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-   -   Salt Lake City to Glacier National Park in August 2018 (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/salt-lake-city-to-glacier-national-park-in-august-2018-a-1653466/)

chriskd May 18th, 2018 09:44 AM

Salt Lake City to Glacier National Park in August 2018
 
We need help planning/deciding on a trip to Glacier National Park. We have plane tickets to Salt Lake City Utah from NY. August 4-August 11,2018.
Now the decision is what we will see in that time. So much to see,so little time.. We have to decide if we go all the way to Glacier Natl Park or to Yellowstone? Do we have enough time to visit more than that? Do we see anything in Idaho? Jackson Hole?
We are a family of five; Mom and Dad 54,52. Three daughters; 28,21,18.
We like a varied amount of things to do. We like biking, but not too crazy. We like seeing wildlife. But not sight seeing all the time. Hiking but not too much. Boat trips, kayaking. We love concerts too. The girls like the idea of seeing a ghost town too. We like things out of the ordinary.
Any ideas?

emalloy May 18th, 2018 10:31 AM

Your first and last days will probably be mostly taken up by getting to the airport, flying, getting/returning the rental car and eating. So you really have only 5 more days. It will take a half day to get to/from Yellowstone, all day to get to/from Glacier.

I'd do Yellowstone, since it has all the things you want. You are a bit late getting lodging in/near either park, so try for that asap. If they tell you they are filled, take the phone number and keep calling back as people do make reservations way in advance and then cancel when they find they can't make the trip.

Dayle May 18th, 2018 01:21 PM

Going all the way to Glacier when you are flying into SLC makes no sense. Yes, you only have 5 full days. Di Yellostone and Grand Teton NP. You will need to work hard to get lodging on short notice. Try to stay IN the parks. Yellowstone is huge and takes a lot of driving to see. You dont want to be commuting in and wasting time.

chriskd May 19th, 2018 12:40 PM

Thanks for the feedback.
We have decided to drive from Salt Lake City to Jackson. Then onto the Grand Tetons. Then onto Yellowstone. Would you advice driving straight to Jackson or is there anything worth seeing on the way up there?
Where is a good place to stay the night in Jackson? Is there any recommendations of things to do there?
How many days at Grand Tetons? Is one day enough? What is the must see or do there?
Right now I was able to get a reservation in West Yellowstone, I am not sure if that if a good place to stay or night. I was able to get two nights. Is 3 days and 2 nights sufficient? or should I keep looking for resv. Is there anything around the Montana area worth seeing just around Yellowstone, maybe withing an hour or so drive?
Any advice is helpful.
Thanks.

Dayle May 19th, 2018 07:00 PM

Chris, there are a couple things to see along the way between SLC and Jackson, but you do not have time. Stay IN Grand Teton National Park if at all possible. Go to the web site: nsp.gov for information on all the national parks. There are links there for the lodging companies that handle lodging in the parks. 1 day in GTNP is just enough to do a short hike somewhere and drive the full length of the park stopping at all the viewpoints. I wouldn't waste time in Jackson. It's a cute but very touristy and crowded town and honestly doesn't have much to see when compared to the national parks.

West Yellowstone will put you on just one side of the 2 million acres + that is Yellowstone. It will be about a 40 minute drive just to get to the nearest points of interest in Yellowstone from there. Perhaps this helps you understand why it is not a great idea to commute into the park. Again, look at the web site for Yellowstone and you will see the roads in the park are basically a figure 8. 2 days in Yellowstone is really not enough to see and enjoy it. 4 would be much better.

Keep trying to snag a cancellation INSIDE Yellowstone. You must call twice a day, every day to achieve this.

Good luck!

chriskd May 20th, 2018 05:52 AM

Thanks again for the feedback. I will keep trying to get a spot in the park. I looked on google maps and I see how far the drive will be. Sticking to the parks for the week.

travelbuff127 Jun 11th, 2018 12:16 AM

Hi chriskd;
my husband and I (also in 50’s) with our teen daughter, did a similar trip last summer. Our itinerary was as follows; NY to SLC, then to Pocatello, Idaho, then to Butte, Montana, Missoula, Montana, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, back to SLC. We spent 1 night in Pocatello, 1 night in Missoula, 2 nights in Glacier, 2 nights in Yellowstone, 2 nights in Grand Teton and 1 night Salt Lake City. My two cents is this, yes, the ride to Glacier will be long, but Soooooooooworth it. We loved something special about each park. But without a doubt, all three of us agreed there is no place on earth like GLACIER! If you would like all of my details on lodging and tours, email me privately. It’s too long for me to write about here. [email protected]

basingstoke2 Jun 11th, 2018 07:12 AM

West Yellowstone is the closest town to the Park. We stayed there at the 3 Bear Lodge, a very nice place, which was only 2-3 minutes from the park entrance. If you have your entrance pass in advance, you can skip the line to pay your entrance fee (google yourpassnow for info). I disagree that it is a 40 minute drive to "nearest points of interest." Perhaps to Old Faithful, but there are interesting things to see and do well before that. In any case that will differ wildly depending on time of year, and animals on the road. There is an official map with driving times which I found to be greatly exaggerated but then we were there fairly early in the season before the bigger crowds came. For example, from the west entrance to Madison, which is where the you will come upon your first loop, is 14 scenic miles which at 30 mph takes about 30 minutes. The speed limit is 45mph and with little traffic, which was the case with us, can easily be there fairly quickly. Turning north at Madison you will soon come upon Bison, or turn south to Faithful, but either north or south there are a myriad of things to see along the road. We turned south on our first day and were soon stuck behind a number of Bison sauntering down the road, but hey, that is why we were there so it was good. On the way to Old Faithful you will pass Prismatic Springs. one of the don't miss sights. For more info I have a TR of our 2015 trip. Photos too. https://www.fodors.com/community/uni...parks-1047240/

Patty Jun 11th, 2018 07:54 AM

Gardiner MT is right outside the northern entrance so you could stay there for your additional nights if you can't find anything inside the park. It's only 15 minutes from Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs and it's a convenient base to see the northern section of the park.

chriskd Jul 26th, 2018 07:38 PM

Our trip is 10 days from now. Unfortunately we have had some things come up in our personal life that has taken me away from planning this vacation. I feel stressed now because I usually spend a lot of time planning all the finer details.
Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated. Car rented. Lodging..done.

Day 1. Sun 8/5- Drive from SLC to Jackson Wyoming.
I also need a place to stop for lunch the first day driving from Salt Lake City to Jackson. Any worthy (short) stops on the way?
We have 2 vegans, 2 vegetarians and a gluten free in our family. Again Mom and Dad (mid 50's, 3 daughters(18,21/28). Yipes I know...

Ideas for something to do at night, staying in Jackson, Sunday night and Monday night.
Not sure what to do on Monday during the day at Grand Tetons National park for the one full day. Any ideas? Not too adventurous on our own,(no hiking in the woods-afraid of bears(city slickers). Rafting sounds nice, not whitewater rafting more scenic. Snake River or Jenny Lake?
Tuesday: driving to Yellowstone-
We are staying 3 nights in the park at Yellowstone. (One night at Old Faithful Inn and 2 at Canyon Lodge). What are the must see/do things. I have looked into tours but for 5 people most things are very expensive. Are there any reasonable tours that are not tourist traps? Best advice for 3 days in the park. Can you see most things on your own or is a tour guide an option?
Friday driving to Bozeman,Montana, one night there (any thoughts on what to do that night? Then onto
Last day- going to Bannack State Park- then driving to Salt Lake City. Any thoughts on Bannack?

I know its a lot to plan in a few days and really late, but life got in the way.
Help!

emalloy Jul 31st, 2018 06:06 PM

No need for tours in Yellowstone. If you get on the NP web site for yellowstone, you can click the "plan your visit" page and see where things are. Just driving around the park, stopping at the features with short walks around them will fill the three days there.

Patty Aug 1st, 2018 09:51 AM

I have no specific restaurant suggestions but 89 from Logan to Bear Lake is a beautiful drive that goes through Logan Canyon. Stop at the Bear Lake Overlook. Logan is a college town with plenty of restaurants. Garden City has some places to eat too.


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