayden Valley. The best time to view is early morning or late evening.

ps. welcome to the USA.

wtm003 Mar 20th, 2006 04:49 PM

The following website should have answer a lot of your questions about where to stay and what to do in Yellowstone.

I have stayed at Canyon Lodge, Old Faithful Inn and Old Faithful Snow Lodge. All three are great places to stay. If you can't reserve lodging online, call the reservation number. They usually have rooms available that do not show up online.

love_travel11 Mar 20th, 2006 04:51 PM


Thanks a lot for the information. If we need to look up for places inside yellowstone (just in case, to try our luck) what will be a good place to consider?

Thanks in advance!!

wtm003 Mar 20th, 2006 04:54 PM

For Grand Teton National Park check out and for room availability and activities.

love_travel11 Mar 20th, 2006 07:07 PM

Thanks for all your help!!
we have arrived at the following plan:

Day 1 - Mammoth
Day 2 - canyon
Day 3 - Lake village
Days 4 and 5 - Old faithful
We are hoping to get to stay inside the park.

We are now struggling with the rest of the trip(4 days) that consists of Grand Tetons and/or Jackson Hole and Cody. We are not sure what is the place we should be visiting from YellowStone, given we might not want to drive for long hours.
Is there anyway we can take the beartooh highway from Yellowstone to WY?

We are going to fly from would be great if we can have inputs on where to fly in and out of Montana/WY.

Thanks a lot in advance!! (We are hoping to start our reservations as soon as we get ur responses for this!!)

RedRock Mar 20th, 2006 07:49 PM

If you would fly into Billings MT you could take US-212 to Yellowstone and it would take you thru Red Lodge and over the Beartooth Pass and the NE gate into Yellowstone, allow at least 3-4 hours on the BT Highway.

On your way out exit the East gate and stay in Cody and then back to Billings via WY-120/MT-72 and US-310....

trippinkpj Mar 20th, 2006 08:14 PM

Red Lodge is a fun town to grab a bite or stay overnight. Also liked Chico Hot Springs (also hotel and very good restaurant, in south Montana, off of Hwy 89. It's close to Gadiner and the Mammoth Hot Springs entrance of Yellowstone/ WY.

utahtea Mar 20th, 2006 11:50 PM

Except for 1974, we've always camped in Yellowstone. In 1974 we stayed at Old Faithful, Roosevelt and Mammoth Hot Springs cabins.

You asked about going to Glacier. Glacier from West Yellowstone is one, long hard day of driving (435 miles and at least 8 hours driving) time each way. You will kill 2 days unless you fly out of the Glacier area, I don't think I'd attempt it if you have to drive back.


tovarich Mar 21st, 2006 12:45 AM

Try to go in September(after Labour day,first monday of sept). In Summer Yellowstone will be overcrowded. We visited twice in September and stayed in Gardiner and W.Yellowstone.The park is in the form of an 8 and about 240 km long.Since it is your first time I would plan 4 days in Yellowstone (stay in Gardiner north entrance to the park)and do Glacier nat.park. It's unforgettable.In this way you will have seen two great parks and have an idea for future holidays to plan. Greetings from Belgium.Paul

RetiredVermonter Mar 21st, 2006 03:24 AM

Welcome to the USA. I hope you have a wonderful time!

My wife and I have never been out there, and we're planning to go, too, but in late May and early June. We plan to fly into Billings, Montana and rent a car there (Enterprise seemed to have the best deal for us because we have the "Entertainment Book"). We plan to then drive over to see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, etc., in South Dakota; and then travel around in Wyoming and Montana, before flying home from Billings.

By the way, in addition to all the fabulous "outdoor" things to see, we are told that Cody, Wyoming has a terrific museum, if you're into that sort of thing.

Best regards!

RetiredVermonter (in Vermont, obviously)

tovarich Mar 21st, 2006 04:49 AM

In Cody there's the fabulous museum(Buffalo Bill),actually 4 museums in one.Worthwhile. The road from Cody to Yellowstone is ver scenic too.Paul

love_travel11 Mar 21st, 2006 05:25 AM

Thanks to all of u for all the inputs!! Seems we will be flying into Billings and drive to YellowStone and get in thru the NE entrance (per RedRock's suggestion). We are assuming this drive will take a day. Then, we plan to spend 4 days in the park, the last day being in Old Faithful.
Then, we want to move ahead to Cody and Grand Teton. Can anybody give an idea as to how long it will take to drive from Yellowstone to Cody/Grand teton and will it be possible for us to do both of these places in 3 days. How long will it take to drive back to Billings from any of these places to fly back home?
Guess, this posting has got too long!! Sorry....
Thanks a ton!!

tovarich Mar 21st, 2006 06:18 AM

The shortest way would be drivfe to Cody(visit the museums;take 3 hours)then back to Yellowstone and south route 89 to Jackson(G.Tetons)Estimated mileage=240/doable in one day.Paul

utahtea Mar 21st, 2006 07:45 AM

Utahtea waving to RetiredVermonter


love_travel11 Mar 22nd, 2006 03:47 AM


With your help, finally we have arrived at the following Itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive at Yellowstone - stay at Mammoth or Roosevelt (suggestions welcome)
Days 2,3 - Lake village
Day 4 - drive to Cody (might stay in Cody)
Days 5,6 - Old Faithful
Days 7,8 - Jackson / GTNP
Day 9 - drive to Salt lake city
Day 10 - Stay in SLC
Day 11- Fly back home

There are a couple of questions:
1) Should we stay in jakson or in GTNP?
2) Will it be a good idea to not to visit Cody, instead do one more day in Jackson?

Thanks in advance!!

wtm003 Mar 22nd, 2006 06:33 AM

You really need to secure your reservations (if you haven't already) at Yellowstone before you decide what to do with the rest of your itinerary. Good luck!

love_travel11 Mar 22nd, 2006 08:06 AM

We have got our reservations in YellowStone done.

Can someone please let us know if it we should be staying in GTNP or in Jackson Hole? Also, would it be a good idea to drop Cody and stay for one more day in Jackson/GTNP?


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