Yellowstone/Grand Tetons

Mar 6th, 2006, 05:46 AM
  #1  
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Yellowstone/Grand Tetons

I have finally decided that my family of 4 is going to do Yellowstone/Grand Tetons this summer. My impression from what I have read and knowing my family's interest is that we would enjoy the Grand Teton area more and are planning at this point to stay at the Wildflower Inn and most likely just do the lower loop of Yellowstone. We are planning then to do rock climbing, Jenny Lake float trip, Snake River rafting trip, and I have to hit a few art galleries in the Jackson area. I know what lots of folks are saying about staying in the park, but we are not rough it sorts of people, and I am afraid the lodging there would be a disppointment to us. At this point we are thinking of going May 30-June 5. I am thinking the crowds will not be as heavy then and since we will be driving from the Wildflower into Yellowstone maybe it won't take as long. Do you guys think this sounds reasonable and what about the weather then? Thanks so much for you tips.
melanie8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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Wondering, why on earth go to YNP and only do the "lower loop"? At least drive the upper loop (a few hours with stops), you'll miss so much if you don't! (Although many say you need lots of time to "do" YNP, you can see quite a bit from the road, and if you just leave the car a few times, you'll be very happy you did.)
By all means, stay in Jackson and be comfy--lots of nice motels, etc. all around the area.
sylvia3 is online now  
Mar 6th, 2006, 06:14 AM
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You can expect cool weather, and the river and lake water will be cold. Snow and rain are not uncommon during this time of the year, we encountered wet snow and frost at our YS camp site last July. The crowds will not be heavy since the prime season for YS/Tetons is July-August.
RedRock is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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We are among the minority who prefer the Teton to Yellowstone! It is indeed a glorious destination.
HowardR is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Sylvia,
About how long does it take to drive through each loop of Yellowstone, adding the time driving from Teton area? I hear what you are saying about not seeing it all, and maybe we just need to rough it a couple of days inside or near the park, say West Yellowstone.
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Mar 6th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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Howard,
Having not yet been it is just a perception that Tetons will be our favorite, but I would like to hear from someone who has been there why they preferred this area? Thanks.
melanie8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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The Teton is majestic, serene and glorious. Sure, Yellowstone has the geysers and a lot of other interesting and worthwhile sights, but I don't think it can compare with the majesty of the Teton.
The Teton is great for hiking. Further, it doesn't get the massive crowds that Yellowstone attracts, which to me is a very strong plus factor.
HowardR is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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We went both places 2 years ago, spent 3 nights in each. There was so much more to see in Yellowstone (Teton was magnificent, but the diversity of YNP is incredible). If you can get park hotel rooms, you wouldn't necessary be roughing it. We stayed at the Lake Hotel which while not a luxury resort was quite nice. The drive from Teton up to the center of YNP is a good one and you ought to check on any road construction. They were doing it while we were there and added to travel time and affected when you could go. Hopefully they're done by now.
RuthMc is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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If at all possible, try to delay your trip at least 2 weeks. White water rafting on the tetons will be iffy and mountain roads could still be closed in Yellowstone. We were in the tetons mid June and our rafting guide told us we had the first nice day on the water that season. A few years ago we were in yellowstone mid June and some of the passes were closed due to snow. Check weather patterns carefully, I would hate for you to make the trip, spend all that money and hit wintry weather.Remember you're in the Northern Rockies at high elevations.
hilda is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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I'm with you Howard - Teton is my favorite place. Yellowstone for a daytrip but stay in Teton if at all possible . Just the most beautiful - IMO.
maryann is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Thanks so much Hilda! I was starting to be afraid of that, and my boys really want to go rafting and being from Mississippi we are not used to cold weather.
melanie8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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Where are some of you guys best recs on places to stay? I am beginning to be concerned about spending too much time driving. Thanks again for everyone's help.
melanie8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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We spent 2 nights in Tetons then 4 in YNP last June. Crowds were not a problem in either park. Both parks are so amazing in their own way and have so much to offer. We did a little hiking in both parks, but our favorite was the Cascade Canyon trail in Tetons. Unbelieveable views! If you want to see wildlife consider the Lamar Valley in YNP off the upper loop. We saw many black bears, two grizzlies, coyotes, moose, and wolves (thanks to the wonderful wolf watchers who were kind enough to let us look through their scopes). I found this webpage very helpful while planning my trip http://www.yellowstone-natl-park.com/ It includes information about the park including weather and road closures among other things. The Old Faithful Inn was closed for renovations during my visit, but from what others have told me it is a great place to stay in YNP. So if you decide to do a night in the park check it out. Good luck and have a blast.
kariego is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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I love the Tetons and yellowstone, dont worry about too much driving, Try to see as much as you can. Jackson Lake Lodge is wonderful, if money is no object check out Jenny Lake Lodge. We've also stayed in teton Village renting a private home/ condo unit. There are some motels in jackson that would be fine for a couple nights to do Jackson and white water rafting. Try to be on the town common about 6pm, they do a nightly gunfight reenactment. Try to spend a couple nights in Yellowstone, I like the Old Faithful area the snow lodge is modern with a food court.
hilda is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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One of my many hats is that of volcanologist, and so my love affair with YNP has been long and involved. However, over the years I have come to love the park for not just the incredible geothermal features, but for the abundant waterfalls, wildlife, scenery, etc. (Saw some falls I never saw before this past fall, easily accessible!) Anyway, I've worked there and touristed there, and the actual road is very doable in a day, if you don't make every stop. Many many trips over the years with kids involved lots of driving by, backtracking, etc., and the figure 8 road is simply not that difficult to do. I would not want to NOT stop here and there, knowing everything there is to see, but as I said before, you can do it and get a lot out of it. (Then you WILL be back, knowing you saw great things but missed a lot more--) I would never miss doing the whole road; if you look at a map and count the miles, it's a no-brainer!
sylvia3 is online now  
Mar 6th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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We did this trip last summer. I would have been very disappointed to just do the lower loop of Yellowstone. It's less dramatic scenery but more dramatic animal life. So I would suggest you stay in West Yellowstone one night so that you can do both loops. I would allow two very full days for this as you will want to be out at dusk in the park to see the wildlife.
keymom is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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Thanks so much to all of you -so much help! Keep sending me ideas about favorite spots, things to do, must sees, etc. - anything that would make this vacation memorable that a newcomer might miss. Thanks again.
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