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Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

Newark, DE
posts: 50
reviews: 7
Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

Here is a rough itinerary for our (husband and 2 daughters ages 16 and 14) trip to Yellowstone/GTNP next summer:

7/24 - Arrive in Jackson - pick up rental car/SUV stay overnight in Jackson (any lodging suggestions?)

7/25 - drive to OF - overnight in Snow Lodge cabin

7/26 - OF - overnight in Snow Lodge cabin

7/27 - overnight in Canyon Western Cabin

7/28 - overnight in Canyon Western Cabin

7/29 - overnight in Roosevelt Rough Rider Cabin

7/30 - drive Beartooth Hwy to the Vista then back down to Cody via the Chief Joseph Hwy - overnight at Cody Cowboy Village

7/31 - drive to GTNP- overnight at Signal Mtn. Lodge

8/1 - overnight at Signal Mtn. Lodge

8/2 - fly home from Jackson

All lodging is booked except arrival night in Jackson. I have not made my flight reservations/car rental yet either.

Any comments/suggestions much appreciated!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,712
reviews: 67
1. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

Looks wonderful! You have done some great homework. If you would like I can do a detailed itinerary for each of your Yellowstone days. If that's not something that would be helpful to you that's fine too!

Pam

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 16,008
reviews: 256
2. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

Looks great and like Pam said you've done your homework.

For lodging in Jackson Hole check out Rustic Inn, Lexington Inn or Wyoming Inn (bit pricey).

For car rentals compare at www.carrentals.com and if you have AAA, Costco, Sam's Club or any other discounts use them. Also note that Thrifty and Dollar charge for extra drivers- $10 per day that is not included in quoted rates.

If you want a book suggestion for Christmas then I have enjoyed using Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple for all our visits to the park.

Newark, DE
posts: 50
reviews: 7
3. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

Pam I would love a detailed itinerary for the Yellowstone days!

And PeachBelle thank you for the lodging and car rental suggestions. I bought a copy of Yellowstone Treasures and it looks like it will be very helpful

Debbie

Bemidji, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 2,399
reviews: 8
4. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

If you and the rest of the family are planning to do any hikes (and you should) you want to get your hands on a book titles, "A Rangers Guide to Yellowstone Day Hikes".

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 9,712
reviews: 67
5. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

OK, Debbie! As always, modify to meet your family's needs and know that just because you have an itinerary doesn't mean you have to stick to it if something more interesting comes up (mama bear and cubs, wolves, pikas (lol), awesome geyser eruption, etc). It's just a guide to head you in a direction from your lodging with an indication of what you might see for the day.

7/25 Tour some of Jackson or GTNP in the AM and head up to Yellowstone. Stop at the waterfalls you come to and West Thumb Geyser Basin. When you get to OF, head to Visitor Center first. Get the brochure at the desk (50 cents) with the map of the geyser basin on it and note the eruption times for the predictable geysers. You might be able to see some of them this afternoon. There also may be a Ranger-led program this afternoon. You also might want to get ice cream on the 1st floor of the Old Faithful Inn and take it up to the 2nd floor deck overlooking the geyser basin to enjoy. Overnight at Snow Lodge

7/26 Make this your geyser day. Start with the Upper Geyser Basin as it can get pretty hot in the afternoon. There is a pretty good Ranger-led program at 8:30 if you want. Otherwise, I like to start at Old Faithful, then go to the left side around OF, cross the bridge behind OF over to Geyser Hill. If there is an eruption soon, the Observation Point overlook is terrific. I like to do Geyser Hill (an OF eruption from here is good too!) then head down the Geyser Basin on the boardwalk to Morning glory pool (vault toilet here) and back up to the VC/Inn area on the paved path. After you are finished with the geyser basin, get in the car and head back out to the main road. Go in the direction of Madison Junction. Do Midway geyser basin, then take a right into Firehole Lake Dr. There is an awesome predictable geyser along here, so if you see people stopped by Great Fountain geyser, stop! When you get back to the loop road, turn right and head to Madison Jct. If anyone needs a pit stop there are flush toilets at Madison. Head back toward Old Faithful, turning in to Firehole Canyon Dr., then pick up Fountain Paint Pots and if you are not geysered out, Biscuit and Black Sand Basins. Check out the evening Ranger program. Overnight at Snow Lodge

7/27 Head toward Canyon via Madison. Check out Gibbon Falls and Artist Paint Pots. Stop at Norris geyser basin, which is another one I find hot in the afternoon, so prefer to do it in the morning. Head toward Canyon taking the Virginia Cascade Drive. If you are interested in the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center or IMAX in West Yellowstone do that this morning, then head back in toward Norris. At Canyon, do the Visitor Center, see what the evening program is and ask the rangers where people are seeing wildlife. Perhaps you can see some of the Canyon overlooks. I would probably head down into Hayden Valley as far as Grizzly Overlook looking for wolves or bear. You will likely see bison with no problem. Keep a watch for people with long camera lenses and spotting scopes and pull over when you see them. Overnight at Canyon

7/28 Finish doing your Canyon overlooks and head back south in to Hayden Valley. Do Mud Volcano then Fishing Bridge. Be sure to stop and walk across Fishing Bridge. You are looking for wildlife here, not the actual bridge itself. You might head a little east on the East entrance road if people have been spotting bear out here. Head back toward Canyon stopping at LeHardy Rapids (birds and possibly bear). Depending on your time, you might want to go over Dunraven Pass to Tower Fall and some of the overlooks north of there to Roosevelt, backtracking to Canyon. Overnight at Canyon

7/29 Today, Head toward Norris, then turn North to Mammoth. As you head downhill into Mammoth, you will see the Upper Terrace Dr on your left. Go ahead and do this now. Drop on down in to Mammoth. The best bathrooms here are between the gas station and the bus parking lot just past Liberty Cap. Do the Lower Terraces and Visitor Center. Get ice cream at the General Store. From Mammoth, head east toward Tower Roosevelt Jct stopping at waterfalls along the way. Turn in to Blacktail Plateau Dr. Many see bear and moose back in here. When you get back to the main road, take the next right in to Petrified Tree. The tree is not too spectacular, but again, many see black bear back in here. At Roosevelt, depending on your time, you might want to take a quick run out in to Lamar Valley looking for wildlife. Overnight at Roosevelt

7/30 Head east from Roosevelt into Lamar Valley again stopping if you see folks with long camera lenses or spotting scopes. I always like to stop at Soda Butte (small outcrop on the right which is signed) and look at the cliff swallows around behind it. Head thru Cooke City and up Beartooth to Rock Creek Vista. Keep your eyes peeled even out of Cooke City for wolves, bear and moose. Return to Chief Joseph then down to overnight in Cody

7/31 Re-enter Yellowstone via the East entrance, turn south at Fishing Bridge toward West Thumb. Overnight in Jackson

If you all want hikes, you can work hikes in any day. There are short, easy hikes in all areas as well as longer more challenging ones. The Rangers at every Visitor Center can help you choose these. There are also awesome Ranger-led hikes and programs in all areas. I find it is better to look at the schedule for the Ranger programs ahead of time just to work out times. Here is a link to the Ranger programs for 2012 but they are usually similar from year to year.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/rangerprog.htm

Hiking link:

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

If you are not interested in hiking, don't worry, there is plenty to keep you occupied without hikes. You will walk a lot, especially on your geyser basin days!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Pam

Newark, DE
posts: 50
reviews: 7
6. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

Pam,

Thanks you so much for taking the time to do the detailed itinerary for us!

I will let you know if I have any questions.

Debbie

7. Re: Itinerary Comments and Suggestions Please!

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