We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
1,823 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

Planning a trip for August 2013. Plan to stay in West Yellowstone, 3 nights; Gardiner 3 nights; Cody, 2 nights, Jackson, 2 nights. Staying in park lodging won't work for us. Am also planning to take in Bear Tooth and Chief Joseph Highways.

Flying into and out of Salt Lake City. Plan to stay in Salt Lake City the night before flying out.

The question I am trying to figure out is which direction to go. Ideas I have are:

1. West Yellowstone, Gardiner, Cody, Jackson.

2. Cody, Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Jackson.

3. Jackson, Cody, Gardiner, West Yellowstone.

Anny suggestions/pros/cons appreciated.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
21,868 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

Flying in and out of SLC, I would do your option 1 or 3. If you head to Cody first you are going to have to go thru either West Yellowstone or Gardiner. I think it makes sense to work either clockwise or counter clockwise. I would probably also do West Yellowstone 4 nights and Gardiner 2 nights.

I am guessing you are planning to do Chief Joseph/Beartooth on the day you move from Gardiner to Cody or vice versa?

Pam

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
4,603 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

1 or 3. Cody as a start would be a bad choice unless you fles in there. You would pass through Jackson or West Yellowstone on the way.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
31,029 posts
446 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

I like option 1 and actually have done that before.

Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
1,823 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

Part of the plan for 3 days in Gardiner is that 1 day is devoted to Lamar Valley and Bear Tooth. Chief Joseph would be used to/from Cody.

The plan in option 2 was to take 80, 191, 28, 789, 120 to Cody, going around the east side of YNP - about an 8 hour drive.

The plan for 1 and 3 is from/to SLC from/to W Yellostone via route 89.

PeachBelle - using option 1, how did you break up your days in Yellowstone?

Any further comments or ideas will be appreciated.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
21,868 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

I would recommend doing not doing Beartooth on a separate day, but doing Beartooth to at least Rock Creek Vista where you would turn around, return to intersection for Chief Joseph and head south. If you do decide to do them separately, you would probably not need the second night in Cody. There is plenty to see and do in Yellowstone to spend your 5 touring days in the park.

I also would not spend a vacation day driving around the park to enter in the East entrance. Of course, when I drive over to the park, I drive 9 hours with as few stops as this old body can tolerate, check in to my hotel, fuel up and immediately head in to the park for more driving, lol! If you go in via West Yellowstone you may be able to get in some thermal areas that afternoon, depending on what time you will get to the park.

What time are you flying in to SLC?

editing to add: Forgot to add, I would be happy to do a detailed itinerary for you from wherever you decide to enter the park.

Pam

Edited: 10:04 am, October 16, 2012
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
1,823 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

The game plan is to get to SLC by noon, earlier if practical. Which way we go is going to be somewhat dictated by flight arrangements which are TBD at this time. Just looking for general pros/cons and other ideas about the 3 routes so if there is flight flexability. I am slightly leaning toward #1 as my first choice as I have seen some ideas from TR posted here on how to get the most out of the inital days in W Yellowstone.

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
6,963 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

>The plan in option 2 was to take 80, 191, 28, 789, 120 to Cody, going around the east side of YNP - about an 8 hour drive.

This route is a beautiful drive, but will take some time away from Yellowstone. But it would give you a chance to see something of Wyoming that you won't see by visiting Yellowstone and the surrounding area.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
31,029 posts
446 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

We always spend one day in geyser area, one day in Mammoth and Lamar valley, one day in Lake area, Hayden valley and Artist Point. The rest of the days we just go where we want usually in Lamar and Hayden valley and over to Cooke City.

Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
1,823 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

Thanks TetonBIll. I was wondering whether it was scenic or just a drive through much of nothing. Will have to take this into consideration. Yellowstone is the primary focus but seeing the area is also part of the journey which is why Cody is part of the trip.

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
6,963 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Which Direction to Go - YNP, GT, Cody?

Here's some pictures of Wyoming outside the parks.

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-0143-cb88-0f0e

>whether it was scenic or just a drive through much of nothing.

Kind of both, really.

When we drive from Jackson to Cody during the summer, we drive the long way around, rather than through Yellowstone, to avoid the traffic and crowds. Due to the higher speed limits and lack of traffic, it takes about the same amount of time either way.

Edited: 10:53 am, October 18, 2012