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Yellowstone/Grand Teton: Comments on my Itinerary Wanted

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Apr 19th, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Yellowstone/Grand Teton: Comments on my Itinerary Wanted

Hello all: I have tentatively drawn up the following itinerary for YS/GT, planned for August 2014 when I can be sure that the entire Beartooth Highway will be open in its entirety (originally wanted June 2014; understand the 2013 opening date for the highway in its entirety will be mid June). Any comments/suggestions would be most appreciated. I plan to call Xanterra soon to book in park lodging. Thanks in advance!

Day 1 Arrive SLC; overnight stay Hotel Monaco
Day 2 SLC to Idaho; visit Antelope GSL SP; overnight stay in Lava Hot Springs
Day 3 Lava Hot Springs to West Entrance of YS (bite the bullet and go for this long ride); overnight stay-West YS? Madison? Old Faithful?
Day 4 Explore YS Lower Loop; overnight stay? Old Faithful?
Day 5 Explore YS Lower Loop, overnight stay? Old Faithful? Lake area?
Day 6 Explore YS Upper Loop, overnight stay? Mammoth?
Day 7 Explore YS Upper Loop, overnight stay? Canyon?
Day 8 Exit YS via NE entrance - Beartooth Route into Montana; overnight stay in Red Lodge
Day 9 Red Lodge to visit Cody - bite the bullet again for long ride to GT via east entrance to YS; overnight GT - Jenny Lake?
Day 10 Explore GT
Day 11 Explore GT
Day 12 Depart GT, visit Jackson, overnight in Pinedale
Day 13 Depart Pinedale to Rock Springs - explore Flaming Gorge Recreational Area (worth it or not? any other area of interest?) Overnight Rock Springs/Green River area?
Day 14 Depart Rock Springs area enroute to SLC - visit Park City; overnight SLC airport hotel
Day 15 Depart SLC
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Apr 19th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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I am going in June 2014. Yes, it is slightly risky because there could be snow. As a matter of fact, I was there June 15 for 5 nights a couple of years ago and Beartooth was closed and parts of the Loop Road had just opened on the 15th.
In August, the park will be more crowded. You will be less likely to see bears. I still think June is a better experience even without the Beartooth. Perhaps I'm wrong.

I would stay day 3 and 4 @ Old Faithful Inn, Day 5 @ Lake Hotel, Day 6 and 7 @ Roosevelt.

If you happen to change your mind and go in June, then do Tetons first and save Beartooth until the last of your trip. The longer you could wait, the more likely for it to be open.
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Apr 19th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Who's going and what are your interests?

General viewing? Hiking? Wildlife? Photography?
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Apr 19th, 2013, 11:52 AM
  #4
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Thanks so much for your prompt reply. We really do want to go in June and really do want to ride the BT! Darned snow! We'll discuss more over the weekend. Now the fun begins with Xanterra.........
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Apr 19th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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It is a gamble either way. I haven't been in August. There are some advantages. Like you could swim in Firehole River and soak in Boiling River. I don't know "how bad" crowds actually are. For us, Mid-June crowds weren't that bad. I think we were there June 2010.

I really liked staying at OFI. We also liked Roosevelt area. Its a bit quieter and your also right in the middle of good wildlife viewing(although, it's good about everywhere). Lake Hotel is nice, because it's a bit different than the rest of YS. You have enough time to see Mammoth, of course do so, but it was our least favorite part of the park.
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Apr 19th, 2013, 12:06 PM
  #6
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Hi Myer: I remember your comments when I posted for info on our trip to Grand Canyon/Bryce/Zion. We are 2 middle aged average avid hikers (day backs). We want to see the main attractions: thermal features, wildlife, hikes that won't take up the entire day, and scenic drives. We are not so much museum goers, maybe on a rainy day. Definitely not thrill seekers. We are early risers, early to bed. Will drive through tourist towns with enthusiasm but don't care to participate in loud, communal events. We NEVER buy teeshirts; prefer collectible, second-hand shops to browse.
Thanks!!
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Apr 19th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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E, I would recommend skipping Pindale & Flaming Gorge. They are pretty , but nothing compared to Yellowstone & the Tetons. Spend more time i the parks. Do keep an overnight inPark City. Its a nice finish to your trip.

I live in Park City and highly recommenda visit to the UtahOlympic Park. Be sure to see the aerialists show onSaturday if possible Amazing!

Have fun!
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Apr 19th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Elizabeth,
I was there in early August. The only place that was jammed with people was the Jenny Lake boat and hike. Wall-to-wall people. In retrospect it could have been avoided. I put that hike on a Sunday. On Monday it would have been better.

I realize you don't want to spend a whole day on one hike. Maybe start early. The Mt Washburn hike is a great challenge. It's about 3.5 miles up to a ranger station. The trail is a smooth, dirt road that is not steep at all. The problem?

It starts at 8,800 feet and ends at 10,300. No oxygen. The trailhead is located a little north of canyon.

I would spend some time in the OF area. Wandering the Upper Geyser Basin at different times of the day is very interesting in different light. Also, near Riverside Geyser is Morning Glory and its colors.

A couple of miles up the road is Grand Prismatic Spring and its colors. For a great view you can drive back a mile towards OF and park in the Fairy Falls parking lot. Then hike the first mile of the Fairy Falls hike until you get to GPS on your right. On the left is a hill with an unofficial trail up. That gives you an amazing view.

You can see it at: www.travelwalks.com
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 06:49 AM
  #9
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Myer, thanks for your reply and also for sharing your photos. They are wonderful! Appreciate your input.
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