My cousin and I are planning a 3 month trip and we are really excited to visit Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. We've pulled together an itinerary, and have GNP for Oct 1-5, then driving to Yellowstone, to be there until Oct 9. We'll be flying in from San Francisco.
From reading the forums here and looking at the GNP and Yellowstone websites, I've learnt that this is the off season, and most of the lodges will be closed. For those who have been to these parks during different seasons, what are the pros and cons of visiting during this time?
We are on a tight budget so we were thinking camping would be a good option. We're both young (20s) and don't mind roughing it. However, we are hesitant because we haven't had much experience with camping (I'm a bit scared of the bears!); and we wouldn't have any gear (e.g. tents, sleeping bags) with us.
Do you have any recommendations on affordable lodging for beginner campers? Alternatively, if we stayed outside of the parks, would it be a hassle driving to visit the park every day?
If Oct is still nice and pleasant, we would want to make it work despite the lodges being closed. But if it's best to visit during the peak season, we would consider reworking our itinerary to move our visit earlier. This would put a kink in all our plans, but we want to make the most of our short visit.
Your advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!