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Yellowstone - Grand Teton - Jackson Hole advice

Yellowstone - Grand Teton - Jackson Hole advice

Old Sep 17th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Yellowstone - Grand Teton - Jackson Hole advice

My parents are taking our family to a ranch near Jackson Hole June 11-15, 2006. We want to visit the area for 3 days before and 5 days afterward. Any suggestions for an itinerary? Our children will be ages 14, 12, and 7, and are good outdoorspeople.

Thanks for the help.
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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Visit Yellowstone an also Cody where there's a wonderful museum the kids will love.Paul
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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I would spend the 5 days in Yellowstone. Use the three days before for Grand Teton exploration. Click on my name for a trip report on Yellowstone/Grand Teton.
Be sure to take a whitewater rafting trip from Jackson and to soak in the Boiling Pot in Yellowstone.
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 07:49 AM
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Agree with the 3 and then 5 day approach. Yellowstone is farther from Jackson Hole than you would imagine. We found far more to do there than in Grand Teton, but Jackson itself is an interesting town.

For a family, we stayed at Teton Village Jackson Hole Resort Lodging - about 10-15 minutes from Jackson but about 1/2 mile from entrance to GTNP. They have condos with full kitchens, etc. and a tram you can ride to top of mountain with views. Snake River float trips out of Jackson are supposed to be fun - ours got rained out.

In Yellowstone, I would stay in 2 different places, even if it is only for 5 nights. However, if you are flying out of Jackson, make sure you either leave plenty of time for return trip to airport or stay final night in Jackson - it took us 4 hours from northern part of Yellowstone to airport - drive times are unpredictable because of frequent "animal jams"

That gives you a start of a basic framework - if you want to stay in Park, book now.
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the great advice. I looked at the trip reports which were very helpful.

I found out the ranch is Moosehead Ranch which is practically inside GTNP. Do you think it will be too much of that area to stay inside GTNP for the three days before? Or should we stay in Jackson Hole?

For the second half, I made reservations at the Inn at Lake Yellowstone for three days. We will do the lower loop from here. Then we will move to another hotel.

I wasn't sure whether we should move to Mammoth, or Roosevelt Lodge, or outside the park in Cooke City. We want to look at wildlife in Lamar Valley during this portion, do the upper loop, and swim in the boiling river. Also, is the wildlife pretty easy to find or should we join a group from the Yellowstone Institute?

We then plan to fly out of Bozeman to avoid backtracking.

Thanks again for all the help.
Hadley
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Mammoth Springs is the park headquarters and has more facilities than Roosevelt. I don't remember seeing anyplace to stay in Cooke City. Is is a VERY small town. It is hard *not* to find wildlife in Yellowstone. I don't think the institute is necessary.

We stayed at Lake Yellowstone in 2003, but I wouldn't stay there again. I guess I expected to see a lot of wildlife around the lake, but just the opposite. Plan on staying at Old Faithful bext year.

Semi-interesting anecdote: We had a cabin reserved at Lake Yellowstone. Very Spartan, but only around $85. Checked in, unloaded the car and my wife went to take a shower, but no hot water. The sink had hot water, but not the shower. Had to drive to the lodge since there wasn't a phone. Explained the situation and they wanted to know if we wanted to move into the hotel ($180 room) for the same price. We couldn't move fast enough. So....if you are in a cabin you might try the old "no hot water" trick
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 04:32 PM
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So you would recommend a couple of days at Old Faithful then a couple at Mammoth? What if Old Faithful is closed (I think they told me it was being renovated)?

Thanks
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and another Inn there will be open. I hate to recommend a place I've never stayed, but it is a better location than the Lake. Mammoth or Canyon are good locations for the second half of your stay. You need to look into which roads will be closed for construction.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 03:43 AM
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Old Faithful Inn was undergoing massive exterior renovations this August when we were there - but someone here posted that they stayed there during that time and there were no service disruptions, noise, etc.

Regarding animals. Never saw anything but a squirrel and a sparrow in GTNP. Animals everywhere in Yellowstone. Reliable herds of bison in Hayden area. Early and later in day more animals closer up than mid-day in other parts.

You must go to Boiling River - not in guide books. Near Mammouth - at sign for 45 parallel park in lot and follow sign (official Park signs) for about 3/4 mile walk in. Place where hotspring and Gardner River merge - a natural hot tup with natural "jets". Bring water shoes - rocks are slippery.

You could stay outside park in Gardiner. Good place to take white water rafting trip on Yellowstone River.

As far as if ranch plus 3 days in Jackson is too much - I was assuming that during time at ranch you would be doing mostly ranch activities. If you are venturing out more, then I would suggest you head from there to northern part of Yellowstone and work back towards Jackson area.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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Thanks for the great help.

Is there a way to find out what roads will be under construction early next summer?
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Some of the roads that were closed this summer were because of (obviously unplanned) rockslides.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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There is a ton of info on the National Park Service Yellowstone page. The web address is too long to post, but you can go the yellowstone page on www.nps.gov and click on Road Info on the left side of the page.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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We took our 19, 16, and 12 year old to Yellostone and GTNP in July of 2006. We rafted the Gallatin river in Montana about an hour north of West Yellowstone. A good family thing but a rocky river. We did the boiling river, also, which was fun. Stayed a night at the Snow Lodge - very nice but small and our room was noisy at it was directly over the entrance - windows open cuz no air conditioning. One night at Old Faithful in - even under construction it was neat. In Teton Village, we took the tram to the top of the mountain - great fun that won't be around for much longer as the tram is going to be removed at the end of 2006. Husband and two of the kids did the sled on wheels thing at the ski resort right in Jackson (Snow King?). In GRNP we took the ferry boat across Jenny Lake and did a hike around waterfalls - very nice.

By the way we saw moose, buffalo, bears, fox, and elk at various times on the trip.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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Answering the question about whether to stay in the Teton for three days, I offer a strong "yes." It's an easy ride back into Jackson for dinner or whatever. Meanwhile, you'll be staying in the glorious surroundings of the Teton.
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