Yellowstone/Grand Teton Trip Report

Jun 21st, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Yellowstone/Grand Teton Trip Report


Day 1 Flew into Billings the night before with plans to drive Beartooth HWY. Hwy was closed due to heavy snow, so we drove the Chief Joseph and did get to drive a few miles on the end of Beartooth. We entered Yellowstone via Lamar Valley. Did see animals, even Pronghorn. We did see two bears that were asleep under a tree. We didnt really get a good look at them. We continued on to Old Faithful Inn and watched Old Faithful erupt. A herd of Buffalo was very close to the geyser when it went off. We then got to see Castle Geyser go off. It totally blew Old Faithful away (no pun intended). It lasted for 25 minutes and then the steam phase an hour. Very impressive. We stayed in the origianl part of the Inn. We had a shared bathroom, which worked out better than we thought it would. We didn't sleep very well as we were right next to the staircase and people walking up and down them late into the night. We had dinner in the Inn Dining Room. Wife had the buffet, my daughter and I ordered from the menu. It was all good.

Day 2 Saw Daisy Geyser, Riverside, and Old Faithful again, all erupt. Our Favorite was Castle with Riverside a close 2nd. Morning Glory Pool was interesting, as were the mud pots and Grand Prismatic. Aritst Paint Pots were closed.
Mammoth area was a little bit of a letdown, as to what I had expected. The elk on the lawn were cool, however.
We had breakfast and lunch at the Hamilton Store diner next to Old Faithful Inn. Evening meal was in Roosevelt Lodge. After dinner we went to Tower Falls. The trail down was closed, which proved to be good thing, since we could see a bear and cub on the trail. We overnighted in Roosevelt Cabin/with a bath.

Day 3 Roosevelt Lodge for breakfast. Saw a bear up very close near Tower area. Canyon area in the morning. Hiked the rim on the north and the south. A big section of the driving was closed. The trails to the bottom were closed as weill. We did get to see enough of the falls and did as much hiking as we wanted to anyway. We hiked to the brink of both falls from the south parking area. We had a picnic lunch about 5 miles south of canyon area. lots of places in the park to purchase a picnic to go. We had dinner that evening in Lake Hotel. We took the Sunset Old Yellow bus Tour, which turned out to be a pretty good tour. We overnighted in Lake Hotel.

Day 4 Drove to Grand Tetons and were on the Jenny Lake Boat by 9:30. Hiked to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Good hikes, but tons and tons of people on this one. Had lunch at Dornan's Pizza which was really good. veggie panini was very good. Went on snake river float trip that evening. nice easy ride. We did see a Bald Eagle and a couple of elk along the way. We overnighted in Colter Village Cabins. The cabin we had was very big and had three beds in it so we slept best this night of the trip.
This afternoon we did go into Jackson. We did the Alpine Slide, which was fun.

Day 5 We had seen a moose from a distance, but hadn't seen one up close. We had two hours before heading to the airport, so we drove down Moose/Wilson rd. on the advice from a ranger and our snake river guide. We happened to see one within 10 minutes in a very out of the way spot behind brush. We had him all to ourselves getting to see him in the water eating,
pretty close.

The only disappointments we had were Beartooth closed, Boiling River closed for swimming.

Highlights were the Geysers and Wildlife. We saw over 10 bears, elk, bison, pronghorn, pelican, beaver, bald eagle, moose, coyote, fox, and more.

None of the meals were super outstanding, but none of them were bad. They were all good.

We didn' really find it crowded with the exception of around Old Faithful area and Jenny Lake hike.

Yellowstone has a lot to offer and enough to keep you busy for 3 or 4 days. We didn't really do any real hiking, like we normally do in National Parks, but we did walk a lot around Geysers and pools.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Great pictures! Glad you had a good trip. We are going in Aug. Flying in and out of Billings. How long was the drive from Billings to Lamar Valley? We are staying in the southern part of the park for 1 night only, would you recommend dinner at the OFI or Lake hotel?
kencolian is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 01:49 PM
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I would go with OFI if you haven't seen the geyser area. If I only had a day or two I would concentrate on Upper Geyser Basin, Tower Area, and Canyon Area. I would skip Norris, Mammoth, and Lake unless I had an additional day or two.

We went the longer way around on the Chief Joseph, but I would think 3 hours would be enough time. You should then allow another 2 hours or so to get to OFI once you get to the Northeast Entrance.

If you can't get reservations at OFI try Snow Lodge or Old Faithful Lodge. All 3 are fairly close together. All the lodging is old in the park. We actually slept better when we were in the cabins. They are pretty neat as well. I like them, but my mom and dad who went several years ago, didn't like staying at any of the cabins. The nicest accomadations are probably at the Lake Hotel, if that is what you are wanting. You should, of course, at least wander through OFI or eat a meal there.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Hi Spirobulldog,

I'm glad you enjoyed the trip. The geyers and wildlife are my favorites too! Each geyer is unique.

My neighbors were there the same time you were I think. They did postpone driving up by 1 day since heavy snow was falling. They had about 8 inches in the Canyon campground the first day. Then it turned to mud.

I'm going up in a couple weeks, so hoping the late snows have melted by then!

Dayle is online now  
Jun 21st, 2008, 07:09 PM
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I think it snowed about 6 inches for three or four days straight before we got there. The weather was really nice for us and none of the roads in the park were closed. Suprisingly, we didnt really encounter muddy trails much. We did think the Jenny Lake Trail was muddy, but I think that was from the high traffic of people more than snow or rain.
spirobulldog is offline  

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