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melanie8 Feb 28th, 2006 12:50 PM

Yellowstone or Grand Canyon
For those of you who have done Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, what was your favorite and why? I was considering doing both in the same vacation, but have decided (thanks to posts on the forum) to do them in separate trips. My husband and 2 boys, 16,12 and I like nature, theater, art galleries, fine dining and my guys like fishing and white water rafting. We are not campers and prefer nicer accomodations.

gail Feb 28th, 2006 01:51 PM

We did Grand Canyon (plus Bryce and Zion) 3 years ago and Yellowstone and Grand Teton this past summer - with our currently 15 and 19 year olds.

Easy vote for me - Yellowstone. First, while the Grand Canyon is magnificent, it is just the Grand Canyon and unless you are doing some serious hiking, you are done in a day or 2. Easy add-ons are Zion and Bryce, and logical airport is Las Vegas, so if that is your thing, that would complete the trip.

Yellowstone, on the other hand, is a week or more of a vacation. Jackson Hole (a logical airport) has nice restaurants, some art galleries - and would be a good place to start or finish. It is then a short trip north to travel thru Grand Teton National Park (the only way to get to Yellowstone from there) for a day or 2 - float trips rather than white water there.

Yellowstone is best seen by staying in at least 2 different locations in Park. Variety of Park accomodations, if you can still get a reservation, but towns of Gardiner and West Yellowstone (both Montana) offer a variety of lodging types - although none I would call luxery. There are also some decent restaurants in both towns - Gardiner especially has a place called Park St. Cafe that is so good it is totally out of place in such a setting.

White water available in Gardiner and West Yellowstone thru a variety of outfits. No idea about fishing.

What was great about Yellowstone is that we would set out each day in the car armed with a map listing various interesting stops. Each involved a walk of not more than a mile (sometimes only a few hundred feet) and each was different. It was the variety of the Park that captured us. And, of course, lots of large animals - elk, bison, moose - just hanging out in the roadway or close by. For amusement you can always watch dumb tourists try to pet the wild animals and hope for a stampede.

We also went to a local rodeo in Gardiner - not something that would normally interest us - but it just fit with the vacation.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

PaulRabe Feb 28th, 2006 05:05 PM

I've been to the Canyon six times, so you can tell it's a personal favorite of mine. But there you won't find art galleries, theater, fine dining, white water rafting (without a LOT of planning and cost), or fishing. You'll find all of those near Yellowstone.

bob_brown Feb 28th, 2006 06:06 PM

I think the choice is akin to selecting between a fine dinner and a new suit of clothes. They are slightly different parks to say the least.

I see no common grounds for comparison, other than that both are national parks.

utahtea Mar 1st, 2006 11:58 AM

We've done both several times. The Grand Canyon was my very first National Park to see so it holds a special place in my heart BUT Yellowstone is hands down my very favorite National Park. There is such a varity of things to do and see. Wildlife is abudant!

The Grand Canyon is good for 2 or 3 days tops, unless you hike down into the canyon and spend the night or do a several day white water rafting trip. The Grand Canyon is great when you combine a few other places like Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.

Yellowstone on the other hand takes a good 5 to 7 days to see all there is and then add another couple days for the Grand Tetons.

The only other thing to consider is the time of the year and the weather. If this is summer, Grand Canyon & other parks are going to be hot. If this is spring or fall, then Yellowstone could have closed facilities.


soxgirl Mar 16th, 2006 05:22 PM

Clearly you can't go wrong either way. Here's another thought if you choose the Grand Canyon. After spending a few days there last April, we drove down, through Flagstaff, to Sedona, AZ. Flagstaff is a good stopover-college town with enough to do and good restaurants. But Sedona-well there's a special place. The hikes are magnificent. There are plenty of good restaurants and the gamut of accomodations. We stayed in the town of Oak Creek, a few scenic miles from Sedona and far enough away from the very commercial crowded strip you'll find there. The hikes, very varied in description and length and degree of difficulty, take you to some very spiritual sites. I believe there is rafting as well, but not too sure. I'm not saying it is "better" than Yellowtone-just an add-on that is very doable from Grand Canyon. You can't lose, whatever you pick.

TheWeasel Mar 16th, 2006 05:52 PM

Yellowstone - there's more of a variety within the park. Certainly you're more likely to see (big) wildlife there than at GC. I agree that GC is good for a couple days at most unless you're a serious hiker, while Yellowstone can hold your interest longer.

Ozarksbill Mar 17th, 2006 11:38 AM

Agree with gail and utahtea...both are great. GC Nat'l Pk has spectacular views for sure. But Yellowstone Nat'l Pk has so much variety in terms of scenery and wildlife. All depends on what those two boys really want. You have mentioned interests of your own which aren't the same for others and of course galleries and theatre will be boring to them. Fishing and hiking good in YNP, while rafting, also hiking down into the canyon is at GCNP. I haven't gotten to it in my Arizona trip report, but in the western part of the GC south rim (Peach Springs area) excellent rafting is available.


hilda Mar 17th, 2006 02:54 PM

No comparison, as beautiful as GC is,it doesnt compare to Yellowstone/Tetons area.

utahtea Mar 17th, 2006 03:16 PM

Looks like melanie8 has decided on Yellowstone.;tid=34765917


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