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Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

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Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

Hello All,

We are family of 4 (2 adults and 2 girls age 7 & 10). We’ll be visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton this summer. After doing some initial research below is what I’m thinking for our trip. Looking for advise on itinerary to make sure we cover what we can during our trip. I understand our lodging situation is not the best within YS park, but we are doing this trip with another 2 families. So this is what we could get from lodging prospective when we booked it last December.

Day 1 - Jun 23, Saturday - Fly into Cody late night.

Day 2 - June 24, Sunday - Buffalo Bill Center, Rodeo & Cook out. Trip to grocery store to get supplies: cooler, bear spray, food and picnic items). Overnight in Cody.

Day 3 - June 25, Monday - Meet friends around 10 AM at north east entrance (they will be coming rapid city). Do Lamar Valley, Tower-Roosevelt, Tower Fall & Mount Washburn, Mount Washburn Trail. If possible end of day cowboy cookout at Roosevelt lodge (6:00 PM) and drive to Mammoth Lodge for overnight stay. Would it be possible to 6:00 PM dinner and then drive. Hoping it won’t be too dark by the time we reach the lodge.

Day 4 - June 26, Tuesday- Mammoth Hot Springs & Minerva Terrace, Gibbon Falls, Norris Geyser Basin. End of day drive to Canyon Lodge for overnight stay.

Day 5 - June 27, Wednesday - The Grand Canyon (2 hours to Half Day) and the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Artist Point, Uncle Tome's Trail. End of day drive to Grant Lodge for overnight stay.

Day 6 - June 28, Thursday - Hayden Valley, Mud Volcano, Yellow Stone Lake, Pelican Creek Nature Trail, West Thumb Geyser Basin, West Thumb Trail. End day drive to Grant Lodge for overnight stay.

Day 7 - June 29, Friday - Old Faithful, Upper Geyser Basin and Morning Glory Pool, Midway Geyser Basin & the Grand Prismatic Spring, Lower Geyser Basin. End of day drive to Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

Day 8 - June 30, Saturday - revisit geyser or valley area if something is missed. End of day drive to Virginia lodge in Jackson hole.

Day 9 - July 1, Sunday - In GTNP, 42 Mile Scenic Loop Drive in GTNP. Ferry at Jenny Lake to the trailheads for Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls. If possible, do Cascade Canyon. Lunch around 1:30 at Jackson lake lodge. 1 hour narrative boat tour on Jackson Lake. Hike/kayak around Jackson lake. End of day drive back to Virginia lodge in Jackson hole.

Day 10 - July 2, Monday- In GTNP, start early and do snake river float or rafting. Tram/Gondola at Teton Village. End of day drive to Virginia lodge in Jackson hole. Attend Hootenanny at Dornan's. Need recommendations on what else we can do this day.

Day 11 - July 3, Tuesday - Overnight stay is Canyon lodge. Thinking of covering east Yellowstone area again. Need recommendations on what else we can do this day if east Yellowstone is covered in day 3 & 5.

.

Day 12, July 4, Fly home from Cody. Flight is around noon. What time should be leave canyon lodge in the morning. I was thinking around 9 AM. Please advise.

Please advise if this looks good or any other recommendations you have. Looking into zip inning or paragliding but not sure if it would be worth the time & cost.

Thanks!

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16 replies to this topic
Georgia
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1. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

I think it's a grand plan. I would choose another meet up point - "

Meet friends around 10 AM at north east entrance (they will be coming rapid city)"

That's wildly ambitious IMO. Choose a place where the other party can enjoy exploring rather than waiting for the others (for up to hours if they are running late.

Day 9 has way too much in it.

But that also answers your last question for Day 10.

I think you need another night in the Tetons though. You have so much time in YNP and not enough in the Tetons - IMO.

Georgia
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2. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

"

Day 12, July 4, Fly home from Cody. Flight is around noon. What time should be leave canyon lodge in the morning. I was thinking around 9 AM. Please advise."

You need more time.

It's fine to use your last day driving back through YNP but I'd spend the night before a noon flight in or close to Cody.

9 am is NOT enough time for the drive from Canyon, to Cody, return rental car and check in for your flight. I'd be shocked if you made that flight.

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Cody
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3. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

Thanks for the quick response. My return light is at 1 PM from Cody. Will look into Cody rentals for last night.

Will adjust the plan for Day 9 & 10.

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Cody
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4. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

With the possibility of wildlife jams in the park and road construction, you would need to allow a LOT of time if you choose to drive from Canyon to Cody on the morning before your flight. I would leave long before 9 am if I were to do it. I'd be far more comfortable staying close to Cody and that would give you a morning in Cody at the end of the trip -

https:/…parkroads.htm

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Cody
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5. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

And there is road construction around the east entrance to the park.

trib.com/lifestyles/recreation/fishing-bridg…

Spery, Iowa
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6. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

We met our daughter and son-in-law in Cooke City. They came from ND and we came from Iowa. DH set a time, and as we pulled in, they were walking across the street. There are places to see, a nice little museum there and stores. No cell service, so set a place.

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7. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

Here are my thoughts:

Day 3: Are your friends overnighting in Red Lodge? This is the only possible scenario where the meet-up plan will work. It possibly would work from Billings but it would mean an extra hour of drive time on their part. Drive time over Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge to the NE entrance is about 2-2.5 hours with minimal stops. Do not go by googlemaps suggested times on this (or any time near or within the parks). Any chance they could also spend last night in Cody? That is about a day's drive from Rapid City if that is where they are spending the equivalent of your day 1. OK, so say you meet up....I do not think you'd have time to do the trail up Washburn and get back for the cookout. Do you have reservations for this already? It does sell out. If you do have reservations, I'd just do Lamar, Tower and the Northern Range toward Mammoth. This time of year you may have plenty of wildlife opportunities. If you want a shorter hike, consider Trout Lake on the NE entrance road. This year has also been a heavy snow year so there may still be some snow in the shady areas along the Dunraven side of Mt Washburn. Today or tomorrow pick up the Jr Ranger workbooks for the kids from the Mammoth Visitor Center.

Day 4: This looks fine. Just a heads up so expectations are managed. Minerva Terrace is currently dry. The thermal water shifts around and unless it's started up in the last few weeks, this big terrace (which you might remember if you visited in the 90s or before) is not as impressive as it once was. The energy has shifted a bit altho apparently the water output is the same as it always been. You can view the newly forming travertine terraces from along the boardwalk.

Day 5: This looks fine. There is trail reconstruction going on at Canyon and Uncle Tom's is closed and scheduled to open in July. Check with the Canyon Visitor Center Ranger to see what the status is when you are there.

https:/…canyonprojects.htm

Day 6: This looks good. Storm Point trail is fun. There is a marmot colony near the mid-point (when you are actually at Storm Point). There is to be road construction starting the 1st of June along the road around Fishing Bridge. Not sure what impact it will have. The FB Visitor Center has a fun room for kids and a nice lake shore area out back.

Day 7: This looks good as well. Hold off on Midway until late afternoon/early evening as usually the parking lot is jammed. If you can hit it when others are eating dinner and the tour buses and day visitors have left for the day that would be good!

Day 8: Yes, this too looks good.

Day 11: You won't be able to do everything you have listed for Day 6 so you've got plenty to do including the suggestion for Storm Point. Also Natural Bridge is a fun hike.

Day 12: I'm concerned about this. It's a good 2 hours from the Fishing Bridge Junction to Cody without road construction. WITH construction you need to add at least 30 minutes. Add 45 minutes from Canyon to Fishing Bridge. If your flight is at noon, it is probably recommended that you arrive at 10. You'd want to leave Canyon by 630A for this to work. I'd want to be out of Canyon by 6A but I am really risk averse when it comes to catching flights.

https:/…parkroads.htm

editing to add: Sorry, was cross-posting with you. Yes, I think staying that last night in Cody is a better plan.

Pam

Edited: 12 May 2018, 09:10
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8. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

@D0bby : Thanks for your advice.

Day 3 we'll proceed as planned if we do not meet our friends at 10 AM. They will also do the same if we do not reach on time. Idea here is we'll able to catch each other on the way to Mammoth Lodge. I haven;t done cook out reservations @Roosevelt yet. Wanted to make sure time wise we'll be good to reach the lodge if we do it. We are already doing another cook out @Cody a night before so this is not a big deal if my plan cannot accommodate it.

Day 12: After all the suggestions here, moving my reservations to hotel in Cody.

Let me know if you all suggest any other attractions/hikes which we should look into. I have two days (day 8 and 11) reserved to visit what we might miss or want to do it again.

Thanks!

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Cody
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9. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

Yes, you can get back to Mammoth after the cookout, mostly before darkness falls. They time it so people can return to Mammoth and Canyon.

Pam

Spery, Iowa
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10. Re: Advice and Suggestions on YS & GTNP trip June 2018

Cody cookout and rodeo- do you have time for both? You could do rodeo on your night 11 before flight.

Day 8 I think you will need for more time in the thermal areas on the west side. Geyser predictions, walking the basins, side drives, can easily fill 2 days.

Day 11 will be going from GTNP to Cody, so pick up anything you missed in YNP on day 6 the way.

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