Planning a trip to Montana /Wyoming in august

Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:01 AM
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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?

Thanks!!


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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Jackson is so close to GTNP you can stay in Jackson. Not a problem to drive to the park. Lot's of lodging, restaurants, etc. in Jackson at a much more reasonable price than the park. From what I read you are flying into Billings & out of SLC?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:52 AM
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The place we have looked at in Jakson is as expensive as the one in the park. We just want to stay wherever is more fun.


We are flying to Bozeman and flying out off SLC. (We did not want to drive all the way back to Bozeman and we thought this way we could have a day in SLCas well.) Any sugegstions on this?

Thanks!!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 04:57 PM
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We flew into Billings, drove the Beartooth Highway & entered thru NE corner of park. We actually rented a house by a lake outside of West Yellowstone for the week and traveled everywhere from the house. We put on a lot of miles. My suggestion is to stay in the park. Two-Three nights in Mammoth. Go into Gardiner & eat @ the K-Bar. Old bar with great mexican food. Check out www.yellowstone-bearman.com if you are interested in a wildlife tour. He is really good. Since the park roads are in the form of an 8 you can run Mammoth to Canyon & back one day, next do Mammoth to Norris & back. If you swing back out Lamar Valley Road toward Beartooth again you could take the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway to Cody. Stay the night & then go from Cody back into the park thru East Entrance & stay @ Old Faithful or Yellowstone lake, to visit the bottom half of the park. Leave thru South to go to Teton's. Check out the Sassy Moose B & B in Jackson or Luton's Teton Cabins both are a little pricy but if you are looking for budget there is plenty in Jackson. If you like burgers take a drive on Rt. 22 West over Teton Pass to Victor, ID. Look for the Cheeseburger Factory on the left. Place is nothing to look at but the food is great. Later in August the better. We always travel when the kiddies go back to school. Mid August on is good. BTW in 13 days we put 2700 miles on the car.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:33 PM
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We are going to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in July. I have been checking the lodging website for the park and there are still rooms depending on the day. Go to www.xanterra.com They have lodging for Yellowstone. For Grand Tetons, goole name of park.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:35 PM
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I've been in Yellowstone a week after labor day, and late June. After Labor day was a lot quieter and we saw more wildlife. I hear June is better and less crowded though though than July/ August.
 
Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:43 PM
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September is a good time for YS, sunset is eariler but it can get a little cold at night if you are out and about or camping. The times we have been there in June we have found the ground can still be a little wet and seems like more rain. July and August are the prime months with the most people.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:18 PM
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Hi Kimp!

Thanks for the amazing info!! We checked the sassy moose inn website and quite liked it. Just wanted to know if u had an idea as to how long it will take from this inn to GTNP or to Jackson town?

Thanks a lot!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:36 AM
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Sassy is in Jackson, about 15 - 20 minute drive to park.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:53 AM
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Waving back at Utahtea!

We've booked our flights on United, at least! We arrive in Billings May 23rd and, after our "tour", fly home on June 6.

My "nagivator" has a scheme that looks good, without too much driving in any one day, which pleases the "pilot"!
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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For those who want a safari, you must go to Moise, MT. This where the Natl. Bufalo Range is. Between there and Hot Springs, MT and St. Ignatius, MT, it is not unusual to see large herds, and many elk, and about as many deer as you can shake a stick at. You might want to check out Wild Horse Island on Flathead lake, where wild horse run, well, Wild. All this is about 1-2 hours south of Glacier Park, which contains to the only mountain in the world that feeds 3 oceans, The Arctic, Pacific and the Atlantic are fed by it
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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First of all, the American West is the easiest place to drive I know of. (I have driven in Europe several times, but not in London or Paris or Rome.)Secondly you are headed for an area rich in natural beauty. At the end, I will list my favorite places. My list has developed over about 55 years of visiting that area.

All highway routes are numbered with signs, and I think they are very easy to follow. I suggest you get good road maps and plan your route.

Then using the web, make advanced reservations in the more popular places.

Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks have lodging inside the park, but Yellowstone is a very popular place.

The concessioner for Yellowstone is named Xanterra. You can find it quite easily with Google by entering Xanterra Yellowstone.

There are several good places to stay, and quite a few bad ones. I do not know what is available right now, but as a general rule the Canyon area is good as is Old Faithful [geyser].

Near old Faithful I would avoid the cabins except for the Western
Cabins associated with the Snow Lodge.
Rooms in the Snow Lodge are expensive, but decent. In the Old Faithful Inn, you need to be selective. Some rooms at the lower end of the price range are terrible.

Around Canyon, the cabins classed as Western are ok. Frontier Cabins are acceptable. Pioneer Cabins and Budget Cabins are little more than dumps and/or hovels.

I definitely suggest visit the Grand Tetons. Accommodations at Colter Bay or Signal Mountain Lodge are ok.
Again there is a web site for the accommodations.

If there is not much in park that appeals to you, the town of Jackson has many commercial motels.

For Yellowstone, the town of West Yellowstone has quite a few commercial motels. Prices tend to be higher because of demand, but you can find something relatively nice in the commercial areas.

I strongly endorse taking the Bearthooth Highway from Red Lodge to the Northeast Gate of Yellowstone. The route is very spectacular and the road is well engineered.

Sorry, I cannot help you on the ranch idea. I never stayed at one. The only one I have looked at is the Flagg Ranch just south of the Yellowstone Park boundary. It lies between Yellowstone and the Tetons. I think it would make a good base, but Yellowstone is a huge park and you would need to drive a ways to see the attractions.

For that reason for the Yellowstone/Teton area I suggest staying at 3 places, if you can find a place that is suitable: the Teton Park or Jackson, the Canyon area in Yellowstone, and the Old Faithful area.

If you cannot find a good place in the Old Faithful area, West Yellowstone is not that far away time wise and it is a nice drive along the rivers.

For Yellowstone and the Tetons I think you could easily use up half of your time. Billings and the Beartooth Highway would use up at least half a day.

If you go to Bozeman, I suggest warmly a tour of the Museum of the Rockies. This museum has been substantially upgraded in the alst 4 or 5 years to the point that I find it to be a premier attraction. I think you would find the reconstructed pioneer farm to be most interesting. The dinosaur exhibits are also first rate and steadily being improved.

If you will search for the Yellowstone Institute, you may well find a summer program that interests you.

If you get there before the end of August, there will be Park Ranger led trips of several hours as well as programs run by the Yellowstone Institute.

I think your first problem is to select your arrival and departure destinations.
You could fly to Bozeman or Billings to get closer.

Or, you could fly to Salt Lake City and drive to the Tetons. The route through Logan, Utah, that takes you up to the Logan Canyon (highly scenic) and over the ridge to central Wyoming is the most spectacular way to go.

Let us know where you are coming from and I think many of us can share ideas with you in more detail.

I think trying to go to Glacier is a bit much. As pointed out, it is a long drive. The figure of 8 hours just gets you to the door so to speak.

I have driven it a couple of times and between Yellowstone and Glacier the scenery is fair to flat. If you have never seen it before, you will get an idea of what Montana is all about: vast open areas with few people.

Here is my list of favorite places:
In Yellowstone:
1. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and the Falls of the Yellowstone.
[the falls are beautiful]
I like to park near Artists Point, fight the crowds for the view, and then walk along the rim of the canyon for fewer people and beautiful views.

2. The Geysers. My favorite geysers are these: Castle, Great Fountain, Grand, Riverside, Daisy, and Old Faithful. Lone Star Geyser is a flat walk of about 4 miles round trip. I love it because the route is through unburned forest and follows along the upper Firehole River. The geyser itself is pretty, and erupts about every 3 hours in 2 phases.

3. The Fountain Paint Pots, Black Sand Basin, and Biscuit Basin.
All of these are along the drive from Old Faithful to a placed called Madison Junction.
4. The Norris Geyser Basin

5. The wildlife that can appear anywhere. Hayden Valley between Canyon and Lake Yellowstone is a good place to try.

6. Lake Yellowstone itself.

7. Other thermal features like the Dragons Cauldron the mudpots and the paint pots.

8. Other waterfalls in the park like Tower Fals.

9. Mount Washburn. (Fairly long hike to a view point.)

In the Tetons:
1. Signal Mountain for the best view of all.
2. Ride on Jenny Lake and a walk to the falls.
3. The museum at Colter Bay (small but excellent)
4. The drive along the Teton Range with views of the Grand Teton itself.

Outside of Yellowstone, I think the Bearthooth Highway from Red Lodge is great. A side trip is to take the Chief Joseph Highway to Cody and enter the park via the East Gate. That is a spectacular way to drive into the park.

Let me suggest this as itenerary:

1. Fly to Billings. Spend night in Red Lodge.
2. Drive to Yellowstone over Beartooth Highway and continue to Cody on the Chief Joseph Highway and enter Yellowstone at the East Gate.
3. Spend 2 nights at Canyon. Visit the canyon and the falls. Time enough to explore Hayden Valley itself.
4. Spend 2 or 3 nights at Old Faithful (or West Yellowstone) On the way there from Canyon, drive via the Norris Geyser Basin to Old Faithful.
5. Drive to the Tetons, spending the night at Signal Mountain Lodge (if possible)
6. Drive through the park to Bozeman via Mammoth Hot springs for the night.
7. Visit the Museum of the Rockies and return to Billings for your return flight.

If you are not into hiking long trails, I think 2 nights in the Tetons would be enough.

Five to six nights in Yellowstone should do it. One night in Bozeman is sufficnet as well. That uses up most of your 10-12 day period.

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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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OOPS. itinerary!
Easy for you; not for me obviously.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Hi Bob,

Thanks a lot for all the information...here is what we thought we would do:
Day 1 - Arrive at Boxeman, spend the night at Bozeman
Day 2 - Try the ballonn ride in Bozeman (any comments on this one??)
Drive to Mammnoth

Day 3 and 4 - Lake village
Day 5 - Drive to Cody. Spend the night in Cody
Day 6, 7 - Old Faithful Inn
Day 8 - Drive to Jackson, stay in Signal Mountain lodge
Day 9 - Jackson
Day 10 - Drive to Salt lake city
Day 11 - stay in SLC
Day 12 - fly back home

Please let us know what u think of this Itinerary.

Thanks, once again!!
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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This sounds good. The drive from Old Faithful to Signal Mtn Lodge is very doable. If you havent already made reservations, Colter Bay Cabins are also good value and location. These are in the GTNP, an hours drive north of Jackson. I would probably spend 2 nights there rather than the night in Jackson. Just go down to Jackson for dinner and a stroll around, it is very small. Not sure of your ages, but one of my favorite memories was swimming in the Firehole River where the hot springs pour in, on the one-way road south of Madison in Yellowstone. Lake is a good central location to explore Yellowstone. The Hayden valley is great for wildlife, drive through there in the early AM or at dusk. Hiking in the Tetons is the way to see it- Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon are a good start. Have a great trip! Chris
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Hi Chris,

Thanks!! Is it a good idea to take one of the trips organized by the hotel in Yellowstone (they have these tours that take u around Hayden valley etc., for instance) or is it better to go do those things on our own?

Thanks!!
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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I like to travel at my own speed. Do your homework before you get to Yellowstone. You may want to pack a cooler with you, places to eat or get something to drink are few and far between.

http://www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
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Old Apr 16th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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RedRock,

we are new to this country and i am not sure what kind of cooler u r talking abt....can u please explain. Will it be very hot in Montana during August?

Thanks!!
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Old Apr 16th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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... an ice cooler, for food and drink. Yes the weather can be warm in the area during the summer, however the nights are normally cool in the mountains.

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/Colem...ategoryID=8500

http://www.igloo-store.com/index.asp

They come in all sizes, something around 38-54 qt will hold enough ice for a day or two. You can pick one up at a Wal Mart store for around $30.

While in the Yelloswtone try to take a drive up the Lamar Valley, it is home to several of the wolf packs of the park. Bison and bears are also likely to be seen in that area. Late evening or early morning is the best time for wild life vewing.

http://www.yellowstone.net/
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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We traveled in our RV thru MT & WY last summer and suggest you consider renting one. A small RV is easy to drive and can be used for daily sightseeing. Expect nightly fees of US $25 to $40 or even more for plush resorts plus about US $1000 a week rental (plus gas). The convenience and ability to enjoy nature far surpasses hotels. A week in Yellowstone NP will not leave you bored. We also stayed a week in the beautiful Glacier NP and 2 days between (more if you have time to visit the Old West mining and cattle towns). At Glacier we took a day tour in a restored "bus" and at Yellowstone/Grand Teton in a tour bus. Both were worth the cost. El Monte RV rental `company is a national company that permits separate pick up and drop and there are others. Local companies maybe less expensive but not as convenient or have late model vehicles. SLC is great but the lake stinks (don't even think about a swim). The Morman Church has many wonderfull buildings and gardens. The Tabanacle was closed for renovation but we still had an enjoyable day (and don't expect to be recruited unless the Baptists are in town).
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