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Location itinerary - early planning

Brooklyn, New York
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Location itinerary - early planning

Hi All, I am early on in my trip planning and have a good general idea but wanted to get some early insight to see if my location breakdown works. Arriving in Bozeman Early Sat in late Aug.

First 2 nights in Gardnier

Next 3 nights - 2 at Canyon and 1 at old faithful (hoping for a cancellation) or West Yellowstone

Last 2 nights in GTNP

Drive down to Salt Lake for departure late Saturday night.

This will be my first visit along with my wife and tween daughter, my goal is to have enough time not to rush (or long drives) and be able to still see a good sampling of what Yellowstone and GTNP has to offer. Any insight would be helpful.

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9 replies to this topic
Georgia
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for Atlanta, Savannah
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1. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

You have great lodging options. Personally, I'd spend more time in the Tetons, but that's my favorite.

With 300 miles of paved roads in YNP, you'll be doing a lot of driving in Yellowstone no matter what you do. That's a main reason I like the Tetons so much = far less driving needed.

Personally, I do one loop my first day. For you, that would be the upper loop since you are staying in Gardiner and then explore in more depth and/or hike on your next day.

When you move to Canyon, I would do the lower loop and then spend the next days exploring more of the location on the lower loop in more depth.

I would definitely add your "extra" night to the Jackson Hole/ Teton section of the trip.

Read trip reports to get an idea of what people liked best on their trips.

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Bemidji, Minnesota
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

If you don't already have your airline tickets you may want to check the drop off charge for a one-way car rental. It may be to your benefit to fly in and out of the same airport.

I might try to spend just one night in Gardiner and try for 2 nights at Old Faithful or one night in Gardiner and one in Cooke City if animal viewing is higher on your desires than the geysers and hot springs.

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Gardiner
Gardiner
Montana
Old Faithful
Old Faithful
4,197 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Brooklyn, New York
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3. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

RM-MN - Thanks. I did not do a lot of research on GTNP yet as I mostly focused on Yellowstone. We always like a good hike so an extra day there might be in the plan. I will do some trip reading.

Brooklyn, New York
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4. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

Sorry got confused on the replies - onemoreroad thank you also. Animal viewing is high on the list was thinking about a Cooke City night as it looks like the best option for Lamar Valley exploring (staying outside the park).

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Lamar Valley
Lamar Valley
2,542 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Georgia
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for Atlanta, Savannah
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5. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

I agree with switching one of the Gardiner nights for Cooke City. I loved CC. It reminded me of the town (community) in Northern Exposure!

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Gardiner
Gardiner
Montana
Brooklyn, New York
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6. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

Thanks everyone - I am sure I will be back asking more questions as I get moving on the planning.

Spery, Iowa
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7. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

If you want less driving each day and not rushing in YNP, I like your number of days. Changing your lodging to Cooke City for wildlife works also. You won't need to drive the entire upper loop in a day with your different lodging locations. You can split it into smaller sections. Explore the Mammoth area on arrival day. Second day north road, Lamar Valley, then after Cooke City, explore Lamar, Tower Falls, to Canyon. Hayden Valley evening. From Canyon explore Hayden/Lake/West Thumb/Fishing Bridge/Hayden. Explore OF/west side thermals and overnight OF or West. On your way to GTNP stop at any remaing thermals and on out the south gate.

We would love a trip report!

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Lamar Valley
Lamar Valley
2,542 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Hayden Valley
Hayden Valley
931 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Brooklyn, New York
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8. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

Thank you so much for your detailed info. I think I might do a private tour on the 2nd day focusing on wildlife so I can take that research off my plate and its the most important aspect of the trip for my wife (I would stay in gardnier for the 1st 2 nights). The remaining recommendations seem perfect. Booking Canyon does not look like an issue but I think I will need to get lucky for OF lodge/Inn.

Spery, Iowa
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9. Re: Location itinerary - early planning

Sounds like a nice plan! Good Luck!

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