yellowstone lodging

Old Mar 5th, 2006, 03:26 AM
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yellowstone lodging

Will be visiting Yellowstone in late July for about 6 days. Would anticipate spending 2 days visiting the park and would also spend some additional time checking out the area about 100 miles around the park. Probably Jackson and the Grand Tetons. Maybe Cody.
Am considering maybe spending 2-3 nites in Pocatello, Id while visiting the park. Drive each day to the park. Have checked out the Yellowstonne park facilities but it appears that all that is available are the cabins and don't really think I want a cabin.
Am in a quandry as to where to go for lodging in the general area without spending my mortgage money. Any ideas based on prior experience would be greatly appreciated.
Also, when visiting the Grand Teton National Park, if I don't take long hikes, what are the points of interest?
Thanks again gandb777
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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the drive from Pocatello to the park is a VERY long one, that is a VERY BAD idea. Stay in Gardiner, Montana (tons of motels) at the entrance to the park, or West Yellowstone (ditto, lots of motels), but driving from Pocatello? no way.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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The main call for Teon N.P. if you are not hiking would probably be the ultimate photo-op, Jenny Lake. ANd, nearby Jackson has lots of motels, etc.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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Yes, staying in Pocatello is not a good idea. Yellowstone is huge and you will be doing a lot of driving just getting around the park.

With 6 days I would:
4 days in Yellowstone
2 days Grand Tetons

One of your Yellowstone days could be a trip to Cody, but if you are staying in W. Yellowstone, that will be too far. I stay in the cabins at Coutler Bay (GTNP) often and I find them perfectly comfortable, heated, private baths, shower only, clean, comfy beds.

There are many short walks and hikes in GTNP and you can rent a canoe at Coulter Bay on Jackson Lake.

Have fun!
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Why Pocatello - lots of inexpensive hotels in Gardiner and West Yellowstone - not cabins. And each town is less than 1/2 mile from entrance to Yellowstone.

Roads in Yellowstone are in a figure-8 configuration, so unless you move during your stay, you will spend a lot of time on same road, missing many things - there is no "express lane" and the bison that park themselves in the middle of the road whenever they feel like it make it slow going at times.

On of the really nice aspects of both Yellowstone and GTNP is that one does not have to be a hiker to enjoy - many marked trails/paths, where one can walk in 1/2-1 mile on nice level marked ground - a walk rather than a hike.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Definitely would recommend against Pocatello as a base for YNP - way too far away.

Why are you dismissing cabins? We stayed at "cabins" behind the Lake Yellowstone Hotel several years ago. Granted, it wasn't the Four Seasons, but these cabins were "deluxe" with their own bath in the unit - more like moderately priced motel units, but not quite so moderately priced.

You pay for location, and being located in the park just can't be beat - where else can you have a moose wander through the parking lot or some other critter (harmless type) on your front doorstep in the morning? And, as soon as you drive away from the hotel you're There!

Staying at the Lake was not my first location choice, it was what was available at the time (late August), but it really turned out just fine. Not crowded like areas around Old Faithful; never a big line in the restaurant/cafeteria to get breakfast. Stayed four nights and were able to explore just about every corner of the Park while we were there. including a trip to the northeast corner one evening to participate in a chuck wagon barbeque trip, and several easy hikes back away from the roads a little - look for a paperback book on day hikes in the Yellowstone. Those walks were a nice way to get a little bit away from the madding crowds.
Really a very memorable vacation. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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Thanks much for all the input. I guess I will forget the staying in Pocatello and driving and will look closer in.
One further question, Does anyone know of any tours of yellowstone by bus or ?? emanating from just outside the park.
Hope you all don't mind all the questions but having a bit of difficulty getting my arms around this particular trip.
Thanks gandb7
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 03:24 AM
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We have visited a number of National Parks in past few years and always have difficulty "getting are arms around" the trip details. While this board is very helpful, it is difficult for me to picture the reality until we get there.

Regarding a bus tour - I strongly urge you to drive the Park road loop.

This worked for us - 2 nights, including the travel day into Jackson, at Jackson (Teton Village condos). See what you want in Jackson, do a float trip if that is your thing, drive into GTNP, do a short hike.

Then get one of the number of books that describe sights in Yellowstone in order that they appear as you drive thru Park.

Day 3, head into Yellowstone (you must drive thru GTNP, so that is some more time there if you want). Road loop is figure-8. You enter at bottom of the "8". Take either left or right part of this circle and head towards night lodging around West Yellowstone - many inexpensive (by our Boston standards) hotel chains there. Stay 2 nights, doing other part of the lower loop on the second day.

Then move hotel to Gardiner area. Stay 2 nights and do upper circle of the "8". On final morning, drive thru Park, thru GTNP back to Jackson for flight home. Make sure your flight is not before 2 PM or so or you will not make it back thru both Parks in time for flight.

The guide book in order of sights is the key. We used it as guide during each day - reading short synopses of each place and choosing what to see.

Be prepared for slow going on roads - even though we were there in mid-August, crowds were not oppressive, but animal jams were frequent. Do not argue with big bison if it is in the middle of the road - you will lose.

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