yellowstone help needed

Aug 15th, 2013, 10:19 AM
  #1  
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yellowstone help needed

Hi. I just decided to take family to Yellowstone to celebrate my 50th. Kids are 11 and 12. I did a bit of researching on these boards and just booked mammoth cabins for 8/13-8/14 and then the snowo lodge inn for 8/15 and 8/16.
want to use ff miles so salt lake city is the airport. also want to visit gran tetons. what is best way to do this? i think it is 6 hours to park, not sure how far to our hotels in park. where do we stay first night? last night? when do we do grand tetons and where do we stay there? need to book miles shortly so need to figure out timing. thanks all.
plambers is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 03:10 PM
  #2  
 
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Since you are starting on the north end of the park, I would probably drive north to West Yellowstone and then through the park to Mammoth. Actually, if it were me, I would stay the whole time in the Snow Lodge and drive different routes each day.

Then, I would drive south through the Tetons. Many people just drive by them on the state highway---not the national park highway because you get the best views of the Tetons from the state highway. Then stay in Jackson because it's a neat town to visit for all ages.

Some people do stay in the park but there isn't all that much to do there and you can easily drive there from town if there is something you want to do. Prices will be better in town too.

Then, drive south through Wyoming and back over to SLC. It's a pretty drive by the Wind River Range.

Speed limits are very low in Yellowstone--45-50 so don't expect to make quick time driving anywhere. Also, you will want to make stops along the way. The map they give you is excellent in pointing out stops.
Connie is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 03:14 PM
  #3  
 
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I wouldn't stay at either. I would stay at Old Faithful Inn and Roosevelt. Mammoth would be my last place I would stay and the last place I would visit in the park. I'm not saying its not worth your time, but it is a bit underwhelming, IMOP.

I assume this is for next year? 2014?

Even if you stick with your original lodging, you are still in for a great treat. Yellowstone, especially with kids those ages is fantastic!! There are many places to choose from in the Tetons. Colter Village(Tent Cabins or Cabins), Jackson Lake Lodge, Jenny Lake Lodge(super expensive), Signal Mountain, and I think I'm missing a couple.
spirobulldog is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 04:34 PM
  #4  
 
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We enjoyed our cabin in Mammoth and would stay there again.

How many days do you have for your trip?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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We loved our cabin in Mammoth. The area is less crowded than other areas of the park, and the elk rut was in full swing and that was incredible! You might be a bit early for the rut but you should still see lots of elk hanging around. It also puts you at the north end of the park, closer to the Lamar Valley which is beautiful and filled with wildlife.

Not sure how many nights you have, but you might want to spend your first night in Jackson or West Yellowstone. Jackson is overpriced and too touristy for my taste, but coming from SLC, it's good for a first night's stay. Then you can drive through the Tetons on your way to Yellowstone. Or stay in W. Yellowstone the first night and check out Norris Geyser Basin and other cool thermal features on west side as you head up to Mammoth.

We stayed at Signal Mountain in the Tetons and loved it - right on Jackson Lake, great location near Oxbow Bend where you'll always see moose. Nice drive up Signal Mtn. Great dining on site at Signal Mtn too.

We also stayed at Snow Lodge and loved the location right at the Old Faithful. The walk through the Geysers is incredible, especially early in the morning. Yellowstone is like nowhere else - you will love it!
sharondi is offline  
Aug 16th, 2013, 07:48 AM
  #6  
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Hi all and thanks for wealth of info. am in very early planning stages. we can take a week or 10 days-want to use ff miles so need to have timing down. we can either fly to slc and drive 6 hours or fly to jackson with a 4 hour layover.
mammoth was suggested by the guy who helped with reservations but then i just changed it to 3 nights at the western cabin canyon lodge to be a bit more central adn 2 at the snow lodge. was that a good move? we need 2 queen beds and a private bath. am a bit suprised a the high price of these rooms. or we can go to the snow lodge cabins for all 5 nights the following week. changing lodging locations has been suggested but not sure if that is a good idea.
is 5 nights a good amount of time for yellowstone? and then 1 day driving through the tetons?
this is for next year. no availability for old faithful adn took the onl 2 nights at snow lodge. do i want the lodge or the cabins?
plambers is offline  
Aug 16th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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I would go with the cabin, myself. 5 nights is fine. Do you not plan on doing anything but driving thru Tetons? Hiking, or floating The Snake River?
spirobulldog is offline  
Aug 16th, 2013, 12:18 PM
  #8  
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hi-just started planning this so figured lodging and air first. would love other ideas-what is floating the snake river?
we did acadia last year and i quickly realized that hiking and kayaking every day would get old for kids. other ideas greatly appreciated.
plambers is offline  
Aug 16th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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The Snake River winds along one side of the Grand Tetons Mountains and a lot of people float/raft it. You can do white water, if that interests you more.
There are several good hikes and I'm pretty sure horseback riding as well. You can also rent kayaks/canoes for on the Lakes in the Tetons too.
spirobulldog is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2013, 06:56 AM
  #10  
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hi-my biggest source of confusion is the lodging in yellowstone-stay in one place for 5 nights or do 3/2 per above? thanks
plambers is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2013, 08:16 AM
  #11  
cd
 
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The Snow Lodge is right next door to Ole Faithful so you are in the same location. We stayed 2days in Old Faithful Inn We stayed in Canyon Lodge 2 additional days and liked the rooms there, but Old Faithful Inn was our favorite and we would probably stay there the whole time and drive to different places during the day. If I couldn't get rooms at Ole Faithful, I would continue to call for cancellations until I got them. There are always cancellations.
cd is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2013, 04:34 PM
  #12  
 
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We haven't stayed in the Canyon Lodge cabins, so I can't vouch for what they are like, but I have been in a Snow Lodge room and it is more up to date than the OF Lodge cabins, so that might help with your decision. I think most of the cabins in Yellowstone are rustic; you don't stay in the park for the luxurious accommodations or food. It's really about being in the park and able to see everything 24 hours a day, vs. driving in and out of the park, which can be a time waster. We usually stay at Lake Yellowstone and Old Faithful, but if I had to pick one, it would definitely be Old Faithful and you have that with the Snow Lodge. Also, I think the Old Faithful area, where the Snow Lodge is, has more dining options than Canyon does, so again, that might impact your decision. On the other hand, the Old Faithful area is very busy, and the Canyon area might seem more relaxing by comparison, especially in the evening. For us, it's hard to beat seeing geysers on the way to breakfast and geysers during an after dinner stroll, so that is why Old Faithful is our number one spot.

Four or five nights is plenty of time for Yellowstone, depending on your level of interest in what it offers.

Jackson is a fun town and a good place to pick up snacks for the rest of the trip because it has one of the larger grocery stores in the region, and rafting the Snake River is a perfect activity for families with kids that age. You could stay in Jackson 2 nights, and drive into GTNP for one or two day trips.
voyager61 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2013, 04:37 PM
  #13  
 
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Also, since this is a 50th and you might be planning a special dinner one of the evenings, be sure to book the Old Faithful Inn well ahead of time; it is very popular and you likely won't get in without a reservation. Jackson offers much better food than Yellowstone, though, so if that is a consideration, you might schedule your birthday dinner at a restaurant there.
voyager61 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 03:58 PM
  #14  
 
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I really think you should break up your time in YNP - a few nights in the Snow Lodge at Old Faithful and 3 nights at Canyon is perfect. The park is huge and you'll appreciate being in different parts of the park. We spent 6 nights in YNP and we could've stayed longer!
sharondi is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 12:25 PM
  #15  
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hi all and thanks again. so we may keep our 2 nights at snow lodge (or do i want snow lodge cabins???) and may decrease canyon western cabins to 2 nights. so end of trip would be gtnp. it seems lodging there is a bit nicer-would love to end trip at a nice place with good beds and good food-any suggestions?
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Aug 24th, 2013, 12:46 PM
  #16  
cd
 
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We stayed at Jackson Lake Lodge and enjoyed it very much, ask for a room with a view of the mountains, and took the Snake River Float trip that departs from there, It starts with a steak dinner on the banks of the river. It is a mild float trip, even children take it but you can take white rapids if that's what you want.
Jenny Lake Lodge is top rated but expensive.
cd is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 03:14 PM
  #17  
 
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You are doing the right thing breaking up the lodging at different areas. Your kids are probably at perfect ages to do the chuckwagon dinner. You need to make reservations pretty far in advance to get the day you want, and probably want to do it on a night you are staying closer to the Roosevelt area.
jayne1973 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 05:39 AM
  #18  
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Jayne, i have already reserved the chuckwagon dinner! it is an hour from our canyon reservations.
plambers is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Fabulous-- I have always wanted to do the chuckwagon dinner, but we were always there too early in the summer. No telling what wildlife you might see on your drive back to Canyon that night, too. How exciting!
jayne1973 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2013, 11:30 AM
  #20  
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So should I keep all 5 nights at Yellowstone? I'd like to end the triip with 2 nights at a nice inn/lodge in or near GTNP. will look at Jackson Lake Lodge and Signal do the float trip down the snake river and maybe the horseback riding. Any other ideas to break up the constant hiking? Do we want to go to Cody? We are not super early risers - if we are out by 8 that will be a major accomplishment! thanks again.
we have never been to this part of the US and we are really excited.
plambers is offline  

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