YellowStone or Grand Canyon in August?

Old Apr 16th, 2017, 11:29 AM
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YellowStone or Grand Canyon in August?

Hello, our family (kids: 23, 21, 18) would like to plan a trip to National Park late August. Our son may join us from his internship from SanFranscisco. Should we plan a Grand Canyon, Zion trip or YellowStones/ Grand Teton? Which parks are best to visit/ do hiking in August weather?

And we welcome any suggestions for best places to stay.

Thank you,
Family_5
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 01:21 PM
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Have the kids seen either or expressed which they would rather visit?
Where are you coming from? Depending on where you are coming from it might work out to meet in SLC to go to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.
If you decided on Grand Canyon, you could go to the north rim and maybe Bryce Canyon and Zion from SLC.
From San Francisco, SLC is an overnight trip on the Amtrak California Zephyr.
The north rim of the Grand Canyon will have a lot less people than the South Rim in August.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 02:22 PM
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I am a North Rim fan.But you are probably too late for very limited park lodging, especially for five or six adults. Outside park lodging is quite far. Also in park dining is very limited and crowded. Utah parks are hot in August.

So I would head north to YS which will be very crowded. Maybe Glacier for fewer people. Hate to be a downer but visiting some of the most popular parks during busiest time of year wouldn't be fun. And I do think you have left planning too late.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 04:22 PM
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finding accommodations in either park will be awfully difficult.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 05:14 PM
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I would go for Yellowstone at that time of year. Call for reservations in the park every day as people do make them a year in advance and cancel as time gets close and they find they can't make the trip.

In the mean time look for lodging in West Yellowstone, Gardner, Cody etc. and for GT look in Jackson.

If you decide on GC etc. do the same, call frequently for in park lodging and make a res. nearby in Tusayan or Cameron (Trading Post).
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 06:58 PM
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We are coming from Northern Virginia. Yes, we know that we are planning a bit late; but we just finish with the college application process so can think of vacation now! LOL

Last summer, our family went to Acadia NP & we all enjoyed it tremendously!

Thank you for all your input!
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 08:00 PM
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Yellowstone is your best weather bet. If you are going at the very end of August, the crowds may have cleared out a bit because many schools have started by then. I've gone to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons the beginning of September; the weather was perfect and the crowds had dropped off and I was able to pick up last minute cancellations in the park. You might also check Jenny Lake lodge near the south entrance to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole ski area lodging. Both locations are convenient for G.T. And Jenny Lake lodge is also convenient to Yellowstone if you can't stay in Yellowstone.

Every N.P. That you mentioned has outstanding scenery. If you are interested in wildlife as well, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons is the clear winner.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 08:22 PM
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I've been to both the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in the first half of August, and I would unhesitatingly urge you to go to YS/GT. Yellowstone is perfectly comfortable in August. Also, I suspect your chances of finding accommodation will be better there. GC is pretty damn hot. I'd hoped to be able to walk down part of the Bright Angel Trail leading down into the canyon from the South Rim, but there's a sign at the trailhead that basically warns you, IF YOU TRY WALKING THIS TRAIL BETWEEN 9 AM AND 4 PM IN THE SUMMER, YOU'RE TAKING A HECKUVA RISK. PEOPLE HAVE DIED DOING THIS. That kinda cooled my enthusiasm.

Also, YS/GT are more diverse and have a lot of different things to offer. The GC is all about The Big Ditch. You arrive, you look at it. You walk along the rim for a bit. You catch a sunset. If you don't mind the cost (c. $900 for a family of four), you take one of the hour-long helicopter tours. After that, you'll need to move on to somewhere else. It just doesn't require an extended stay, especially in August.

The question is: where else will you go? You could go to Page, take a short raft trip down the Colorado, tour the dam, do a boat ride on Lake Powell, visit a slot canyon -- but jeez, if you think the GC is hot in August, Page is even hotter. Sedona, on the other hand, is more manageable, and there's plenty to see and do there: hiking, wilderness jeep tours, helicopter rides, old mining towns and Indian ruins nearby, galleries and shopping, and fine restaurants.

But the bottom line is: both places are spectacular, and you can have a memorable trip to either, even in August. Our family certainly did.

We also agree: Acadia is great -- particularly in August! So are the parks in the Pacific Northwest.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 10:04 PM
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I vote Yellowstone. We did a road trip that included both of those destinations in July. The GC was amazing to look at, but we spent about 2 hours there and then we were done-we spent 3 full days in Yellowstone and could have seen more. We didn't camp-we stayed in a hotel somewhere about an hour outside the park in Montana, but I didn't notice an insane amount of crowds in July. Yellowstone is so big that it can accommodate a large amount of people.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 01:08 AM
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Yellowstone - so much more to do. Plenty of hikes in GTNP and Yellowstone. With 5 adults you are going to need several rooms, so that further decreases chance of finding lodging inside Parks. However, you could base at condo at Teton Village and use it as a base for GTNP and Jackson.

Then move to West Yellowstone, MT and perhaps Gardiner for a few nights each. You can do a float trip (from GTNP area) and perhaps white water rafting from Gardiner - several companies do both. Plus everything to see in Yellowstone. Login outside the Parks is so close that while you miss atmosphere of being in-Park, you lose little in way of travel time.

Agree that Grand Canyon is incredible, but options for things to do are more limited.
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Old Apr 17th, 2017, 06:20 AM
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While I recommended Yellowstone and GT, above, I must disagree with the opinions of other posters that there is little to do at Grand Canyon. GC is way more than standing on the edge and looking down. I agree August is a hot time to visit and hike down into the canyon. But August in the GC can be a lifetime experience if you raft or dory it on the Colorado River for a week or more which includes camping on secluded beaches, incredible night skies and daily hikes from the Colorado river
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Old Apr 30th, 2017, 06:37 PM
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Thank you for all your advice! We may have to wait to plan this next year since it looks like most lodgings inside the park are all booked!
So when would be the best time to visit Grand Canyon? And is South Rim or North Rim better for first timers?
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Old Apr 30th, 2017, 06:49 PM
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If you are at all flexible, for either park, call every day for lodging in the park because people really do make reservations a year ahead and then cancel when time gets close. In the mean time make a reservation near the park and keep calling for in the park.


For a first time visit, I would visit the south rim of Grand Canyon in Spring or Fall. April on is usually fine weather wise, but of course you could get a storm. Once we did, but it didn't last too long and made the place even more beautiful.

That said, we've also been in January and lucked out with lovely weather.
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Old Apr 30th, 2017, 09:42 PM
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South rim GC is your iconic GC experience. North rim is less developed and less crowded. The best months for south rim are Oct., May, Sept. and April, in that order. North rim is closed from about Oct. to May; it's cooler on the north rim with more snow. Of course, never any guarantees on weather. GC and especially south rim is crowded year around but more so in the summer months when kids are out of school. If you aren't able to make arrangements on one to two weeks notice of a cancellation, you should probably plan on reserving 13 months in advance when reservations calendar opens up, you can always cancel without penalty. If you are into hiking, another less crowded and more unique GC option is to hike Havasupai on the south rim and stay at the bottom of the canyon. The Supai Tribe runs a very rustic "hotel" or a better option is to camp.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:24 AM
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I suspect the solar eclipse will fill up both Tetons and Yellowstone Aug 15-25 but I could be wrong.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:53 AM
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I have visited the parks you mention, and Yellowstone is the only one I've visited twice. It's immense and offers a variety of geological features and wildlife.

As for north rim vs south rim at Grand Canyon, a National Park Ranger, a geologist, told us he'd had a choice of where to work, and he chose the south rim.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 12:48 PM
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If cool and hiking in glorious scenery without people is the objective, then:
https://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm

Vaga

PS. What does the doctor recommend?
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Old May 9th, 2017, 04:27 AM
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Good advices... I was in Grand Canyon as a part of tour from http://easyusatravel.com/ last year, it was great... and I thought if it`s worth to go to YellowStone this year, but now I have no doubts! Thanks everybody!
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