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Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore advice

posts: 27
Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore advice

We want to do a Teton, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore trip from 8/22 - 8/31/13 and looking for advice for our trips. We've been to Yosemite last year and it was great. Our party includes 2 adults and 12 year and 8 year old sons. Our boys are active and can do easy to moderate hiking. We plan to fly in to Jackson on Thurs 8/22 and out of Denver on Sat 3/31. We only have plans to float or whitewater rafting on 8/23 in Teton in the morning and may be drive around the park to sightsee afterwards. We are not sure of which hotels to book. So far all the hotels in the park are available except for Old Faithfull area. We are still waiting for 8/26 to open up so we can book 3 or 2 nights together at OF. Please let us know if our time allocation in each area is good. Do I need to add more time for drive to Mt. Rushmore? Also please advice on scenic drive to Mt. Rushmore and things we could do on the way there. Do we need to add one more day to our trip so that we are not so rush (may be arriving on 8/21)? Thanks for all your help.

Aug 22 fly into Jackson in the late afternoon - sleep in Jackson

Aug 23 float or whitewater in Teton - sleep in Jackson or Yellowstone?

Aug 24 Mammoth or Lake?

Aug 25 OF Snow Lodge

Aug 26 Yellowstone (not secure lodging yet)

Aug 27 OF Snow Lodge

Aug 28 Canyon Lodge

Aug 29 Stop by Cody on way to Mt. Rushmore - sleep in Keystone

Aug 30 Mt. Rushmore - sleep in Keystone or Denver?

Aug 31 fly out from Denver

Thank you for your help.

Edited: 6:02 pm, March 25, 2013
Ennis MT
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
posts: 2,484
reviews: 27
1. Re: Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore advice

You'll get lots of different opinions on this, so here's mine :-)

I would keep your first 2 nights in Jackson, since you have activities planned there. You might also consider adding a Cowboy Cookout one of those 2 nights - I think the boys would enjoy it.. Bar T-5 does a good job.

Unless you have a special interest in the geysers, I would just spend 1 night in that area. Kids generally aren't too interested in watching the steam blow and get bored with it pretty quickly.

The Lake area is my favorite - pretty and less congested than Canyon, but either of them is a good central location for accessing sights in the rest of the park.

I've only been to MT. Rushmore once - as a stop on a drive to NY. It's interesting to see, but I don't think I'd take 3 days away from YNP/GTNP to go see it - again, just my opinion.

Whatever you plan, you'll have a great trip - Enjoy!

Edited: 6:25 pm, March 25, 2013
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 18,175
reviews: 38
2. Re: Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore advice

Our family was different our kid, as a teen, loved the geyser areas and so did us grown ups. I would try to plan 2 nights in the geyser areas, 1 in the northern part and 2 or 3 in the eastern portion. Even another day in Tetons would be great.

Is Mt Rushmore a must do? It is close to 10 hour drive from Canyon Lodge to Keystone SD without stops, no time to stop in Cody. Then 7 hours to Denver. Seems like 2 full days of driving to see Mt Rushmore for an hour or 2 (really that is as long as we spent there when my kid was 9) We did enjoy other parts of the Black Hills including Jewel and Wind Cave. I would add at least 1 day if you have to see Mt Rushmore. I think less driving and more enjoying in the Teton/Yellowstone area would be a better plan or have at least 2 full days in Mt Rushmore area!

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 16,666
reviews: 279
3. Re: Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore advice

First check on one way car rental fees- they can be so very expensive.

We have done the trip to YNP, GTNP, Cody and Black Hills and had 10 days but we had been to YNP and GTNP the year before and spent a week in the parks.

IMO you need more time for YNP and you need to check on one way car rental fees to see if it is feasible or affordable. There is a lot more to the Black Hills than just Mt. Rushmore- it deserves at least 3 days for that area of SD.

4. Re: Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore advice

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