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Which trip -- Grand Canyon or Yellowstone/Grand Teton?

Which trip -- Grand Canyon or Yellowstone/Grand Teton?

Jun 19th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Which trip -- Grand Canyon or Yellowstone/Grand Teton?

We're going somewhere the first week of August. I booked El Tovar for 3 nights in the Grand Canyon and have Lake Lodge cabins and canyon lodge booked at Yellowstone along with somewhere in Jackson to see Grand Tetons. We're a family of 4, daughters 11 & 15 and we can't decide. The flight into GC is easier because it's short to Vegas and we can see the Hoover dam too. The Jackson flight is long from NYC. We want to see some natural beauty but we are city-types as opposed to real hiker/animal lovers. If you had to pick, which would you choose and why? Thanks
csabia is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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Haven't been to the Grand Canyon but we took our family of five to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons when they were about your kids ages. Great trip, great memories. We stayed in Jackson HOle, nice town. Did day trips and it was loads of fun! I got some of my travel tips off of Family Fun years back.
joebear is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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I've hiked over 1,200 miles in the GC and rafted the river 3 times ... worked at Jellystone for two summers while in college and visited several times since ... I love both places, but I would pick Y-stone/GT because there's more variety available and the weather will be cooler that time of year.

Three nights at El Tovar will get old after a bit. If you were rafting the river for a week or doing a backpacking trip I'd feel differently, though August is killer hot for hiking, but for that time of year and for how you describe yourself I think you're better off in Wyoming.

Bill_H is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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Yes, Yellowstone/Jackson is better suited to a week's trip than Grand Canyon.
Marginal is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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Agree. We spent 2 nights at El Tovar, arriving late afternoon and leaving around noon. We were able to see all the sights along the canyon easily and would have been bored staying longer. It would be different if you were doing some hiking into the canyon.

You can drive the loop in Yellowstone -- each area of the Park is different -- and walk around some of the attractions. You will probably really enjoy the animals. Although the flight may be easier, when you arrive in Jackson Hole you are right there with scenery all along your trip. You go through alot of desert from Los Vegas to Grand Canyon. Just my opinion, of course. And we like the Grand Canyon also -- been there twice so far.
maj is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I agree w/ the other posters - Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Your daughters are young and will enjoy all the animals in these parks - bison, bear, moose, wolves, elk, etc. Yellowstone w/ their geysers and mudpots and steamvents always remind me of the beginning of time! Maybe a horseback chuckwagon dinner - horses are great even for beginners. Recommend ranger tours w/ daughters' interests in mind to also learn along the way and short hikes/walks to all the various sites. A "cooling" and cool trip in Aug. would be a whitewater raft trip on the Snake River out of Jackson. Enjoy a western dinner and program at the Bar J (I think that's the name!) outside Jackson also.

Hopefully, this won't be your only family vacation to the west. The Grand Canyon is a must see for everyone but maybe at a cooler time of the year - even earlier in the summer - and incorporate other places such as Sedona, Page, maybe Bryce and Zion which will still be waiting as the girls get older.

Whatever you decide have an awesome family vacation!
Momof3boys is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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Sorry, but I guess I'm missing something. You're taking a week and currently have 3 nights at El Tovar AND 3-4 nights at Yellowstone/Jackson? So you're not going to split your time but are trying to decide whether to spend the entire week at GC or Yellowstone and change reservations accordingly. Correct?

If so, I tend to agree with the others that I'd stick with Yellowstone/Tetons. Weather will be much better and there's certainly more than enough to keep you busy for a week. The area is spectacularly beautiful (and you might change your mind once you see the wildlife).

Having said that, if you haven't been to the GC and you're not likely to be in the area in the near future, there's nothing like it anywhere. It's incredibly gorgeous and fascinating - even in the heat of August.

So if you're considering splitting your time (and my assumption above is wrong), 2 days at GC and 5 in Yellowstone would be a possibility. Yes, there's travel time but I'd suggest it if you think this may be your only opportunity to visit the area.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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I meant to add - if you do split your time, you could look into an open-jaw flying into LAS and out of JAC, or vice versa of course.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 12:10 AM
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I've been to both parks a number of times and Yellowstone is hands down my favorite National Park, but you really can't go wrong with either choice.

If you go to Yellowstone, I hope you have more than 3 nights to spend in the area.

utahtea is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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If Yellowstone/Grand Teton, we have 2 nights booked at Canyon Lodge, 2 at Lake Cabins and then 3 at Jacksonhole. If Grand Canyon, we have 3 at El Tovar and then we were planning to use Las Vegas (red rock area since kids) as our base and have day trips to Hoover dam and wherever else. The Grand Canyon part is less thought out for us at this time but we were considering it for the flight alone (direct, cheaper and easier). It sounds like not much of a contest between the 2 trips.
csabia is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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Thanks for the clarification. Between your choices, YNP/GT are imcomparable.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Still voting for Yellowstone, but if you decide (or for future trips) to do the Las Vegas/GC, you may want to consider spending 2 nights at El Tovar, maybe one night at the north rim and continuing on a loop to Zion, Bryce and Capital Reef then back to Vegas. Not sure exactly what the best loop is, but it has been discussed here before.
maj is offline  
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