Yellowstone, GTNP Itinerary - Need Help

Aug 11th, 2009, 03:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 112
Yellowstone, GTNP Itinerary - Need Help

I've been second guessing our itinerary and still have time to make some changes. Here's our itinerary as it stands:

8/18 - Arrive Bozeman 1:00pm - drive to Jackson by way of West Yellowstone and arrive around at Jackson around 6-7:00pm - dinner in Jackson (LODGING IN JACKSON)
8/19 - Spend the morning seeing Jackson and then drive to Moose Junction for lunch outside at Dornan's, spend the afternoon investigating GTNP, eat dinner back in Jackson or Teton Village (LODGING IN JACKSON)
8/20 - Spend another day at GTNP - check out Jackson Lake and Jenny Lake - maybe dine at Jenny Lake Lodge for lunch or dinner then drive back to Jackson (LODGING IN JACKSON)
8/21 - Leave Jackson and drive to Yellowstone, sightseeing through GTNP as we go, ending up at Lake Yellowstone Hotel - dine at the hotel (LODGING AT LAKE YELLOWSTONE HOTEL)
8/22 - Sightsee around Y Lake, West Thumb, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison and maybe on to West Y if there is time - turn around and head back to Y Lake Hotel since the Madison-Norris road will be closed for construction - ?Dinner? (LODGING AT LAKE YELLOWSTONE HOTEL)
8/23 - Head north for Hayden Valley sightseeing and on towards Canyon Village and Tower-Roosevelt - dinner at Roosevelt - drive on to Gardiner (LODGING IN GARDINER)
8/24 - Head out for Lamar Valley and Mammoth Springs sightseeing - dinner at Mammoth or Gardiner (LODGING IN GARDINER)
8/25 - Leisurely drive back to Bozeman for departure at 4:00pm

My biggest question is.....have I allowed enough time for GTNP?

Also, when I booked lodging back in June, the only thing I could get was two days at Y Lake Hotel. I think I could get another day there now and then only spend one night in Gardiner if that would be a better plan. We normally don't change lodging this much during a week-long stay...who wants to pack that many times, right? But you almost have to when you're covering this much ground.

Any thoughts or suggestions anyone has on the itinerary would be great!
lovebug is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,830
I'm not answering your "biggest question" about GTNP but here's a comment on Yellowstone: Are you allowing any time for the Canyon area, both rims? That was actually about our favorite area for sightseeing (in commparison with geysers, thermal areas, and Lamar Valley--all of which were great but we enjoyed the Canyon area the most.)
texasbookworm is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,830
You'll just scratch the surface of GTNP, but you have enough time allotted for an overview of the highpoints. Have you considered staying in GTNP to avoid the transit time between Jackson and the park. Jackson Lake Lodge and Signal Mountain Lodge a very nice if you can get in and they are within your budget.
I think the Canyon area and Lamar Valley are two of my favorite Yellowstone areas.
boom_boom is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 171
We found we needed more time in the Old Faithful area. It takes time to wait for the geysers to go off. You might book a night there in the Old Faithful lodge or Snow Lodge to cancel one night in Gardiner. This is a park where we would LOVE to return.
pocohontas3 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 104
I think you have enough time in GTNP. You can see a lot of the park from staying in Gardiner-Mammoth, Lamar Valley, Tower, Hayden Valley. We stayed in Gardiner for a week and were able to see most of the park. We did drive down to Jackson one day and it took us a full day(10am-6pm) to get to Jackson, but we stopped a lot. Coming from the airport in Bozeman will add another 2 hours to your driving time. It might be tough to get to Jackson by 6pm if you're leaving Bozeman at 1pm. But we were stopped in construction along the John Rockerfeller Highway for at least 30 minutes, so hopefully they are finished with it.
tnnc2 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 29
Asking your reply, I think it's enough to stay in GT, I stayed there last June, and then went to Yellowstone. But I stayed in Jackson Lake Lodge, it saves time. If you go to Old Faithful don't say in this lodge, is expensive, and the service is bad, prefer the Snow Lodge, is much better. But Old Faithful is obligatory. I Prefered the Canyon, don't miss it for nothing, Lamar Valley, and the geysers in Old Faithful. But my favourite was the Grand Teton National Park, I loved to stay in Jackson Lake Lodge, try to have diner there in Mural Restaurant, with those big windows to the Tetons. Is awesome!!!!!
belica is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,139
I also think you have enough time for GTNP with the amount of time you have total. I also think your schedule for Yellowstone will probably be fine the way it is. You will find that some things (Grant Village for example -- nothing really there but a place to stay) will take less or more than you think. You will go by Yellowstone Lake twice (on the way in and on the way to Old Faithful) and also Hayden Valley so unless there is an animal sighting of some sort or a buffalo jam (which can happen easily in Hayden Valley) it may just be a drive through for you at both places. If you have time you can stop at West Thumb on the way in instead of the next day.

8/22 There is lots to see between Old Faithful and Madison. Wouldn't count on West Yellowstone at all that day.

8/23 Would count on most of the day being in the Canyon area -- our favorite place also. You can spend more time in both Old Faithful area and also Canyon, but with the amount of time you have I'd keep it the way you have it and at least be able to see both. If you run out of time you can always go back to Tower on the next day.

Another option: You could spend another night at Lake and then leave the next am, bypassing Canyon which you have already seen and on to Lamar Valley, (not sure if that leaves out eating at Roosevelt if that is really a priority for you) and then on to Mammoth and then Gardiner. Mammoth doesn't take as long to see as OF and Canyon, and Gardiner is only about 5 miles away from it.

Whatever you decide will work out fine. No right or wrong way to do these parks -- do whatever sounds more interesting for you. As far as eating at Lake -- each main area (OF, Canyon and Lake) have a restaurant, cafeteria, soda fountain. Mammoth has a restaurant and fast food type place. OFI has a restaurant (Snow Lodge) and fast food type place also. The only places you can have reservations is Lake and OFI. You can eat at the cafeteria at Lake that night or stop at Canyon for dinner on the way back. They are all run by Xanterra and similar. A co worker just stayed at Lake and said that they liked eating at the cafeteria at the Lodge there because you could sit on the porch outside after and see the Lake.

I'm writing this kind of fast so hope I read your itinerary right -- sorry if I didn't.
maj is offline  

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