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Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

Friendswood, Texas
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Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

My DH has the opportunity to attend a conference in the area this summer. We are thinking of driving up with our two boys (ages 7 and 9) and making a family road trip out of it. We are looking at three different conferences at different places in the area. Our choices are:

320 Horse Ranch in Montana in mid-July

The Lodge at Jackson Hole in early August

Hotel Terra in early August

We would stay 4 nights in one of these hotels for a conference that is a 3 half-day conference (conference hours are 8am-12pm, generally). We live in the Houston area, so driving up, we would spend one night in Amarillo, then maybe 2 nights around Denver (we'd like to spend some time in Colorado), and then arrive at the conference hotel on the third driving day. We'd probably do the same driving schedule coming back.

At the conference hotel, we need enough to entertain me and the boys while DH is in his conference in the mornings. We would have a car, so we could leave, but we'd like to save the "important" sight seeing for when DH will be with us. We usually hang by the pool, etc while DH is in his conferences.

Also, it seems like horse back riding is a major attraction in the region, but I haven't found anywhere that lets 7 year olds ride. Is there somewhere that would let us all take a short horse back trip as a family (we'd only want to do an hour or so)?

So, which hotel/lodge of the three above would you recommend? We'd like to see both Yellowstone and the Tetons. Thanks for any help you can provide. --Katie

Groveland...
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11. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

@ ekatiel, Even if the Mill Iron Ranch family horseback ride works out for you, you may want to use one of your free mornings to introduce your 7-year-old son to horses before Mill Iron. If you're staying at Grand View Lodge, you probably get the reduced "guest" rates for horseback riding on Snow King. A 7-year-old at Snow King is limited to being "lead around" the corral on a pony - the guest pricing looks like $17 for him. Another alternative is to take a gorgeous drive to the north end of Grand Teton National Park. Both Jackson Lake Lodge and Colter Bay offer pony rides to 7-year-olds for $5. See their web site for the timing of the pony rides. You will have to pay the entrance fee for GTNP, but the fee buys you 7 days of entry to GTNP & to YNP. Of course your sons need to experience life astride a horse/pony!

gtlc.com/activities/outdoor-fun-horses.aspx

12. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

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Green Valley...
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13. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

jforrest... advertising is not allowed on TA Forums. Nice as your facilities might be...

Friendswood, Texas
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14. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

OK Guys, I've come a long way in the past few days!

Here's our plan:

July 26: Leave Houston, drive to Amarillo (10 hour drive)

July 27: Amarillo to Estes Park, CO (8 hrs)-- Stay in a basic cabin in Jellystone Park (We thought about tent camping, but with our long driving days, that leaves us setting up camp in the dark).

July 28: Estes Park, stay again in same cabin

July 29: Leave Estes early in the AM, drive to Yellowstone (10 hrs). Stay in Roosevelt Cabin (the only thing we were able to reserve was a cabin with only one double bed-- we figured the kids could sleep on foam mats in sleeping bags on the floor. Will that work?!).

July 30: Yellowstone. Stay in Roosevelt Cabin again. Possibly do the cook out dinner? I'll have to call tomorrow to reserve the dinner.

July 31: Yellowstone until the late afternoon, then drive to Jackson (2-3 hour drive, depending on where we end up in Yellowstone). Check in to conference hotel.

August 1: Stay in Jackson conference hotel. DH to conference in the AM. PM?? Tetons, maybe?

August 2: Stay in Jackson conference hotel. DH to conference in the AM. PM??

August 3: DH to conference in the AM. Check out of conference hotel, drive to Colorado Springs (9 hour drive). Stay in cabins at Lone Duck Campground (we've stayed here before and like it-- we rented a trailer last time, though)

August 4: Colorado Springs. Stay in cabins at Lone Duck.

August 5: Leave Colorado Springs at noonish. Drive to Amarillo (6 hour drive)

August 6: Drive from Amarillo to Houston. (10 hour drive)

What do you guys think? I am concerned about the Roosevelt cabin with only one bed. Will we fit? Are we going to get "busted' for having more than 2 people in there??! There is pretty much nothing else left for our dates inside Yellowstone (even Grant Village is booked!!).

How is the cookout dinner at Roosevelt? Worth the $$?

Any other suggestions? TIA! --Katie

Burlington, Iowa...
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15. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

Just keep checking the website and calling Xanterra. Hopefully you can snag a two bed cabin. People change and cancel all the time.

What do you want to see in your short time in the park? Wildlife? Geysers? That will determine what location is best for you.

I enjoy the cookout, you get a great commentary from the wrangler if you take the wagon (can get dusty if you're not in the front wagon), a delicious meal around a campfire with a cowboy singer and cowboy coffee. I've done it 3-4 times and enjoyed it every time.

Atlanta, Georgia
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16. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

Cancellations due occur so keep those reservations at Roosevelt and see if a double becomes available. A lot of cancellations occur about 2 weeks out.

Have never stayed at Roosevelt so hopefully others will post with insight.

Spery, Iowa
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17. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

Since you are coming from CO, Roosevelt is pretty far- and with only two nights you might try for the first night at Lake ( less commotion) or Canyon, and the second at Roosevelt. Then you could work your way up there the first day, then the north end and cookout second day and work your way south again the last day. I love Roosevelt, and with so much time in the Jackson area, it is a nice quiet location for a change of pace. You don't want to drive after dark in the park.

I have not taken time from YNP for Jackson and GTNP, so no advice there. Sounds like a great trip- please post a report when you return (and rest up from vacation, lol)

18. Re: Yellowstone Questions family of four-- I'm clueless!

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