Within 5 hrs from Yellowstone National Park

Old Apr 26th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Within 5 hrs from Yellowstone National Park

Hi y'all
I am flying in to Jackson Hole to visit Yellowstone National Park. Where else do you suggest within 5 hrs drive from Jackson Hole. I have 6-7 days total and a 8-yr old. What would an 8-ur like to do there. Thx
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Let me re-phrase it. My main goal is to visit Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton. I'd like to take this opportunities to visit as many places as possible within 5-hour drive. Where else should I go with my 8-yr old? Is Jackson Hole Airport the most convenient airport? Thanks in advance
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Salt Lake City is exactly 5 hours from Jackson. Flying to SLC will be much cheaper than flying into the little airport.
The rental car will probably be cheaper as well.
Between Grand Teton and Yellowstone you won't have much extra time to see other things.
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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A week in thearea is just minimum for all there is to do & see!

Visit the town of Jackson, raft the Snake, hike in Grand Teton Natl Park, kayak on any of the lakes, look for wildlife dawn & dusk, tkae lots of photos! At least 3 days.

Yellowstone, geysers, big wildlife, hikes, waterfalls, chuckwagon bbq, horseback ride. 4 days is the bare min. It's a big place.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 04:33 AM
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We found ourselves with a spare day and decided to take a daytrip to Driggs, Idaho. Being from the relatively flat eastern US, the drive thru the mountain pass was a great experience. There is a tiny airport in Driggs that at the time had a collection of vintage aircraft that you could get within feet of and a little restaurant with surprisingly good made-to-order food. Saw a few local sites, and our daughter could check Idaho off her list of states visited. Not for everyone, but we do strange things on vacation.

But agree that 6-7 days at Grand Teton and Yellowstone could easily be filled. Do a float trip near GTNP and white water rafting near Yellowstone - there are a couple of places near Gardiner that have trips appropriate for an 8 year old.

Jackson is the most convenient, but likely the most expensive. And while SLC may be, on paper, 5-6 hours, in reality it kills a day, especially with an 8 year old. After collecting luggage, picking up rental car, getting something to eat - you will really have used up most of a day in each direction.

Regarding return flights. We had an afternoon flight out of Jackson that we almost missed. We spent the night in Gardiner (northern end of Yellowstone) and thought we allotted more than enough time for transit to Jackson. The bison thought otherwise - as we were stuck in animal jams for well over an hour driving thru the Park.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 04:53 AM
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Take him--and you --on a fly fishing trip. Heaven on earth in that place. In the Tetons there is an area called the Gros Ventre slide that is very interesting--the largest single land movement in history, I believe. Go on a cookout at night. Float trip on the Snake.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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"cookout night"-perhaps at Roosevelt Lodge-horse or wagon is available.

I would probably spend the entire time in Yellowstone and Tetons. If you do a day in Jackson, perhaps do the Alpine Slide there.

What month are you going?

I would fly in and out of Jackson, Billings or Bozeman.

You might want to drive the Beartooth HWY. Soaking in The Boiling River might be something fun to do.

You will want to devote at least a full day to just geyser gazing. Of course, see Old Faithful, but Riverside, Castle, Daisy and others can all be seen at predictible times(sortof) as well.

Rafting and fishing that others have mentioned are good ideas.

If you do much hiking, I would probably buy some bear spray.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Kayak/canoe on some of the lakes. Take a Yellow Bus tour.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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You could drive the Beartooth Highway out the NE entrance. You don't need to go all the way to Red Lodge. You will know when you are descending and getting out of mountain scenery. Turn around and see it again--well worth it.

You could visit Cody out the East entrance. Lots of fun things for an 8 year old there.

West Yellowstone out the west entrance has an IMAX theatre about Yellowstone and probably some other fun things for an 8 year old.

Driving distances are longer than they look and slow. A lot of your days will be taken up with driving and then getting out of the car to walk to sites.

I hope your not staying every night in Jackson. It is a LONG way into Yellowtsone and even much further to sites north of there.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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We went to a local rodeo in West Yellowstone - I think we were the only non-locals there. You sit on low old bleachers about 20 feet from the horses and bulls. Seems everyone (except us) brings in a case of cheap beer and knows everyone around them. The rodeo clown ended up sitting in the next row when he had some time off, drinking several beers, and then went back into the ring to be a decoy - I have always thought one would need to be a little drunk to do that.

But despite the beer, it was a very family-friendly experience that an 8 year-old might like if there is one scheduled when you are there.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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There is the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. When we were there, there was people of all ages enjoying watching the animals. There is quite a lot of information about the animals and how they came to be there.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Suggest you fly into Cody..Yellowstone Regional Airport. Delta and United have flights in. Rental cars are available, Hertz, National. Avis is a 5 minute drive offsite. Be aware if you plan to drop off at Jackson Hole you have to shop around to get a decent drop off fee.
http://www.flyyra.com/


FYI Billings may have a better airfare but it is a very boring 2 hour drive from Bilings to Cody with very nasty police just itchin' to give tourists tickets...

Stay night in Cody, cute litle one street town with a shoot em up street Rodeo at night in Summer. Great Wild West museum and you can see Big Horn Sheep in a reserve right in town.


AmericInn hotel is great as it has stuffed critters, indoor pool, nice breakfast in am. Bubbas BBQ is pretty good dinner in the parking lot.

Then am go East a couple of blocks, get coolers, drinks sandwich stuff, fishing gear, license, bug spray etc. in Super Walmart.

Head East and about an hour later you will be in Yellowstone. Fish at the big lake or go first right an take the northern Yellowstone route: nice picnic tables in the shade by a big river: look out for the Bison, they are everywhere.

Decide where to stay in Yellowstone as you will enjoy the bubbling caldrons etc.

We found lodging in Tetons much better and preferred staying several nights there. Yellowstone & Tetons Lodging are 2 different contractors...we also found there are some great off road exploring (more of a tiny one way paved barely road) toward the southern end of Tetons.

JAckson Hole we stayed at Snake River Lodge; great indoor/outdoor pool and next door to the ski lift. Great ride up, great view and some great back country hiking...

In terms of distances, we did this same trip 2 years ago and decided we did not want to pay rental drop off fees. So on our last day we drove 5 hours back from JAckson Hole to Cody, stayed overnight again in Cody and flew out again from Cody.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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I plan to be there in mid August. How would the weather be like?

Thanks all for your enthusiasm and good advices
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 07:13 AM
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The best weather will be August and September.

You can check temperatures at www.wunderground.com or on this site:
http://www.yellowstone-natl-park.com/weather.htm

Remember that most of Yellowstone is above 7500 ft elevation, so it won't be hot, but mild and it can get downright chilly at night.

Cody is a wonderful town for a kid to visit. The Museum there is highly recommended.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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The weather is beautiful in August. Always cooler nights because of the elevation but usually beautiful days.

There will be a lot of people all over the park and you will run into many many "traffic stops" for buffalo, elk or ??. So keep in mind that you will be traveling at about 35 miles an hours most of the time.

A couple of things that would be perfect for an 8 year old.

The "cowboy shoot out" in Jackson which is at about 5 or 6 pm every day in the main square
Canoe on Jenny Lake
Go to a rodeo... there is a cute little one outside of west yellowstone.
Play the license plate game. We 60 year olds played that last year and found 40 in a couple of hours.
The discovery center in west has bears up close.
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