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Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

East Brunswick, New...
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Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

Hello Yellowstone Friends,

We are leaving for our trip in just 7 days and I am attempting to narrow down our schedule and to not over plan, which for me is nothing short of a miracle.

Here is what I have so far. Any advice, comments, suggestions are always welcome.

I have listed questions along the way!

7/23 Arriving in Cody via highway 14, Thanks Teton Bill for this info!

7/23 and 7/24 in Cody-Dinner and Rodeo, Buffalo Bill Museum, etc.

7/25 leave for Yellowstone.

*Is there a place to stock up on picnic supplies in Cody?

*We are staying in Mammoth Hot Springs.

*Which is the best route as far as must see scenery-going into the East Entrance or entering via Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to the Northeast Entrance? What is the difference time wise between the two routes?

On the way to Mammoth see, the Petrified Trees and Tower Fall, Lamar Valley

7/25 Arrive at Mammoth area for two nights 7/25 and 7/26

Horseback riding 7/25 from Mammoth 1 hour ride

MUST SEES (2 1/2 Days) from this area: The Terraces, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, The Falls Upper and Lower, Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake

If possible, Roosevelt Arch, it's iconic!

Leave 7/27 for Old Faithful-stop and explore Norris Geyser Basin and ARTIST Paint Pots

7/27 Dinner at Old Faithful Inn.

*What is the difference between the Artist paint pots and Fountain paint pots? Any benefits of one or the other?

Must Sees (2 1/2 Days) Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Madison Area, West Thumb area.

Leave 7/29 for Grand Teton's/Jackson-Snake River Float Tour, Tram from Village

Stay at Alpenhof Lodge, Teton Village 7/29, 7/30, 8/1, checkout 8/2

*Have there been any recent BALD EAGLE sightings? I am hoping to see one soaring or nesting!

Thanks so much!

Oklahoma City...
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1. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

We enjoyed the old faithful area early & late after all the tour buses had cleared out, so you might keep that in mind.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

Picnic supplies in Cody - Wal mart is open 24/7 and is on the way to the East entrance road.

I'd be hard pressed to say which I liked better, the East entrance road and Hayden Valley vs Chief Joseph. Probably about even. Timewise- figure highway speeds (55mph) from Cody to either the NE or East gates, then double the miles for the time.

Here is a link to the Yellowstone map to figure your times.

nps.gov/common/…

What time is your horseback ride on 7/25? That sounds like you will be cutting it kind of close to get from Cody to Mammoth for a ride! Either way you are going thru prime areas for wildlife jams, Lamar Valley or Hayden Valley.

"Must Sees (2 1/2 Days) Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Madison Area, West Thumb area."

Really, Madison is something you will pass thru, not something really to see there except flush toilets at the rest area! There is WAY more in the Upper Geyser Basin than Old Faithful. Some of the geysers are very showy but you sometimes need to wait a bit for them to erupt. West Thumb is small and you can pick it up on your way out of the park to Grand Tetons. It probably won't take more than an hour including a pit stop. (yucky vault toilets there!)

Fountain Paint Pots has more geyser activity than Artist Paint Pots. Many seem to have been disappointed by Artist Paint Pots this year, it may be a drier year which I have read affects them. I did not have time to see either when I went in June, so no report from me!

Bald eagles....I had one put on a show when I was eating lunch at the Nez Perce Ford Picnic area between Fishing Bridge and Mud Volcano in June. I've seen other trip reports where they have been seen on the west entrance road which is where I usually see them. Look for white dots up in the trees along rivers. The one I saw at NP Ford was actually on the ground, so was probably finishing lunch as well.

Pam

PA
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3. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

We just returned a few weeks ago and I already am thinking about our NEXT trip. You will have a great time!

From Cody, if you go north on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, you can enter YNP thru the northeast entrance and then drive through Lamar Valley to get to Mammoth. Chief Joseph is a VERY scenic drive. Going this way, you will come in north of the construction at Tower Fall. You may need/want to go thru this area to see the falls later but at least you won't have to do it twice!

I also think this might be shorter, time-wise, than going on the Buffalo Bill Highway, thru East entrance to go all the way to Mammoth from Cody.

We loved the Cody Rodeo & Museum (I posted a report on our time there in the Cody forum). Cody Cattle Co. is great also!

I'm sure there is a good grocery store in Cody (that was the end of our trip so we didn't stock up there).

Grand Teton National Park is breathtaking - those mountains are gorgeous!

I just completed my blog on our trip with a few pictures - here's the link if you'd like to check it out:

www.tilley203.wordpress.com

Have a GREAT time!

Edited: 6:25 pm, July 13, 2013
Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

Hello suzzzzie. I was in the park about five weeks before you will arrive. We found both of the paint pots to be disappointing. I had been there previously and remember them as sort of belching away. This summer they were very,very runny and soupy and just like in a mild boil. I don't know if my description makes any sense or not haha.

Also, if you do not get groceries in Cody, we stopped in the grocery store in gardiner to replenish our cooler. We stayed inside the park but had to go to gardiner becuase we filled up a huge memory card (that we NEVER thought we would fill) and had to leave the park to buy another. It is a very short drive from mammoth to the roosevelt arch. From there it is just minutes to the grocery store were we found prices that were actually comparable to what we pay at home. I had expected to get ripped off and pay a fortune but was pleasantly surprised.

Lastly, we really loved Cody and the chief Joseph highway. It is a beautiful ride. While in Cody, I highly recommend a meal at the Irma. We went to the rodeo just because it was something to do that we don't get a lot of at home and it ended up being a highlight for my husband. He watched with his jaw hanging open and grinning like a little boy in Christmas hahahaha.

East Brunswick, New...
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5. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

As always, great information...Thank you! Wilson's-as we are staying at OF Inn, that is a great tip about the timing! I will definitely keep that in mind.

Pam- thanks for clarifying the paint pots issue and the info on the Geyser areas-exactly the info I was looking for! I am still undecided about the route to take, depending on how fast we leave Cody-our horse back ride is not until 5:45, I wanted to do it in the cooler part of the day. Also good to know about the toilets!

Bluehighways, thanks for the tip on the route, especially about the road construction at Tower Fall.

I am glad you enjoyed Cody! It wasn't part of my original plan, but I am glad we are going to invest the time there. I loved your trip report! The quotes were a nice touch. We are going to be gone for 15 days total, we are including 3 days in South Dakota (Badlands, Custer, Mt. Rushmore as well). I am going to try to blog daily as you did!

Safe travels!

East Brunswick, New...
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6. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

DH-thanks for the tips on reasonable groceries. I am glad that the arch is not too far, I can kill two birds with one stone so to speak. I am adding extra memory card to my list right now.

Yes, I agree on the rodeo, we don't see many of them in New Jersey, although driving on our highways at rush hour is probably comparable. I appreciate you sharing your husband's awe, I know I am going to have many moments like that! Did you make reservations ahead of time at the Irma?

Pam, I am adding your eagle tips to my route!

PA
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7. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

I am jealous of your 15 days' of vacation time! That will be wonderful.

Thanks for the compliments on my blog - it was my 1st try at 'blogging'.

Safe travels to you!

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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8. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

If you're in Jackson Hole, check for bald eagles in the "Eagle Tree" on the Elk Refuge, which is just a couple of hundred yards from route 89 north of town.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ISIzDdrM7Fk/S4mHz4NS-XI/AAAAAAAABC8/Gg9FwppHi5Y/s1600-h/Bald+Eagles-nef-sm.jpg

Texas
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9. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

Re dinner reservations at the Irma, they told me yesterday when I called that they only take reservations for 6 or more people. So we will just have to wait in the saloon I guess :-)

Pittsburgh...
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10. Re: Finalizing Itinerary...beyond excited!

We did not have reservations at the Irma and walked in on a Saturday around 6 and were seated right away. Sounds like you're in for a great trip.