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San Francisco to Grand Tetons

Old Apr 1st, 2017, 05:49 AM
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San Francisco to Grand Tetons

We are looking for the best route for a two day trip from San Francisco to Jackson Lake Lodge in the Grand Tetons. We'd like to find best balance between efficient and scenic and are trying to find a good place to stop for the night.

Thanks for all suggestions.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 09:42 AM
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I did that drive recently, I-80 to first night's stop in Wells NV. North on 93, making our way past Twin Falls & Pocatello to Lava Hot Springs for a very relaxing visit to the springs when we stopped for the second night. Then next day on to Jackson & the Tetons on our way to Yellowstone. I'm not sure it can be done if you have 2 days for the entire trip. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding and you have 2 days just for the drive there? That could be done.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 09:44 AM
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That's a tough one. Some years back we enjoyed driving on US-50--sometimes called the "loneliest road."

Ely, NV, is half way to Grand Teton NP on US-50 and the La Quinta seems to be the best place to stay in that town. If you drive on to West Wendover, there are some motels there.

From Ely, I would be inclined to drive to Salt Lake City and then north to the GTNP. This is a link to a description of a scenic drive between SLC and GTNP: http://abritandasoutherner.com/drive...o-yellowstone/

HTtY
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 10:35 AM
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Thanks--I know US 50 from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, but not beyond. Mme Perdu, we will take two days to drive to the Grand Tetons, and will spend 4 nights there before a v-e-r-y long day of driving through Yellowstone to Cooke City and over Beartooth road to a cabin in the Big Sky Country for 3 days. Then up to Glacier National Park for a week before heading home through Washington and Oregon, spending a night or two in Portland. Our first big road trip.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 10:51 AM
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What time of year will this drive take place, cmstraf?
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:01 AM
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If you're looking for the "loneliest road", try NV 233/UT30 from Oasis NV.
It is scenic and you can take the shortcut over trough Promontory UT to see the Golden Spike Memorial.
The shorter probably quicker way is to turn north on US 93 from Wells NV. Whether you stop for the night in Wells, Idaho Falls or Twin Falls depends on how far you want to drive the first day.
In Rigby ID, you can see where television was invented.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:11 AM
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We, who almost never travel during high season, are leaving on June 24 and returning on July 10 or 11. We plan to minimize crowds and traffic by being early birds, aiming to get on roads and trails between 7 and 8.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:33 AM
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That's good. Off-season is long and snowy in that part of the world with many roads closed. I was there in September with one route north closing behind us as we passed through.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Can you recommend a place to stay in Wells, Nevada?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 11:56 AM
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You could also stop for the night in Elko and have some old fashioned Basque/American food at the Star Hotel.

http://www.eatdrinkandbebasque.com
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 12:12 PM
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Wells isn't exactly a hotbed of tourist activity, think utilitarian. We stayed at the Motel 6, seemed newly refurbished, near a good breakfast spot, Bella’s.

Yes, you could stop in Elko but it would probably be better just to get as far as you can that day, if it's a priority. Depending on your arrival time in Elko, maybe you could do both, dinner there, then on to Wells, less than an hour on.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 03:43 PM
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Well, thanks everyone, but Italian DH just vetoed interesting in the interest of distance and speed that first day (which was originally planned for flying and driving, so 80 and 93 it will be. He argues that we have many beautiful drives ahead of us and that he wants to do as much as we can (either Elko or Twin Falls, I think) that first day. I think his logic holds.

Next step is to see if we can take a prettier way to Jackson Lake Lodge (which doesn't promise to accomodate us until four. ) However, I've also heard that they have lovely public space.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 02:41 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I'm saving them for our next road trip--to Colorado.
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Old Apr 5th, 2017, 03:18 PM
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I think your decision to get as far as possible on Day 1 is good. We lived in SF East bay and did that drive to see my family in MT several times and our typical approach was to get on the road as early as possible and get as far as possible (with early start we've made it as far as Idaho falls but that was a long day driving). Basically, you'll want to get to at least Elko but ideally further. Past Elko, there are only a few stops with hotel options including Wells, Jackpot, and then Twin Falls (which has the most choices after Elko). Wells is tiny and Jackpot is basically a sprinkling of casino hotels on the border (which is where you lose your hour going into the Mountain Time Zone).

Once you get to Twin Falls, you've got a few options for a more scenic drive to Jackson Lake Lodge that you can see on google maps. We typically went through Idaho Falls and got on H26 through to Swan Valley if going to Jackson as it was the shortest.
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Old Apr 7th, 2017, 05:14 AM
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Thanks, NorCal__Jo. On Wednesday, we went to AAA and got maps and tour books for California, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Oregon. It was exciting. I think we are going to aim for Twin Falls and we hope to be actually on the road by 8 (which means aiming for 7:30).
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 05:40 AM
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Hi everyone,
What we have decided to do, on the advice of close friends with good taste, is take highway 50 to Ely, Nevada the first day. The second night we have reservations both in Idaho Falls and in the Grand Tetons. We have until 4 pm ton cancel the Idaho Falls, so we will see how the day goes.

Can anyone suggest a pretty, but efficient way to get from Idaho Falls to Jackson?
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 07:29 AM
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So now Idaho Falls, not Twin Falls? Coming north on 93 or 15 thru SLC? Either way the route I suggested at the top through Lava Hot Springs is beautiful, 30 & 89.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 05:54 PM
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Yes, we are going to take highway 50 through Nevada instead of 80 (more scenic two reliable friends swear; it's not an interstate), spend the night in Ely, Nevada and then go north on 93, unsure now whether we will stop in Idaho Falls (made Best Western reservation) or push all the way to Jackson Lake Lodge.
30 and 89 it will be--I'm getting excited. Next step is getting in shape. We are going to Yosemite this weekend and will do the Nevada Falls hike, which should instill the proper amount of fear and awe (we know this hike well) to inspire us to really work before June 23.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 07:03 PM
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I was referring to Twin Falls, east to Pocatello, then 30 thru Lava Hot Springs, & 89. Idaho Falls is farther north, the route then will be 26 & 89, which I haven't driven.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 07:46 PM
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If we decide we can make it all the way to Jackson Lake Lodge on Saturday, we'll go via 30 and 89.
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