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Yellowstone advice/ any and all....

Old Aug 27th, 2004, 04:46 AM
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Yellowstone advice/ any and all....

Considering a trip to Yellowstone next summer with three kids ages 18,13 and 12. Need advice please. We live in St. Louis and would probably fly and rent a car. What must we see, do... best places to stay. We like very nice places to stay with scenic beauty but hate crowds. Thanks all.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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We just returned from Yellowstone a week ago so we were there during a busy time. Since the park is so big, we never felt as if there were crowds. The only time we were in a mass of people was when Old Faithful erupted, but that was for 10 minutes.

Since we don't like crowds either, we stayed in cabins rather than the hotels and were pleased with our choices. Many of the cabins have adjoining rooms so it might work out well for you. We thought the Old Faithful Lodge was a mob scene.

Make your reservations for lodging earlier as you can always cancel or try to change the dates. Also make dinner reservations in Old Faithful, ChuckWagon dinner and Lake Yellowstone if you are interested as there were hour-long waits without reservations.

About what to see, the list is too long. I thought the best guidebook was Lonely Planet's Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nat'l Parks.

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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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We stayed at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel 2 summers ago and really liked it. The Lodge is a huge mob scene. The Lake Hotel was much quieter with a lovely huge sunroom facing the lake. String quartet played every afternoon there. There are also cabins near the hotel. And you must make all dinner reservations in advance--otherwise you are pretty much relegated to the snack bars.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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You should definitely consider the Grand Tetons as they are very closeby. They are magnificent. Check out the Mangy Moose in Teton Village for drinks and dinner with a view. We also enjoyed the Wild West Jeep Tours which took us backcountry. In Teton Village, we took the aerial tram to the top of Rendezvous mountain. We loved the scenic lake cruise at sunset on Jackson Lake.Jackson Hole is interesting too.

I agree with Evelyntrav that the old west cookout in Yellowstone was a highlight. We travelled there in a covered wagon and sang songs and listened to stories.

We flew from D.C. to Salt Lake City and then on to Jackson Lake where we stayed for a week. Then we drove on to Yellowstone.

Whatever you do, have a great trip!


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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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I would recommend staying in the area for at least 5 - 7 days. I would also include a trip down to the Grand Tetons.

Since the park is so large, I recommend staying in two different locations if possible, but it's not necessary. Plan on a couple of days in the geyser basins and check in the visitor center for eruption times. It's so much fun waiting for one of the bigger geysers to go off and then to get to watch it!

We were in Yellowstone in early June one year and the crowds had not started yet. Rangers told us it didn't start getting crowded until the third week of June, so if you could go early June it might help.

Utahtea
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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We also went in early June, crowds were not a problem, but snow was They had about 6" or so if I recall--very interesting, and very cold for two days. But in two days, it was beautiful weather again!
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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I guess it depends on the year. When we were there in June it was warm and sunny. One year we hit a couple of inches of snow in Yellowstone in mid-July!

Utahtea
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 07:08 PM
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I agree with the advice to book lodging early, now is not too soon. You can always cancel if necessary. We stayed in the cabins at Mammouth and the Lodge at Canyon. Neither felt crowded, although there were more children in evidence at Mannouth. I'm sure the fact they have a large grassy area had something to do with that.

If you want to avoid the crowds, get up and out around dawn. We often had geyser basins to ourselves and watched Old Faithful with just a handful of people. Later that same day there were well over a hundred at OF. Besides getting up early and staying out to after sunset (which can be glorious) just getting a short distance away from the overlooks and parking areas can cut down drastically on the number of people you'll see.

It's even easier to get away from crowds in the Tetons and they are definitely worth a visit.

Yellowstone is the most amazing and diverse Park we've visited. And you can't beat the easy access to wildlife.

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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Tagging on to this question, are there any accommodations in Yellowstone (like the Ahwahnee in Yellowstone) that have a/c and t.v.s? Or do we have to stay in West Yellowstone? If W.Y., how long is the drive to, say, Old Faithful? Haven't been there since I was a kid, and was thinking of taking my family next summer.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 08:59 PM
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I meant, of course, the Ahwahnee in Yosemite.
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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I believe you'll have to stay in West Yellowstone if you want a/c and television. It's about 30 miles from WY to OF and the trip took us about 40-45 minutes. We were staying in OF and had dinner in WY.

I liked staying in the park and I will say we didn't miss television (even with a 13 year old). We had a laptop and had brought some DVDs but only watched a couple of them.

A/C was definitely not an issue in June, to the contrary we used the heat a couple of nights to take the chill off the room. Haven't visited at other times of the summer.
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Surfergirl

We were in Yellowstone the last week of July and the first week of August two years ago. My husband is an A/C fanatic. I tell people you could hang meat in our house and it wouldn't spoil. That said, we didn't miss having A/C at all. It got cool enough for us at night.

If we went back to our lodging during the "hotter" part of the day, we just turned on the inexpensive box fan we bought. We slept with it on at night more for the noise than the cooling (forgot our white noise machine and can't sleep if it's too quiet lol).

DH is also a TV addict. If he's up, it's on, even if he isn't watching it. We didn't miss that either. We stayed out past sunset every day. Once we were back in our room/cabin we downloaded our photos and I wrote in my trip diary, then we hit the sack. We were up every morning before dawn to watch the sunrise, see the animals, and beat the crowds. When you do that, you're ready for bed earlier than usual.

Our last night in Yellowstone, staying at Canyon Lodge, we had frost. Had to scrape the windshield then run the defroster before we could drive off.

Personally, I'd rather be in the Park. I'm not willing to give up time that I could be enjoying the Park driving back and forth just to have TV that I probably wouldn't watch and A/C I probably wouldn't need. But you know your family best and will have to decide what is most important for them to enjoy the trip.

Have a great time. Yellowstone is a wonderful place.
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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So, Florida, we have the same husband!

Did you stay at more than one place in Yellowstone? Where? Thanks!
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 06:54 PM
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Surfergirl,

If you ever see a post from Sufertom, that my DH. He's been a surfer since he was 16 (1960). When I told him what I'd posted in response to your question he said, "You didn't miss TV." lol

We spent a few nights in a rustic cabin at Mammouth, and a few in the Canyon Lodge. The cabins are indeed "rustic", but worth it to be in the Park, especially since you spend so little time in your room. The CL is quite new, very clean, and nestled back in the woods. I loved the quiet back there. In between we spent a couple of nights at Flagg Ranch just outside of Grand Teton NP.

The sheer size of Yellowstone makes spenting nights in two areas a practical idea if you'll be there for several days. It is a bit of a hassle to have to move all your "stuff" but it definitely makes it easier to get up and out to the sights. It can be a long drive otherwise.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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I would definitely go to Jackson and Grand Teton National Park also. There is moutain biking in Teton Village. You can alos go whitewater rafting in Jackson and all of your kids could do it. You can alos fish and rent kayaks. Jackosn is a neat town and you will find plenty to do.
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 05:20 AM
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Jackson is a neat town, and I'm glad we took the time to drive down, park and walk around, but it is also very crowded. We had to search for a place to park and ended up about four blocks from the "main drag" and that was because we got lucky and caught someone else leaving and got their parking spot. Your kids might love it, but if you hate crowds, you might not.

The Tetons, on the other hand, are beautiful and definitely worth visiting. Some great hikes there, as well.
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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One of our best family vacations involved staying at a dude ranch near West Yellowstone (unfortunately no longer operating). We stayed at the ranch while visiting Yellowstone and surrounding area. When we were at the ranch, everyone had something to do while Mom and Dad could relax. All meals were provided, even picnics for visiting the park. You may want to check nearby ranches as an option.
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 04:35 PM
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Surfergirl!! Ihave a question for you on the Italy board about Gennaro Salvatore. thanks
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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We were in Yellowstone/Grand Tetons late July of 2003 when it was hot and dry enough for fire warnings to be issued. However, I don't believe this is normally the case. At Yellowstone we stayed at the Canyon Lodge, rustic cabins but the area is centrally located. It seemed quiet enough at night to me. At the Tetons, we stayed in the rooms at Lake Jackson Lodge (not the cabins) which I loved. Neither the Canyon Lodge or Lake Jackson Lodge had TV but my family didn't miss it.

I personally prefer to stay in the parks when visiting the National Parks; all that beauty is yours day and night.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 02:54 AM
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This past July we stayed in the Canyon Cabins. Not fancy but perfectly fine for just sleeping. We thought it was centric enough to to the entire park from there and it worked out very well for us.
A/C? noooo way. Think about heating the room - yes, in July.

The only places we felt crowded was in Old Faithful, the park is huge so people dissipate as was posted before.

Do not miss the Tetons!
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