Yellowstone and Tetons in July 2016

Jun 2nd, 2016, 11:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 73
Yes, we are definitively going to the Tetons. These are all great recommendations. I am so appreciative for the feedback.
Minnie1976 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 02:29 PM
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I realize you're going next month, but don't you think spending one night in each of 5 hotels the first 5 nights (I assume you're sleeping in Jackson Hole the 1st night) is a bit too much changing?

Two summers ago I took my daughter and her then 7 year old daughter to YNP and GTNP and we slept in Jackson Hole (1st night as plane arrived 8PM), Old Faithful, Canyon (3 nights) and Signal Mtn (I think 2 nights).

Canyon is worth some time. From there we went to Lamar and Hayden valleys for wildlife (all three of us are photographers - even the granddaughter), the granddaughter wanted to hike to the top of Mt Washburn (and she did it starting at 8,800 ft and ending at over 10,300ft), spent most of a day touring the various viewing areas around the Lower Falls (they even set up at Artist Point and spent some time painting).

The good thing about rethinking this now is that in the last month or so many people will be cancelling reservations as they'll find out their trip will not happen for one reason or another.

This is a good time to start making phone calls.
Myer is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 03:22 PM
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Yellowstone is so large, staying at different hotels make sense for some. It cuts down on back and forth drive time. Some people prefer to stay in one place for more than one night. I'm among the ones that don't mind moving, if the goal is to see more of the parks.

I'm sorry - I didn't read your hotel list closely before I responded earlier. You'll love JLL in the Tetons. We stayed in Canyon last fall and I love the OFI. You're going to have a great trip!
starrs is offline  
Jun 7th, 2016, 01:03 AM
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Thanks!!!!! This is great
Minnie1976 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2016, 02:38 AM
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As for dining, the Lake Hotel dining room had pretty good food and was a pleasant place to eat. Otherwise, do pack a cooler with snacks and sandwich makings and plenty of water/drinks so that if you are away from any place to eat you can have something with you.

I also don't mind moving to a new place every night if it means being close to where I want to be next. I also only unpack what I'll need for the night and next day and repack the dirty clothes before i go to bed so checking out is quick.

This sounds like a great trip.
emalloy is online now  
Jun 15th, 2016, 07:08 AM
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Thanks emalloy!
Minnie1976 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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For your son, check out the Junior Ranger program when you visit the ranger stations, if it is still available. Our kids loved doing those activities and learned a lot of valuable information, including safety rules.

I have heard the stagecoach western dinner offered at Yellowstone is really fun, especially with kids. We were always there too early in the season to go, but I still hope to experience it someday!
jayne1973 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2016, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
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I stayed at Jackson Lake Lodge for 2 nights and had a cottage with a great view. It was rather pricey ($350+/night) but well worth it. The breakfast buffet is pricey and not worth it (IMHO). I liked the diner next to it a lot better.

For activities in the Grand Teton area, I highly recommend kayaking on Jackson Lake (I rented from Signal Mt Lodge area), horseback riding at Swift Creek Outfitters (about 8 miles from Jackson Lake Lodge), float/rafting on Snake River (I booked with Barker-Ewing), walking around downtown district (lots of restaurants and shops), and the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram (expensive).

I would recommend activities in YS if I could but all I did was spend 5 days driving around and walking all over the place to see the sights.
sgvdomer is offline  
Jul 29th, 2016, 05:12 PM
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Day 1: Jackson Hole- Hotel: Rustic Inn
**Quaint and comfy cabins with a gorgeous view to a creek and the mountain.
**Walked the town and had dinner at Café Genevieve- super nice food and service. Very quaint restaurant.

Day 2: Jackson Hole- Lake Yellowstone
Hotel: Lake Yellowstone Cabins—they were OK. A little bit musty inside, but clean. Mainly basics.
Drove for 2 hours to the Yellowstone South Entrance. Lunch at the Grant Village Restaurant—food was OK. We saw 2 elk laying under a tree right next to the restaurant. After we did a drive around the fishing bridge, we saw deer swimming in the river. They were adorable.
We also went to the Grant Village Information center and obtained copy of the recommended hikes around Lake Yellowstone. We decided to do Storm Point. It was beautiful. Approx. 3 mile hike
We checked in at the hotel and had dinner at the restaurant, nothing to rave about. The service was OK and the food was subpar.
Day 3: Lake Yellowstone – Canyon
Hotel: Canyon Lodge Cabins – hotel was adorable. The cabins were perfect size. Super clean and we got the forest view.
On our way to Canyon we stopped by the mud volcano area. There we saw a Bison walking around. The mud volcanoes were impressive. We then drove to the Canyon area and did Uncle Toms Trail and made it to Artist Point. We also did a hike along the river….The area is simply breathtaking. We then drove to the Grand Canyon View---gorgeous. By the end of the day we were exhausted. We drove to the hotel and had dinner in the restaurant inside the Yellowstone General stores.
The next morning we went to the Visitor Center in Grand Canyon Village which in my opinion was one of the nicest ones.
Day 4: Canyon- Old Faithful
Hotel: Old Faithful Snow Lodge- very nice hotel. Location was ideal. Breakfast at the restaurant was very nice. The staff at the front desk were friendly and extremely helpful.
We drove from Canyon and there was a lot of traffic. We saw the animals in the valley on the way to the Geyser Basin. The geology is simply amazing in the area. There are not only geysers, but creeks, waterfalls, among others. Upon arrival to Old Faithful we saw it erupt and it was a beautiful sight. We then headed to hike the Observation Point. The view from Observation Point was beautiful. We then proceeded to walk around the boardwalk the rest of the Geysers. We finished around 6 PM and then returned to Old Faithful Inn for dinner. The food was OK. The hotel is gorgeous. We saw Old Faithful erupt again at night under the stars. It was something out of this world. We also did some star gazing around 11 PM at night...we were surprised by a coyote running in front of Old Faithful

More to follow....
Minnie1976 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2016, 05:35 PM
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Day 5-7: Old Faithful to Mammoth Springs/Gardiner
Hotel* Riverside Cottages in Gardiner**- super quaint and comfortable cottages with all included. TV/CABLE/WIFI/Fully equipped kitchen. Laura and Eddie are super sweet and nice they would do anything to help make your stay comfortable. There is a supermarket 5 minutes away from the cottages and restaurants in the town of Gardiner. Overall this one was one of my favorite stays. Loved the little town of Gardiner. They also have Yellowstone River crossing across so you can view it from the hotel deck. Super nice in the evening.
We drove from Old Faithful to Mammoth Springs. The scenery on the way to Mammoth Springs is beautiful. You get to see a lot of the Alpine features of Yellowstone- the Gallatin Range. The temperature was also very nice. The road was a bit scary as you are driving on the border of the cliff most of the time. However it gave you a beautiful view of the river and we saw lots and lots of elk. Upon arrival to Mammoth we did a hike in the Mammoth Springs area. I fell in love with the Canary Spring. It felt like you are walking in the Moon. Between Lamar Valley, Grand Prismatic near Old Faithful, Grand Canyon and Mammoth I could say that those were my most favorite places inside Yellowstone park.
The second day we paid for a naturist from to take us on a hike to find Wolf. We were treated for a big surprise a mom with pups in the Lamar Valley very early in the morning (approx.. 6 AM) This was one of the highlights of our trip. Our guide name was Mike and he was the most knowledgeable, patient and nice guy you can ever met!! He brought scopes with him and that was the icing on the cake. After we saw the wolves we drove around Lamar Valley and saw mountain goat, bison, pronghorn, bald headed eagle, among others. The private tour finished at Noon. The memories we built while on this tour will last forever!!! Totally worth the money, must do if you are in the Mammoth Area.
At night we had dinner at The Raven in Gardiner- food was OK. Then we took pictures in the North Entrance Roosevelt Arch. Overall Gardiner was such a great place to spend 2 days, I would totally recommend.

Day 7-8: Gardiner- Grand Teton
Hotel: Jackson Lake Lodge—beautiful property. Outstanding service. Our room was a cottage with view of the Grand Teton Mountains. Simply breathtaking. Everything in the hotel was super nice. They had BBQ’s every night. Activities for children, pony rides. It was so nice to go at sunset in the terrace and watch families gathering while contemplating the beauty of the Teton Mountains.
On our second day at the Tetons we booked a scenic raft from the hotel across the Snake River. It was relaxing and worth the trip. We sailed for 10 miles and got to see tons of birds (bald headed eagles, ospreys, swallows). Our guide – Spencer was super amicable and knowledgeable answering all our questions. The second half of the day we headed to Jenny Lake and we did the hike to Inspiration Point. Simply amazing!! On our descend we got our last gift...we got to see a baby black bear frolicking in the woods. Even though we couldn’t take pictures we were so amazed to see it.

In summary our trip was amazing. The memories we have built in this trip will last a lifetime. Even though I am back to reality I am still in a cloud about all that our family was able to experience in those magical 9 days we spent in Yellowstone. Not we are seriously considering going to either Yosemite or Denali… Thanks to all that helped us plan this magical journey. I hope my trip report is useful to all of you.
Minnie1976 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2016, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for your report! Glad you liked Gardiner. We've stayed there twice and like it as a base for the northern part of the park. It's a much cuter town than West Yellowstone. Glad you also got to see wolf pups and a black bear cub!
Patty is online now  
Jul 30th, 2016, 09:35 AM
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What a fantastic trip and trip report! I'm going to incorporate some of your suggestions in my next trip. Many thanks!
starrs is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 08:15 AM
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Thanks, Minnie1976!

Great info in this thread--hope to use some of it Sept. 2017.
elberko is online now  
Sep 6th, 2016, 09:41 AM
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So glad you had a fantastic trip. Yellowstone is one of my favorites. Thanks for the report.
emalloy is online now  
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