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Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

Jackson Ohio
posts: 157
reviews: 29
Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

I am planning the 2015 summer trip. Will be driving from Ohio (Amtrak can't get me closer than SL)

Reliving my youth with the folks seeing the west and places I visited with them as a child.

I would also appreciate activity suggestions - we are NOT hikers more than a mile is too much for the titanium hip and the trachea - the trachea also eliminates white water rafting and the like. We like to sit and see,,,

1. What month is best,,, booking this far out I should be able to choose shouldn't I?

Day 1 - arrive from south, (projected Rawlins or Lander Wy) Grand Tetons - should arrive in early afternoon. Thinking of staying at Signal Mtn. Lodge ????

Day 2 - Jackson Hole - trail ride? other?

Day 3 Grant Village - West Thumb Geyser Basin, ?? other???

Day 4 Old Faithful Inn - Midway Geyser Basin,,, ? Upper Geyser Basin ?

Day 5 Old Faithful Inn - Yellowstone Lake? I HAVE to see Grand Geyser, even if it is not erupting,,, My mother sat waiting for it for days,,,,,

Day 6 Roosevelt Lodge - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Day 7 - Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel - Mammoth Hot Springs

Day 8 Mammoth to Rapid City - is this a reasonable drive?

I appreciate all the help you will give me to make this trip as good as the one I took when I was 13. Deja Vu all over again

18 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

Best months imo are mid June to mid September. For wildlife babies then go for mid June and for generally less crowds then after Labor day in September.

I would change up lodging a bit and stay the first couple of nights (day 3 and day 4) at Old Faithful. Grant really has nothing around it and little in terms of places to eat and things to see and do. I would then try for lodging at Lake, Canyon or Roosevelt (day 5 and 6 and 7). I do not see any reason to move around to Mammoth unless you just want to do that.

It will be a full day drive to Rapid City. You can either go up thru Gardiner and on to Billings by interstate or go out east entrance to Cody and on to Rapid City by way of Devils Tower.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

Day 3 I'd suggest staying the evening at Lake Hotel/Lodge. Besides seeing Grand Teton on the way. Lewis Lake, West Thumb, Lake Yellowstone and Fishing Bridge. You could do the sightseeing tour on Lake Yellowstone. Go to Lake Butte for a great view over lake Yellowstone.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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3. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

I second PeachBelle's suggestions for lodging. It is a full day's drive from Cody to Mt Rushmore area, so don't think Gardiner to RC is reasonable unless you do Peach's route out of the park and up to I90 and over from there.

Laughing at your memories of your Mom and Grand Geyser. I, too, have sat for hours waiting for an eruption and it is completely worthwhile!! Grand is a predictable geyser with a +/- of 2 hours, which means it can go anytime 2 hours before or after the prediction time. The eruption times of the predicted geysers are posted at the Old Faithful Visitor Center as well as on a free android app from www.geysers.net. The first day you get to Yellowstone, I recommend you head directly to the Visitor Center. Check the eruption time on the board behind the desk and write it on the brochure available at the desk for 50 cents, unless you have the android app, then you don't have to write it down. BTW, the Upper Geyser Basin around Old Faithful is one of the few areas of the park with dependable cell service, so this app is very useful while you are in the geyser basin. Not so useful if you are in other areas of the park and wanting to check on timings. Talk with the Rangers at the Visitor Center about how to arrange your timing for seeing Grand. It usually goes about every 6 hours, so you will have plenty of opportunity. They can also update you on the interval between which change slightly over time. I usually head to Grand with a day pack that includes rain gear, some cold weather clothes (you would be familiar with that, right?), water, some snacks and a book. I sit and wait. There is about a 20 minute interval when it is getting ready to go where the geyser named Turban erupts, and if the pool where Grand erupts from has waves on it and stays full Grand is likely to go. If the pool drains you have to wait for another 20 minutes or so, so you can leave and walk to other geysers. There are usually *geyser gazers* who station themselves on some of the back benches and will be happy to bring you up to speed. They are usually very, very knowledgeable people and love to share. Since you are coming by car (instead of plane) if you have small 2-way radios bring them as they gazers will *call* the eruption on the radio when it starts. It will be something like Grand, i.e.9:40. IE means In Eruption. Either the Rangers or other geyser gazers will tell you what channel to use.

Since you are going in 2015, start looking at the different lodging available thru Xanterra which is the lodging concessionaire for the park. http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/ The reservations for the 2015 season will open on May 1 2014 at 0800 MDT, so be ready to book on that day and you will likely get your choices. For instance, there are a very few cabins at Roosevelt that have bathrooms. They usually go that first day. There are cabins at Old Faithful that have bathrooms as well and while there are more of them, if you are looking for an inexpensive stay these can't be beat.

Have a wonderful time planning!

Pam

Jackson Ohio
posts: 157
reviews: 29
4. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

is Devils Tower worth seeing?

and thanks for all your help

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
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5. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

If you remember the movie Close Enounters of a Third Kind then yes it is very interesting. Well worth a short stop.

Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

I am probably in the minority but I would want another night for the Tetons. If I am correct it looks like you have a day and a half for the park and for Jackson. You mentioned you are not hikers, Grand Teton is stunning from the many overlooks and even just from the road. It is not as big as Yellowstone so you are right to spend more time in Yellowstone but I would want an extra night at Signal Mountain. I would probably subtract the night from Grant leaving two nights at Old Faithful (my favorite part of the park), and then three nights to divide between Mammoth and Roosevelt. Many people do not find Mammoth to be that impressive but we absolutely loved it and regretted not spending a night there to explore the area after the day crowds thinned out and to try to get some sunrise/ sunset pictures. We stayed at Canyon for two nights and it was fine but not "special" in the way that Roosevelt and Old Faithful were special to us!! As long as you are in the park I think you will be happy. Also, I think Devil's Tower is a worthy stop- it is a very short hike to walk around the base, I believe right around 1 mile.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 10,228
reviews: 79
7. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

Mammoth is not actually my favorite place, but this IS one of my favorite pictures ~ever~ which is taken at Canary Spring at Mammoth. Since you are in to photography, take a look at all these pictures from GeorgiaAstroNut.

flickr.com/photos/…

Thanks for reminding me DH6040!

Pam

Ohio
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8. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

nice shot D0bby.

We loved Mammoth, but did not stay there. We were there in early Sept, so got to experience the bull elk bugling and the ladies all running in. :) Rangers directing traffic... also loved the thermals area there, actually, and got some great shots there.

Also agree to stop at Devils Tower. Can at least walk partway around it, if I recall-- seemed a pretty easy walk? It's the strangest looking thing-- popping up out of nowhere. And of course... Close Encounters makes it more interesting.

Ohio
Destination Expert
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9. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

oh-- and yes, those geyser watchers are AWESOME!!!! We happened to be rolling by Grand and 2 of them stopped us and said "just wait for 5 minutes-- it's gurgling" (or some such thing. I had no idea what they were on about, but... we stopped and waited). holy smoley!!!! that thing went off and it was awesome! Lasted forever... Had huge grins on our faces the whole rest of the day! lol

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 10,228
reviews: 79
10. Re: Proposed Itinerary,,, YNP 2015

@ Wings..it might have been *in overflow*, lol! It is awesome. You do need to stick around for a few minutes after it looks like it has finished as sometimes it will have a 2nd or I believe Thbergs actually saw a 3 burst a couple of years ago. The 2nd and 3rd are sometimes bigger than the first!

I haven't done Devil's Tower in a while, but you can walk all the way around. It's level, an easy walk and you can sometimes see some crazy climbers.

I like to stop at the prairie dog colony on the entrance road as well.

Pam

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