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Yellowstone NP and Bozeman area or Grand Teton and Yellowstone?

Yellowstone NP and Bozeman area or Grand Teton and Yellowstone?

Jul 1st, 2011, 10:46 PM
Original Poster
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Yellowstone NP and Bozeman area or Grand Teton and Yellowstone?

Need advice for a Yellowstone trip in mid August.

We will be flying in and out of SLC with 2 children (4 and 8). We have 8 days. Originally we were planning to go from SLC to Grand Teton, spend 2 days there, drive to Yellowstone, spend 3 days there and a spend a day or so in Bozeman and drive back to SLC. I've been reading more about Bozeman and the surrounding areas. Now I'm wondering if it would be more fun for the kids if we skip Grand Teton and head straight to Yellowstone and split the whole trip between Yellowstone and the nearby towns. What's your opinion of Grand Teton? Will it be a shame to miss it? Thanks.
lol2g is offline  
Jul 1st, 2011, 11:36 PM
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It would be a shame to miss the Grand Tetons.
I'm curious. What have you read about Bozeman to make it destination in itself?
starrs is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 01:49 AM
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Grand Teton and Yellowstone are contiguous - there is no driving from one to the other.

Nights 1 &2 - drive to GTNP. Stay either in Jackson or Teton Village (huge condo complex rented by the night - great for kids since there are all sorts of configurations of bedrooms, bath, full kitchen). That will give you 1 full plus one partial day at GTNP.

Then divide your touring of Yellowstone into lodging at 2 different places - it is really big and makes for better touring - many threades going here on where, in versus out of Park, etc. If out of Park, West Yellowstone, Gardiner are 2 possibilities - that is what we did. Old Faitful area is a good choice if staying in Park - but as much as you may prefer to park yourself in one hotel for the stay, try it this way. If you want to see authentic western US towns, West Yellowstone and Gardiner should do it - and since they are right at west and north entrances to Yellowstone, you can still spend all of your time in the Park. Eat dinner in town, talk to some locals, go to a rodeo - you can do towns and Park.

Day 8 - drive back to SLC
gail is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 02:29 AM
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Jackspn os a beautiful town with scenic vistas up to

yellowstone.com head there from SLC

classic.mapquest.com directions distances

Bozemanin underwhelming and farther away

though Red Lodge is nice.

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 03:41 AM
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I haven't been to Bozeman so I can't comment on it but I was in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons last year.

Yellowstone is more a sight place and GTNP is more a scenery place.

Yellowstone: Geysers, wildlife, waterfalls, etc.
Grand Tetons: wildlife and absolutely beautiful scenic views from various locations.

If you are all into photography don't miss early morning visits to Mormon Row, Schwabacher Landing and Oxbow Bend all just off the outer GTNP road. Absolutely beautiful with the Tetons in the background.
Myer is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 05:04 AM
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I've been to Bozeman many times to visit friends and enjoy visiting their downtown for a couple of hours but I would never choose Bozeman over more time in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. I've been all around the surrounding area of Bozeman and can't think of what would be special. If you really want to get out of the parks, the Beartooth Highway (beautiful drive) out of the NE entrance and Cody (lots of western touristy fun stuff) out of the East entrance would be my recommendations.

Give yourself a little time to spend in Jackson--a really neat small town to visit.
Connie is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 06:53 AM
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The Tetons are the most spectacular mountains I have ever seen, and I would never skip them for Bozeman. Your children might enjoy the nightly shoot out in Jackson.
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Under any circumstances, do not miss the Tetons!!!!!!!
HowardR is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 01:13 PM
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I've never spent any time in Bozeman either, so can't comment, but we have taken our boys to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons several times as they were growing up. If it's something you like, your children are bound to like it too.

There's plenty to do at the Grand Tetons. Take them on the Boat Shuttle across Jenny Lake and have a picnic and then come back. Ask the park rangers where the best spot to see moose at dusk.

Yellowstone has a lot for kids. My son loved it at age 4, just keep a close eye on the kids near the thermal areas. Yellowstone is a huge park with so many different and great things to see and the excitement when you spot the wildlife is worth the trip! Please plan 3 or 4 full days in Yellowstone.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2011, 08:16 PM
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The national parks have a junior ranger program. You sign up your kids at visitor centers and they have to look for things, visit sights, etc. It makes it fun for them to be working on a goal.

I just saw that they now have an online junior rangers program. "Play more than 50 games and learn about your National Parks."
Connie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 07:03 AM
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If you asked my daughter whether she prefers Bozeman or Yellowstone, she'd say Bozeman.

If you have the time, The Museum of the Rockies is a great stop for kids. Their dinosaur exhibit is truly wonderful. We go several times a year, and my daughter loves the Museum. I don't know that I'd spend more than a day in Bozeman, though, unless you were also going to drive over to Lewis & Clark Caverns for a tour. The Caverns are about an hour from Bozeman.

Honestly, we took our daughter to Yellowstone when she was six. The highlights: Museum of the Rockies and the waterslide at the hotel in Big Sky. She was pretty underwhelmed by Yellowstone. However, my mom took my daughter and two nieces this year, and they all had fun. But they all prefer the Museum of the Rockies to Yellowstone.

But it's also a lot of extra driving to get to Bozeman, so maybe that outweighs going. The driving is a big reason Yellowstone hasn't been a huge hit with our kid.

Either way, I wouldn't miss the Tetons. They are beautiful! I love Bozeman, too, though. And the Museum is particularly great.
kureiff is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Do not miss the Tetons! One of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
KathyK is offline  
Jul 5th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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Thanks all!
Grand Teton is back in. We will still drive to Bozeman and go to the Museum of the Rockies and the Lewis and Clark Caverns. We'll leave the ranch experience for another trip.
It's going to be SLC- Jackson/Grand Teton- Yellowstone-Bozeman- SLC (with a stopover to spend the night somewhere in the middle).
lol2g is offline  
Jul 5th, 2011, 07:40 PM
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Glad to hear that the Tetons are back in. GTNP is absolutely stunning. Stay in the park if you can. Jackson Lake Lodge is a good family place.
TML14 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2011, 03:24 AM
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If you stay in the park, which we like to do, Jackson Lake Lodge is our favorite. However, with two young children, you might also consider Colter Bay cabins. They are two bedrooms, which can be nice. Jackson Lake Lodge is a little more centrally located.

Also, we have liked to break up the two parks with a night in Jackson. Our children have enjoyed a night with TV, better restaurants, and a "city" to break up all the hiking and wildlife viewing. You might consider visiting Bozeman in between GTNP and YNP.
Digbydog is offline  
Jul 6th, 2011, 04:40 AM
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Good plan!

I will second the Jackson Lake Lodge. We stayed there as well as Old Faithful Inn on last year's trip.

We had breakfast in the Mural Room (see above) - an amazing way to start the day. Try the breakfast buffet with signature made to order waffles.

Dinner was fun in the Pioneer Grill - good food at the longest soda fountain counter anywhere. Good pie too
starrs is offline  
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