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Yellowstone/GTNP Itinerary & Cody versus Flaming Gorge & Dinosaurland

Yellowstone/GTNP Itinerary & Cody versus Flaming Gorge & Dinosaurland

Dec 26th, 2006, 08:50 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Yellowstone/GTNP Itinerary & Cody versus Flaming Gorge & Dinosaurland

I'm planning a family trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone this summer. We'll fly from the East Coast to Salt Lake City and then return from there. My main question is how to spend the last couple of days of the trip.

Here's the basic plan:

Day 1: Fly to SLC (probably getting in late afternoon or early evening).
Day 2: Drive to Jackson by way of Montpelier & Soda Springs so we can see some Oregon Trail-related sites along the way.
Days 3-5: Explore GTNP.
Days 6-10: Explore Yellowstone. We plan to stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge the first couple of days, then shift to the Canyon Lodges.

Days 11-13. These are the ones in question. Should we go visit Cody and then head south through Thermopolis, but then drive straight back to SLC? Or exit from the Parks by means of Moran Junction, and then drive down the Wind River Valley through Lander and South Pass, and spend a day or two exploring the area around Flaming Gorge and Dinosaurland National Park? How much time do Flaming Gorge and Dinosaurland NP merit, if you're just sightseeing and not water sporting or white water rafting?

We plan to fly back from SLC on Day 14.

jeffergray is offline  
Dec 26th, 2006, 12:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,685
I've done both options. The Flaming Gorge/Dinosaur option doesn't take you as much out of the way for returning to SLC BUT both could be done in one day since you are not doing water sports.

The Cody option takes you to the east BUT has more to do, IMHO. The Buffalo Bill Museum can easily take a day. It is divided into 3-4 different sections, with each section taking a couple hours [I am a history buff.] There is also the night rodeo which is great fun.

Either way, have fun!
SuzieTrue is offline  
Dec 26th, 2006, 08:00 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,489
Hi Jeffer,

The last I heard the Dinosaur visitor's center was closed due to structural problems with the building. You should check current status before planning that route. Also, if not doing water sports, Flamming Gorge would just be a big "
dammed" lake!

The Cody museum is fantastic and the scenery that route very beautiful.

Another thought - spend a day or two in my town, Park City. Lots to see and do and just a 30 minute drive to SL Intl. airport.
Dayle is offline  
Dec 26th, 2006, 08:41 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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It will push you a little or you might want to consider leaving Yellowstone a day early, but I recommend a drive over the "Bear Tooth Highway" and an overnight stop over in Cody for the Wild Bill museum. Both are sights not to be missed if at all possible. You could exit Yellowstone through the northeast exit at Cooke City, Mt and take the Bear Tooth highway from Cooke City to Red Lodge, Mt. It is a beautiful drive across the top of the world with snow still on the mountain tops (not on the highway). Follow the state highways back down into Wy and get into Cody late in the afternoon. This entire drive is beautiful and interesting.
How you have a decision. It will be about a 10 hour drive from Cody through Thermopolis to Green River to Salt Lake City, but it should be interesting. You can either hit the road to Salt Lake City or spend a relaxing day in Cody visiting the museum and the rodeo, another not to be missed event if it's going on at the time you are there.
This would be well worth taking a day from either the Grand Tetons or Yellowstone or adding a day to your vacation.
Have fun planning and a great vacation.
LBev769375 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 07:22 PM
  #5  
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Posts: 169
Thanks for the input so far. LBev, that's exactly what I was thinking about doing -- i.e., doing the Beartooth on the way out of the Park, and then heading for Cody and points south, as opposed to taking one of the days when we're staying in the Park to drive up to the Beartooth and back.

And thanks for the info about Dinosaurland, Dayle -- that would make a big difference if the Visitor's Center is closed.

I'm a history buff, too, SuzieTrue -- which is part of the challenge in choosing between Cody and the southern route! In particular, I'm an Oregon Trail buff.
jeffergray is offline  
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