Yellowstone this summer?

Old Jun 20th, 2022, 06:50 AM
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Yellowstone this summer?

We are booked for our first visit to Yellowstone the second week of August. The plan was to stay 2 nights at Canyon Lodge, then one night at Old Faithful Inn before heading to the Tetons for 4 nights. All reservations are booked and can be cancelled. Flying in/out of Bozeman, traveling with two kids - 12 and 10.

At this stage we assume that Mammoth and Lamar are off limits and won't be open when we get there. This could change but for now let's assume this is the case. Just curious as to what those of you with a lot of experience with the park think of the odd/even license plate plan and how traffic being limited to the southern portion of the park is going to impact the overall experience? There is clearly still plenty to see and do in the park so we are considering staying the course and making the most of it.

In GTNP we had booked Colter Bay Village but staying at the edge of Jackson Lake right now is also not ideal. The marina is already closed for the season and the lake is not expected to reach 50% volume this year. So we are considering staying in Teton Village instead and taking day trips into GTNP.

Last edited by alanl8119; Jun 20th, 2022 at 06:52 AM.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 07:38 AM
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If the West Yellowstone entrance is closed, go south to Rexburg ID and then across through Driggs to get to Jackson WY. Obey the speed limits in the parks and if you stop for wildlife viewing, get all 4 wheels off the pavement before exiting the car. Gas up before entering either park.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 08:22 AM
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The west, east and south entrances will reopen on Wednesday. A partial reopening of the northern loop is expected in 2 weeks https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/emerge...-reopening.htm so you'll have access to Mammoth but maybe not Lamar. There was talk of allowing access from Tower to Lamar if they can figure out a turn around point for cars as the road is washed out around Soda Butte past Lamar but I don't know what the timeline is or whether it will actually happen. You can still visit Hayden Valley and Canyon Lodge would be well positioned for that. I'm wondering if the alternating license plate will be temporary until they can get a different system in place. The park superintendent mentioned that it would take 3-4 weeks to set up an online reservation system so perhaps that's still being considered. With lodging reservations inside the park, I don't think you'll be affected anyway.

If you stay in Teton Village there's construction on Moose-Wilson Rd so the road is only open from 7pm Friday until 7am Monday. On weekdays you'll need to drive around via Jackson to enter Grand Teton https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/roads.htm Colter Bay is well located so I would probably keep that reservation or check if there's availability at Signal Mountain Lodge. Their marina is operating this year. Leeks Marina north of Colter Bay is also operating this year. While Colter Bay marina is dry, other parts of Jackson Lake at Colter Bay have water though everywhere appears low.

Here are some photos I took the second week in May. Water levels should be a bit higher now and continue to rise through July.

Colter Bay Marina


Jackson Lake from Lakeshore trail behind the Colter Bay visitor center

Last edited by Patty; Jun 20th, 2022 at 08:32 AM.
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for the info on the Moose-Wilson Road - that would have been an unwelcome surprise adding a good bit of travel to our Teton day trips. I am assuming that we will prioritize seeing the Tetons vs. Jackson Hole. My son loves downhill mountain biking but we may need to save that for another trip.

For now I will keep the itinerary as-is:

Canyon Lodge - 2 Nights
Old Faithful Inn - 2 Nights
Colter Bay Village - 3 Nights
​​​​​​​
Assuming the north end of the park is accessible two nights at Old Faithful will allow us to venture north if we want to see Mammoth.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 09:00 AM
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Does anybody knows if the park is reopen on all sides now?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 09:44 AM
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No - North and Northeast will be closed for some time. Check nps.gov / yell for updates.
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 12:22 PM
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There will be limited vehicle access between Tower and Slough Creek with a reservation system soon https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/220613.htm
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