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Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

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Canton, Ohio
posts: 107
reviews: 27
Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

I leave in two weeks for Yellowstone and am printing out a booklet based on information I've found. Before I just deleted it, thought I share it in case it's of use to anyone!

Planning:

Before leaving Bozeman get bear spray, snacks, etc.

Expect 1-3 hours of driving a day

Fill up gas in outside of Yellowstone or get it in Jackson - cheaper

2 nights in Canyon/ 2 nights OF or West Yellowstone (do not stay at Grant Village)

Sunrise/sunset times (very cool): http://www.sunrisesunset.com/

Picknicking services in the park: www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/picnic.htm

Get cooler for drinks/snacks

National Park info: http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Visit West Yellowstone Visitor Center for info

Last week in Sep is prime for fall foliage in Tetons and elk run in Yellowstone

Elk run - watch for bulls, they can decide to charge for no reason

Grand Teton boat ride to Jenny Lake (best photos of Grand Teton in morning)

Jackson - good lodging and food

Firehole Drive is cool (a right turn just north of Fountain Paint Pots)

Some say can see Grand Teton/Jenny Lake and Old Faithful in same day

Makes for a long day to do Lamar Valley and drive back to West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone to Lamar Valley via dunraven Pass (long day)

Itinerary suggestions:

One day - Geothermal areas around OF

One day - Canyon with walks and views and maybe Hayden Valley, mudpots and Lake

One day - Northern loop of Lamary Valley, Mammoth area (minerva terrace) and Norris geyser basin

One day - hiking (Mt. Washburn and Fairy Falls)

One day - Grand Tetons (Oxbow Bend is must)

Do Upper Geyser Basin in morning at beginning of trip in case you want to visit again.

Only have predictions for 6 geysers, others you just get lucky.

Do Artist Paint Pots the afternoon from Mammoth to Old Faithful

Lamar Valley at dusk ~ more animals, wolves (from roadside)

Top 10: http://yellowstone.net/intro/top-10/

Another trip looked like this:

Day 1 - Grand Teton, Old Faithful, Midway Geyeser Basin, Fountain Paint Pots, stay W. Yellowstone

Day 2 - W. Yellowstone to Norris, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Hayden Valley, Sulfur Cauldrons and lake Yellowstone, return to Canyon Village to stay

Day 3 - Canyon to Tower-Roosevelt and Lamar Valley. Evening in Lamar for wildlife. Stay at Roosevelt Cabins

Day 4 - Morning wildlife in Lamar, Mammoth, then hiking and such.

New York City, New...
posts: 160
reviews: 32
1. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Thanks for sharing your notes. Just wanted to mention that the boat service across Jenny Lake has stopped earlier than usual this year due to low water levels in the lake. The walk around the south end of Jenny Lake to reach the trail for Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point/Cascade Canyon will add an extra 2 miles to your hike each way. On the plus side, that hike is likely to be less crowded as a result of the additional walk. Have a great time. We're leaving Friday and planning to do much the same as you. We'll be sure and post a trip report.

Canton, Ohio
posts: 107
reviews: 27
2. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Yes, that was a bummer about the boat. These were just the start of my notes before any real understanding of the immense task! Fyi, bc of the boat situation, Jenny Lake Visitor Center will have guided hikes at 9:30. The girl I spoke to didn't know where the hike would go that far in advance, but it is first-come, fist-serve.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,489
reviews: 67
3. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Zoesah, thanks for sharing your notes. Come back after your trip and let us know what worked and what didn't! It looks like you have many possibilities there.

BTW, it is the elk RUT, not run. When I stay in West Yellowstone in Sept, I try to leave West Yellowstone by 6:45-ish which is when it is starting to get light. I usually eat a quick breakfast in my room, but also have stuff for a picnic breakfast and eat it in one of the pullouts along the west entrance road. With luck the elk will be nearby! (or, lol, ON and IN the road!)

Pam

Canton, Ohio
posts: 107
reviews: 27
4. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Oh goodness! Yep, it is rut! I'm telling you, I have about a 25-page info packet I've made up for myself (with a lot of accumulated info from here!), so I don't even think I'm reading straight anymore.

The only breakfast we don't have to worry about is the W. Yellowstone because the One Horse Motel provides breakfast foods!

One other tip that I've read that won't work for us, but wanted to put out there.

Ernie's Bakery/Deli does have a box lunch with your choice of sandwich, chips, apple, candy and a drink. Right now it's $9.71, but you won't have to worry about much that day with lunch at your fingertips!

Two weeks to go... woohoo!!!! Of course, my camera broke. Yep. So, going to have to get a new one this week, I suppose!

Canton, Ohio
posts: 107
reviews: 27
5. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Here's another website... that I got the Ernie's tip from ~ that gives some itinerary alternatives. www.secretyellowstone.com/tourism/itineraries

Burlington, Iowa...
posts: 483
reviews: 13
6. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Just a tip to add to your box lunch idea at Ernie's, the dining rooms in the park offer box lunch also, just request the night before.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,489
reviews: 67
7. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

Also, Bear Country Bakery in West does box lunches.

I totally understand how it is when your brain is so full of plans!

Pam

Canton, Ohio
posts: 107
reviews: 27
8. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

I just read to keep watch for a yellow plane. If you see it, it is a wolf expert documenting movement. It was a comment on this link that is pretty good if you want an idea of how long some of these walks can be. I wouldn't write it in stone, but it gives one an idea of much you can do in one day. A week and one day to go until my own trip!

yellowstoneinsider.com/plans/touring/suggest…

Canton, Ohio
posts: 107
reviews: 27
9. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

A great page of eating options all around the area: www.youryellowstonevacation.com/index.php…

Tips on clothing based on season: www.youryellowstonevacation.com/index.php…

Overall, this website is an excellent resource! Look at all the options.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,489
reviews: 67
10. Re: Notes/tips I've found online for itineraries and trip plans

I think they are underestimating their times. I don't think they are accounting for stopping and looking!

For instance they give a time of 30 minutes for Upper Terrace Drive at Mammoth. It might be 30 minutes if you don't stop and walk the boardwalk out to Canary Spring or stop at some of the other features to watch them bubble and spurt. The road is short, but old, crumbling and one lane. If you get behind someone who is slow (me, lol!) that will have an impact. (Altho I do pull into the parking spots whenever someone comes up behind me.) You also may see some wildlife back in here...I have often seen mule deer, so that takes some stopping and watching!

They also give a time of 20 minutes for the Lower terraces. This would probably be accurate to park, walk out the short board walk to the main area by Liberty Cap and walk back to the car. You could not walk the rest of the boardwalk area and look at birds and other interesting things in 20 minutes.

I am admittedly a geyser nut, so I can take all day in the Upper Geyser Basin, but I will sit and wait for things to erupt and I will watch the whole eruption...well maybe not Sawmill which can go as long as 80 minutes.

The times for the Canyon rims seem way off too. You may be able to do to South Rim in 30 minutes if you drive across the bridge, race to the end of the road, find a parking spot near the trail head, walk out to Artist Point, take a look at the lower falls and head on back. When I am solo it takes me longer than that at Artist Point. You have to look in the downstream direction. You need to look with binocs to see if you see any interesting birds. You have to look at the green stripe in the waterfall. You have to just stand there in awe that there is THAT much water plunging over the falls every day of every year etc, etc. You have to look from the viewing platform, then again from the walkway to it.

They also say 45 minutes for the North Rim/several points. Well, all the viewpoints require a walk down. I would say the Brink of the Upper Falls takes me at least a half an hour down and back (probably more if it is a visit where I am out of shape!). I am old, I am slow! Perhaps you could take in several viewpoints if you jogged down and up!

So...point being, if you need an estimate of time, I might double what they say for seeing various sites. Some you might not enjoy as much so you will move quicker, some you might enjoy and want to savor, so you will take longer.

I am getting excited for you!

Pam