Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for trip to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Thermopolis?

Suggestions for trip to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Thermopolis?

May 8th, 2006, 08:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
Suggestions for trip to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Thermopolis?

We have planned a family trip around 11 days from Boston to Thermopolis, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons. My 6 year old hopes to be a pelenotologist, and we thought the dinosaure center at Thermopolis will give him a real taste for it. (We also have a 9 year old girl. Both are good hikers.) I read a lot of posts here and made our travel plan. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We will be travelling the 2nd half of August. Here is our current plan.

Day 1: Fly in to Billings around 1pm. Drive to Thermopolis
Day 2: Visit Dinosaur Center at Thermopolis
Day 3: Drive to Yellowstone via Cody (stay @ Canyon Lodge)
Day 4: Hike Grand Canyon (stay @ Canyon Lodge)
Day 5: ??
Day 6: Drive to Old Faithful (stay @ OFI)
Day 7: Old Faithful (stay @ OFI)
Day 8: Drive to Grand Tetons (Stay @ Signal Mt)
Day 9: Float (Stay @ Signal Mt)and hike.
Day 10: Drive trhough the park, hike around the YS lake and stay at Cooke City.
Day 11: Drive to Billings via Bluetooth Parkway. Flight is at 1:17pm.

I am not sure whether on Day 5 we should visit the Mammoth's Hot Spring. Some posts mentined a hot spring that you can swim north of MHS. The kids definitely would enjoy swimming. Also, on the last day, am I allowing myself enough time from Cooke City to the airport at Billings in 4 hours? Thanks!!!
chen is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 360
You are going to have a great trip! Click on my name to see my trip report on Yellowstone/Tetons. My suggestion for your day five: Drive to Mammouth. and go swimming in the Boiling River (you park in Montana and then walk to Wyoming for the swim). Bring water shoes or other shoes that can get wet to protect your feet. Then head over to Roosevelt for a horseback ride out to the Roosevelt campout (there is wagon if you don't want to ride). My other tip for you is to stop at a Walmart or similar store and pick up a cooler, water, soda, snacks and easy breakfast stuff. There are small groceries in Yellowstone, too. We almost always just packed a picnic as we didn't want to head inside to eat. We did welcome stops for ice cream! You'll find lots of that in the park.
keymom is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,051
Wyoming is great Dino country..not alot of people know that the area around Greybull WY (straight drive south from Billings) called the Great Basin or BigHorn BAsin used to be a gigantic salt water ocean..lots of Dinos lived here.

FYI..it will be HOT..average day temps over 100
Kmart, Walmart and Costco are in Billings. Ask the rental car people to mark it on the map so you can p/u cooler, groceries etc.
2 hours south of Billings is the town of Greybull. This is on the drive south to Thermopolis ...
your son might be intersested in the BLM Federal excevation site of Dino footprints.

Red Gulch/Alkali Dino Track
.....10 miles East of Greybull..left at only stoplight in Greybull coming south from Billings.

Red Gulch Dino Track site largest in Wyoming and one of few worldwide middle Jurassic period 160 - 180 million years Dino sites. Discovered in 1997 the 2 legged Dino footprints (which you can walk on) was believed to be at the ocean shorelne 167 milion years ago...I've been there and it is awesome.

Also another thing if you have time is the road to Sheridan from Greybull has carbon dated signs of the rocks from different geological periods....but this would be out of your way.

Going to Yellowstone from Cody there is a Walmart Superstore with groceries on the Cody bound westside to stock up again before heading into Yellowstone

1JAR is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
My two grandsons visited the same area a few years ago, before they were teen agers.

The older boy enjoyed the dinosaur dig; the other one did not.

Both jumped on the junior ranger program in Yellowstone. The requirements for the older boy were non trivial because he was marginally older. The requirements for the younger boy were such that Dad helped out a little.
I thought that was good because the two worked together.

The older boy had 3 more years of school and that made a big difference.

I think 4 hours would be enough time, but (and a big one at that) is that if you drive over the Beartooth Highway, you might forget your objective!!

I could spend longer than that by stopping and looking.

There is a fire tower turned visitor center on the Yellowstone side that is well worth a small detour.

Is that a paleontologist your 6 year old is interested in becoming? Becoming one takes considerable study in anatomy, physiology, and historical geology.

bob_brown is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,523
Hi chen,

Don't be alarmed. The average daytime temps for WY are definitely NOT 100 degrees! East of the continental divide it would be quite warm, but around Yellowstone and the Tetons, daytime temps should be mid-80s at most.

Your trip plan sounds good. Just be aware that Signal Mtn. is about as far north in Grand Teton park as you can get. Lots of good hiking around Jackson Lake, Coulter Bay and Jenny Lake are much further south from Signal Mtn, as is the town of Jackson. It would take you about 45 mintues non-stop to drive from Signal Mtn to Jackson.
Dayle is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,586
Hi. We did a family trip to Yellowstone 2 years ago. My boys loved the hot springs pools at Thermopolis. One place had a few water slides and a high dive (you don't see those too often anymore!) I loved it b/c the water was so nice and warm.

It was very hot when we were in Thermopolis - over 90 and one of the lifeguards said it was the first day it was below 100 for a week. We went in mid July.

My kids don't love to do a lot of hiking, so we did lots of short little hikes. After all that "nature", it was fun to walk around the shops at Jackson. They really liked riding the alpine slide there.
karens is offline  
May 20th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 583
If you have time in Cody, the Buffalo Bill museum is outstanding. I esp. enjoyed the Native American artifacts and the western art. My DH liked the Remington guns. My daughters liked the natural history stuff. You have a good trip planned. Enjoy!!
AuntAnnie is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Jun 21st, 2012 12:07 PM
United States
Jul 13th, 2005 06:59 PM
United States
Apr 30th, 2004 02:06 PM
United States
Apr 18th, 2004 07:47 AM
United States
Mar 29th, 2004 08:26 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:21 PM.