YNP and GTNP Trip Help Needed

Old May 6th, 2007, 12:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 17
YNP and GTNP Trip Help Needed

Hi - I planned this itinerary for our trip to YNP and GTNP in July - 14th to the 24th. Please take a look at it and tell me if I've tried to do too much, too little, am missing something spectacular(although it all seems spectacular). Any and all suggestions are welcome - this is a dream trip for me so the more ideas the better! The lodging is set but I have no idea for eating places so those ideas are welcome as well. It's pretty long and involved so thanks for your patience in looking it over!

Day 1 - Fly into Cody - Lodging at Holiday Inn in Cody...reservations already made. Rodeo that night.
Day 2- Stay in Cody and see the Buffalo Bill Center and Old Trail Town.
Day 3 - YNP East Entrance. See Yellowstone Lake, Fishing Bridge, Canyon Area including Upper and Lower Falls, Do the Mt. Washburn Hike from Dunraven Pass Parking and then back to Cody.
Day 4 - YNP East Entrance. Fountain Paint Pot Trail Hike after taking Grand Loop Road past Madison area, Old Faithful Boardwalk Trail, Lunch at Old Faithful Inn(people say this is a do not miss!) and travel on down to Jackson where we have reservations in town at The Antler Inn.
Day 5 - GTNP from Jackson. Moose visitor center, Menor's Ferry Historic Area, Jenny lake boat ride over and hike to Inspiration Point, Colter Bay Visitor Center, Indian Arts Museum, Cunningham Cabin and back to Jackson for the night.
Day 6 - GTNP. Snake river 10 mile scenic float trip through Barker-Ewing and then back to Cody for the night.
Day 7 - Thermopolis. This day is up in the air but possibly the dinosaur dig if I can get someone to tell me how it is?
Day 8 - Chief Joseph Highway Scenic drive up to Cooke City and then over the Beartooth to Red Lodge and back to Cody. I've been told this is another do not miss for scenery.
Day 9 - YTNP East Entrance. Tower Falls, Specimen Ridge, Mammoth Hot Springs and Fort Yellowstone and the Roosevelt Arch, Stagecoach ride and the the Cookout from Roosevelt Tower.
Day 10 - We have nothing planned here yet and are waiting to see some ideas and suggestions.
Day 11 - Fly home.
carol222 is offline  
Old May 6th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,602
Hi Carol,

I assume you couldn't get lodging inside the park? You're going to be doing a lot of driving!

On Day 4 you would be better off staying in West Yellowstone, if you must. This will be a VERY long day driving all through the park to the west and then down to Jackson.

It's a long drive into the park from Cody and you are doing that drive several times.

Keep trying for lodging inside the park.
Dayle is offline  
Old May 6th, 2007, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,456
I agree with Dayle, a lot of driving.

Why not try for places to stay in one of the YS gateway towns if you cannot get inside the Park. Cooke City, Gardiner or even West Yellowstone all are handy to the Park. Its a long drive time wise from Cody to the Park. Road construction will also come into play when driving in and around the area. The summer is short and that is the only time they can do any work. Also you may want to keep in mind the roads are mountainous and two lane. You may also come upon a bear or elk jam that can slow you down as well, and besides you will also want to stop and look!!



RedRock is offline  
Old May 6th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I AGREE. The driving back and forth, particularly Mt. Washburn BACK to Cody hits me as being silly. Sorry to use an extreme phrase like that, but it is a long drive for no real purpose because you just turn around and repeat the same trip the next day.

It takes extra time just recovering lost ground when you could be seeing the park rather than sitting in a vehicle redoing what you have already done.

The Thermopolis to the Beartooth highway makes no sense at all.

My suggestion is to tear it up and start over after you have taken a look at a good road map.

You may not be able to because of the scarcity of reservations, but I sure as heck would try. Otherwise you are running up and down the road essentially going nowhere.

brookwood is offline  
Old May 6th, 2007, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I agree with the other responses - too much driving. Why Cody for most of your overnights? Driving into Yellowstone from Cody is going to get old very fast. Are you spending the night in Thermopolis or heading back to Cody?

Check the towns that RedRock mentioned and/or get on the Xanterra website or give them a call for park lodging. I've lucked out with last minute cancellations.

wtm003 is offline  
Old May 7th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 17
I appreciate the constructive comments...the lodging had been set up based on a recommendation by a friend who lives in Jackson long before I realized the construction and travel times. I will look into Cooke City lodging for a couple of the nights and West Yellowstone - thanks for the links redrock. The park is full at this point but I will attempt to keep trying to see about cancellations. No we will not be staying in Thermopolis - we will drive the two hours back to Cody at the end of the day and then do the beartooth drive from Cody. Sorry brookwood, I must not have made that clear for you to misread it like that. The lodging is what it is at this point so I will not be tearing up the itinerary and the reason for heading back to Cody after the day ending with the Mt. Washburn hike is because I don't like to sleep in my car.

Putting the lodging and driving issues aside does anyone have any comments on the itinerary as far as what is planned once we're in the park? And what is the drive time approximately from Cooke City to Jackson? Thanks again for helping...
carol222 is offline  
Old May 7th, 2007, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,456
We have stayed at the Hoosier Motel in Cooke City several times its clean but spartan. We also have camped many times at Soda Butte CG (National Forest) just out of town and the NPS CG Pebble Creek inside the Park. While in the NE part of the Park you may want to visit the Lamar Valley during the early morning or evening hours. Good place to see wolves, bear and bison. Few venture off the Grand Loop and visit that area. This area was untouched by the fires of 88. I would allow 5 or even 6 hours drive time from Cooke city to Jackson. On the roads you will encounter it does not pay to even think about getting in a hurry...

RedRock is offline  
Old May 7th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I agree that I would go from Mt. Washburn to West Yellowstone and begin Day 4 from there. The Fountain Paint Pot Trail will be on your way in. There is quite a bit to see on that loop of the Park (from Madison to Old Faithful). Off the top of my head, Norris Basin area, Firehole River area and different thermal areas on the way to Old Faithful area (take the Observation Trail at Old Faithful).

What is so special about lunch at Old Faithful Inn (we have been there, but didn't eat lunch)? We're planning on going there about a month after you and may add that to our itinerary.

Add Signal Mountain overlook to Day 5 or 6. If you have time, it was interesting to see Jackson Lake Lodge and walk behind it on some of the short trails there (we didn't stay there).

You have alot planned on some days, and may not be able to get to it all -- if I were you, I would leave the last day free to do something you may have missed on one of the other days.
maj is offline  
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