Yellowstone - down to the details now

Jun 19th, 2009, 07:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 270
Yellowstone - down to the details now

Thanks for all of the informative posts. I always appreciate comments - so thought I would post my upcoming trip and see if there are any details/restaurants/hikes we should make sure and see. We're a family of 5 - so appreciate any "cheap eats" suggestions. My goal is just one restaurant/day and try to picnic for the other meals on most days.
Day 1 - make it to Kearney, NE (dinner at Runza in Lincoln - haven't had one in years!)
Day 2 - Cody - arrive late - staying at Cody Cowboy Village
Day 3 - recovery from all the driving - Buffalo Bill Museum - night 2 at CCV
Day 4 - Enter Yellowstone via Cooke City/Tower Junction
Early lunch idea - Beartooth Café
Ideas - along way to Tower Junction- Soda Butte, Yellowstone River picnic area, Slough Creek, trail to Trout Lake
Dinner - Roosevelt cookout outing
Staying at Roosevelt Lodge

Day 5 - Considering the early morning photo safari?
Drive around via West Thumb Yellowstone Lake
Walk trail out to Storm Point on Yellowstone Lake
Canoe/Rowboat in Yellowstone Lake?
En route - Uncle Tom’s Trail
Castle Geyser , Riverside Geyser
Check out lobby at Lake Yellowstone
Lodging Old Faithful - Budget Cabin
OFI deck at sunset
Day 6 - Begin to head up toward Mammoth
Possibly rent bikes before heading north?
Artist Paint Pots Trail area (near Norris)
Firehole River?

Drive through Paradise Valley; dinner ideas? Heading out of park
Day 7 - Visiting family for a couple of days, Rodeo one night
Return trip traveling from Bozeman to Mt. Rushmore (via Devil's Tower). Would like to arrive late afternoon, check in to hotel and catch evening viewing at Mt. Rushmore
Next day - visit Mt. Rushmore again before heading East
Wall, SD (?) - how far from Mt. Rushmore - eat lunch?
Pit stop in Iowa for overnight?
Would love any extra details to make our trip out west great! I hate to overpack, but seems we'll need everything from bathing suits to winter hats, just to be safe. (I hate to be cold!)
blueslipper is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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Did you actually get to Mammoth Hot Springs on day six? It is really a can't miss.
emalloy is online now  
Jun 20th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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I wish you had more than just 3 days in Yellowstone and you're missing the Tetons completely yet you're only a short distance away. If there is any way you can add a few nights to YNP and the Tetons and maybe skip the overnight at Rushmore (it barely requires a 15 minute stop in my opinion), it would be better. Once you start seeing all the wildlife and thermal features in Yellowstone, you're going to be sad that you didn't stay longer. We were there 6 nights and still felt rushed.
sharondi is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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I echo what Sharondi says. We recently spent a week in Yellowstone (and another in Grand Teton NP) and we will return to do the many things that we planned but did not accomplish. If you can adjust your itinerary to expand your time in Yellowstone and add Grand Teton for even a day or two, I encourage you to do it.

For "cheap eats", you may wish to try the Yellowstone General Store restaurants. The food is casual--as is the atmosphere--and relatively inexpensive (considering the location). There are two General Stores at Old Faithful, and in several other villages in the Park.

Enjoy your trip!
Beaucoup is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 11:52 AM
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I know we aren't fitting in the Tetons - but it seems like the recurrent theme on these boards is not to bite off more than you can fit in. I just thought since we're sticking more North with add'l days in the Bozeman area - we would save Tetons for a different trip. I do want to spend at least a half day in Mammoth on Day 6.
blueslipper is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Sounds like a great plan. But, be careful not to overdo it in the driving department, because you will miss so many wildlife viewing opportunites if you drive too much. My family and I did a photo safari with Jason of River Source Outfitters (we also went rafting with them) and it was unreal. We saw a pack of wolves hunting bison first thing in the morning. Then we saw a black bear with a cub, and later we saw three different Grizzlies. We were blown away by how well Jason could spot wildlife. We had spent two days already in the park and had not seen anything other than elk and bison, and within 1/2 day Jason had gotten us several bears, a pack of wolves, 3 different moose, and some Bighorn sheep. We couldn't believe it. We can't recommend River Source Outfitters enough
Dan_M is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Also, restaurants in the Paradise Valley/Livingston area
yellowstone pizza, if you want great inexpensive eats, or
the montana rib and chop house if you want fantastic steaks.
Dan_M is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I am jealous! You have a great trip planned. We really enjoyed the Buffalo Bill Museum and staying at Roosevelt the second time we visited Yellowstone. There is a spot on the Firehole River where you can swim in thermal runoff water that was a high point for me last time; a worker at Old Faithful told us how to find the spot.
Happy Trails!
minnehappylis is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 07:51 PM
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This trip sounds terribly rushed to me and it misses some of the best objectives in the park area - notably the Tetons.
Of the geysers, you did not mention Grand Geyser which is really grand. I have witnessed eruptions there that drew a round of applause from the crowd. Like Castle, it has a fairly wide window for the likely time of eruption. I wanted to see it, so I had my lunch and waited for it. Well worth it.

The Norris Geyser Basin does not have the big erupting geysers at this time, but it is still a fascinating and very hot geyser basin.

As for food savings, keep away from the cafeterias by buying a styrofoam icechest, some ice, and food at the various stores in the park. I have done that for all of my visits.
bob_brown is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 03:34 PM
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I would agree with many of the people before me. Try and get to the Tetons if at all possible. The town of Jackson is a cool place and the Tetons are very different from Yellowstone. Each are great in their own way but I would hate to see you miss GTNP and the town of Jackson especially since you will be so close.
Trent7 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2009, 06:22 PM
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Why, Bob Brown, it's so good to see you posting! I see you've been in the Europe forums lately, but I've missed hearing from you for Banff/Yellowstone/Rockies. Hope you are doing well and feeling fit?
sludick is online now  
Jul 10th, 2009, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I was wondering what types of clothing you wore daily in this season? We are departing for GTNP and yllstn on Thursday July 16th. Can anyone tell me what the weather will be like and how I should pack? Thanks, J
joanneb2009 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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As so many others have written, I also would highly suggest going to the Grand Tetons. We did Yellowstone, GTNP and Glacier last year. GTNP is not too far from Yellowstone at all. If you have kids along, I think most would find Jackson Hole fun and easier to get around than towns in Montana. Cody was an unexpected gem for us. The museum has something for everyone. We took the tour train which stops outside the museum (I think they offer a pkg deal). Very interesting to learn the history of the town and Buffalo Bill's role in it's development (and the dam). He was so much more than just a cowboy entertainer. The tram gave us a great perspective on the area and would be fun for all ages. I was totallly surprised by the Mount Rushmore area. Never had an interest in going, but my daughter had a summer job at the Crazy Horse monument--not too far at all from Rushmore, an unbelievable sculpture and a very interesting and related story. Only takes a short time to get there and view it. Also consider the wildlife drive thru the state park there--so much fun and so many animals. There are also caves in the area and a wild mustang preserve. I know...I'm suggesting too much. I've probably described at least two or three separate trips. Sorry. I just loved both the Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore areas so much!
Jo1023 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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joanneb2009 - I was just checking the weather there today. It got to 29 degrees last night and was 59 this afternoon - though I think it was going to get into the 60's. It looks like the record high/low for the month is 80/20. Overall, looks like some big swings and averaging maybe 70ish? Layer up, gal!
sludick is online now  

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