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1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

Lexington, Kentucky
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1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

We (4 adults) will be coming into Yellowstone from Billings (leaving @ 6 am) via Gardiner on June 7. Thinking that we'll do the upper terrace at Mammoth, stop at the Midway Geyser Basin and arrive at OF around lunchtime. Spend the afternoon at OF and head over toward our Canyon lodgings around 4-5.

Here's my question: Trying to decide if we should head over to Canyon via West Thumb (dinner @ Lake? drive through Hayden Valley @ dusk?) before checking in, OR go to Canyon via Norris and do Canyon to Fishing Bridge and back to Canyon (for 2nd night lodging) the next day

The third day (June 9), we plan to head out of the park via Lamar Valley via Tower/Roosevelt (perhaps spending night just outside the park) and (fingers crossed) back to Billings over the Beartooth Highway. Any and all suggestions will help. Our first trip to YNP. Thanks!

N. Idaho
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1. Re: 1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

I doubt you will be to OF by noon. It is 51 miles from Mammoth to OF, so in Yellowstone terms around 102 minutes. At 2.5 hours from Billings to Gardiner, that puts you in Mammoth around 830. I usually spend 2-3 hours at Mammoth (are you not going to do the Lower Terraces?) plus an hour or so at Midway plus another hour for bathroom stops and scenic stops.

You might consider going east at Norris to Canyon and doing the Canyon overlooks that afternoon. Then, the next day, head south thru Hayden picking up Mud Volcano, Fishing Bridge, West Thumb and starting with the Upper Basin around Old Faithful. Work your way back up the west edge of the Lower Loop and back to Canyon for the night.


Edited: 1:16 pm, March 28, 2013
Yellowstone Nat...
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2. Re: 1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

Wow, you people are ambitious, both of you. Shooting around like jets. Makes me tired just to read it.

Here's a third possibility: leave the gotta-zoom-gotta-see-as-much-as-possible mindset home, and ENJOY! It is a vacation! It is Yellowstone!

Pam is right about the time it takes from Billings through Gardiner with stops at Mammoth Hot Springs and Midway and down to OF. That makes a delightful day, though (not just morning). Enjoy the terraces at Mammoth, have a nice lunch, head south to Norris, enjoy the geyser basin there, cross the park to lodging at Canyon ... a delightful day. Might even be able to enjoy a ranger talk at Canyon that evening.

Then on the second day head to OF, enjoy that area for as long as it is interesting to you, pleasant lunch at the OF dining hall or the grill in the old Hamilton store with the gnarly wood railings on the front porch, ice cream on the second balcony of the OF Inn, head home tired but smiling.

It is a golden opportunity to enjoy life for a couple of days in a slower gear than the business world. ENJOY!

Edited: 3:11 pm, March 28, 2013
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3. Re: 1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

The Beartooth Pass isn't scheduled to open until June 14th. I wish you were able to see it but unfortunately it probably won't be possible during the time frame that you will be in the park. The Chief Joseph Highway will be open by then and maybe somebody here knows of a route to Billings via Chief Joseph Highway.

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4. Re: 1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

Here's a map to show Chief Joseph, then to Belfry, then north to Billings.


But I too am hoping for the Beartooth to open early since it was a lower snow year.

Edited: 9:26 am, March 29, 2013
5. Re: 1st day: Mammoth/OF/Canyon Lodge via ?????

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