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We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

Saint Paul...
posts: 46
reviews: 1
We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

I have our hotels and a chuck wagon booked and whitewater rafting booked. I have had the best luck on this site for help. Everyone is awesome! My kids are 12 and 14. Here is our plan.

Day 1:(JAC) Arrive at 3pm in Jackson. Check into hotel and then head to Chuckwagon meal to kick off our trip.

Day 2:(West Y) Grocery stop and head to West Yellowstone to see sights along the way before checking into our hotel there.

*not sure what to plan/not plan. I was thinking we have to stop and get park pass. Old Faithful...then? We should get to hotel by dark- 9:08 sunset. (I printed the sunrise/sunset times as suggested on this site)We will have to stop by Lewis lake as that is our last name! LOL

Day3:(West Y)9am Ranger program

Day4:(Canyon)

Day5: (Canyon)head along beartooth pass and take time. Enjoy red lodge

Day6:(Red Lodge)head to cody. Do rodeo and fair in evening

Day7:(Cody)museum

Day8:(Cody)head to Jac thru yellowstone again

Day9:(JAC)tetons

Day10:(JAC)whitewater trip in evening

Day11:(JAC) Airport AM

So we sorta have a plan. We dont want to get too crazy overbooking but would like to know what sites we should for sure visit along our way.

I have a list of top 10 I was going to just check them off as we see them...but dont want to take it so easy that we miss the good stuff-it will all be good since we have never been there.

Never hiked before but we are all willing and able to try. I would prefer easy shorter hikes to avoid winey kids! And up close bears!

Let me know if you have ideas. Also-temps seem warm. Would one set of cool clothes be enough? Anything else?

Thanks

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 16,013
reviews: 256
1. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

Sounds like you've been doing your planning. Since you have the top ten must sees in YNP then no need to post them like I always do.

Pam who is one of the DE's will take a look at your trip plan and I am sure add her comments.

I will add this tip- since your kids are 12 and 14 if they don't have their own camera then get them each a disposable camera and let them take pictures of their favorite things- then when they get home get a photo album and they will have a lifetime memory of their trip to Yellowstone. I did this the first time we came to the park and still have the kid's photo albums.

Enjoy your trip!!

chicago, illinois
posts: 129
2. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

looks to me like day 3 would be a good Old Faithful Day in addition to your Ranger Program.

On day 2, not too far after the YNP entrance, you'll see a sign and a roadside parking area for Moose Falls - it's a tiny walk to the brink of a 25' waterfall - pretty. Then, before you get to Lewis Lake, you'll actually encounter Lewis Falls - one of my favorite falls in the park - nice place to get out & stretch again.

If you're going to do Old Faithful on Day 3, you might have time to visit West Thumb Geyser Basin on Day 2, about half hour north of Lewis Lake. Plenty of facilities there too - snack bar, little grocery, gift shop, visitor center, gas, etc.

I'll let the others chime in about other locations too. Have a great trip!

Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 1,302
reviews: 19
3. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

About three out of eleven days for Yellowstone park ... hmm ... that will leave you wishing you had scheduled more YNP time. But don't change it, it will be a terrific stimulus to return again. Enjoy!

Saint Paul...
posts: 46
reviews: 1
4. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

we will have half our trip in YNP. We could not get hotels in the park other then 2 nights in Canyon. So we have to base out of West Yellowstone as well.

Day 2 we will be going thru park before checking into hotel. Then we have 2 nights in West yellowstone to base camp from and then 2 nights in the heart of Yellowstone at Canyon. We will also have the day we leave Cody to get to Jackson to drive thru park.

I am just not sure how to break it up as to what days to see what sites. Not sure on distances and time spent at each place.

We wanted to leave enough time for the Tetons and visit Cody.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,712
reviews: 67
5. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

You will get your pass when you enter the park, so no extra stops for that.

Just a quick question. On day 3 you have a Ranger program listed at 9am. Which area will you be in for that program? That will shape that day. If it is Old Faithful, I would make that my geyser day, otherwise, I would do it the day you come in from Jackson as you suggested.

Well, ok, another question. I am not sure I understand your nights completely. So 1 in Jackson, 2 in West Yellowstone and 2 in Canyon, then a night in Red Lodge, and 2 in Cody, then back to Jackson, right? Or are you staying in Canyon, then going out to Red Lodge and Back?

So Day 3, if you are not doing geysers this day, I would do Norris and up to Mammoth with a return to West Yellowstone.

Day 4, Do Canyon, both sides then work your way down thru Hayden to include Mud Volcano and Fishing Bridge with the overnight at Canyon

Day 5 This is where I am confused, as to where you are spending the night. Back at Canyon or Red Lodge? If you are spending the night at Canyon, then I would select something in Yellowstone and do Beartooth the next day when you overnight in Cody. If you are spending the night in Red Lodge, then I would work thru Tower viewpoints before you head into Lamar and out the NE entrance.

Day 8 You will reenter Yellowstone. Be sure to pause at Fishing Bridge and walk across the bridge to see if you can see any wildlife. I would probably head back up to Hayden (Turn around at Otter Creek Picnic area unless someone needs a pit stop, then I would go ahead and go on to Canyon for the nice bathrooms.) for another chance at wildlife viewing, then head down beside the lake toward Jackson. I would do West Thumb at this time.

Pam

Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 1,302
reviews: 19
6. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

When you get up each morning, see how your mood runs, what seems interesting on that particular day. Check with the ranger at the west entrance or the VC at Madison ... or at the VC in Canyon when you're there, and they'll point you in the right direction. This way you are letting the park come to you, definitely the best way to enjoy the park. It probably will be more thermals on the west side and more wildlife from Canyon, but you never know, that's the coolest thing about the park. Enjoy!

Saint Paul...
posts: 46
reviews: 1
7. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

Pam,

I can see how it is confusing. I should have said

Night 1 Jackson

Night 2 and 3 West Yellowstone

Night 4 and 5 Canyon

Night 6 Red Lodge

Night 7 and 8 Cody

Night 9,10 and 11 Jackson

I think I had started writing what we were doing when we landed and numbered days not nights. Thank you all for the help so far. I just tried to place us all over the park for different starting points.

The ranger day was Madison for Wildlife safety. It looks like its the same time at a few places. I thought that would be the closest to where we were staying in West yellowstone. Maybe that ranger could point us in the right direction that day. It is still nice to have a plan....however, it's fun to live in the moment as well.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,712
reviews: 67
8. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

Great, that is what I was hoping. I know how it is when you look at an itinerary and type it a million times it all starts going together!

With the days you have, then I would do some of the geysers on your way to West Yellowstone, then do what you have missed on Day 3 after you do your Ranger program. At Madison you can also sign the younger kid up for Jr Ranger if you didn't do that at OF the day before. You might be able to catch a ranger talk at Old Faithful as well. The geyser basin tour is very interesting.

Day 4 do your Upper Loop tour and wind up at Canyon for the night. (Longer driving day.)

Day 5 do Canyon down to Fishing Bridge (shorter driving day)

Day 6 Take your time up to Tower and thru Lamar and out to Red Lodge.

Day 7/8 Cody

Day 9 Work the East entrance road, Fishing Bridge, maybe nip up into Hayden if you had good luck there the other day, then head out to Jackson.

You will probably live in the moment anyway! Wildlife sightings and jams have priority over any itinerary, well that and stopping for ice cream!

Pam

Burlington, Iowa...
posts: 496
reviews: 13
9. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

Make sure you get in the west gate early for your Madison ranger talk. I've seen traffic backed up for miles at the stop sign by Madison, I'd hate for you to miss it.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 2,814
reviews: 41
10. Re: We will be there Wednesday to start our 11 day trip...help?

Re - the weather. We just got back from Jackson Hole and Yellowstone - were there from 3rd - 8th) and it was overall cooler (and wetter ) than I expected. We had one day of rain followed by the next morning thick fog/low cloud. After that it improved significantly, and the evening that we went WWR was perfect. next day started well but was raining again by the evening.

Of course I should know how changeable the mountain weather is but it was not as hot as I thought it would be. Therefore I would plan to have adequate warm clothes and definitely a rain jacket just in case.