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To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

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To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

My husband and I will be arriving on September 3 in West Yellowstone before beginning a 3 night stay in Yellowstone (1 night in Cascade/Dunraven and 2 nights in Old Faithful Snow Lodge) 1 night in Grand Tetons (Jackson Lake Lodge) and 2 nights in Jackson. As it gets closer to our trip, I was wondering if you would be kind enough to provide info with regard to weather and wildlife sightings so we will have an idea of how to plan our days so that we will get the most out of our first trip to Yellowstone. In addition, it seems that most of the guide books give an itinerary if you are entering from entrances other than West Yellowstone. Do you have any ideas?

Also, when we visit Jackson we are more into the "local" scene than the tourist spots. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help & your info on this site has been most valuable.

Debby

West Yellowstone, MT
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1. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Debby- I'll be glad to update you on weather and wildlife. (Saw the first changing leaves on our Aspen trees yesterday so it is getting cooler at night.) I'll put together some ideas for your trip and ask others to as well and post them tomorrow.

Cameron, Montana
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42 posts
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2. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Hi Debbie,

September is a beautiful month to visit Yellowstone National Park. This year it seems that the trees are starting to turn colors early and probably while you are here should be vivid fall colors in the aspen. The nights are getting cooler so be sure to bring jackets just in case (you never know what the weather will truly do here, and if you wait 15 minutes it will probably change). Afternoons should still be in the low 80s or 70s.

The main roads in the park make a figure 8. Take advantage of your lodging locations and start in the upper loop while at Cascade/Dunraven, the lower loop while at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Jackson is close to the South gate of Yellowstone National Park so you could easily go back into the lower areas of the park if you wanted. For wildlife viewing, the upper areas of YNP are the best areas for the more unusual wildlife (bears, wolves) . Buffalo are spotted in several areas, as are the elk, antelope, and such.

While in the Jackson area I would try to get over to the Elk Refuge. I think they still have opportunities for guests go out by wagon and help feed the elk. Other than that, I'm not very familiar with Jackson except for the town square that should not be missed and at least step into the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The Jackson Chamber can be found at www.jacksonholechamber.com . They would probably have some ideas for more "local" type of activities and places.

Hope this helps with your planning.

Happy Travels.

Cameron, Montana
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42 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Hi Debbie,

September is a beautiful month to visit Yellowstone National Park. This year it seems that the trees are starting to turn colors early and probably while you are here should be vivid fall colors in the aspen. The nights are getting cooler so be sure to bring jackets just in case (you never know what the weather will truly do here, and if you wait 15 minutes it will probably change). Afternoons should still be in the low 80s or 70s.

The main roads in the park make a figure 8. Take advantage of your lodging locations and start in the upper loop while at Cascade/Dunraven, the lower loop while at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Jackson is close to the South gate of Yellowstone National Park so you could easily go back into the lower areas of the park if you wanted. For wildlife viewing, the upper areas of YNP are the best areas for the more unusual wildlife (bears, wolves) . Buffalo are spotted in several areas, as are the elk, antelope, and such.

While in the Jackson area I would try to get over to the Elk Refuge. I think they still have opportunities for guests go out by wagon and help feed the elk. Other than that, I'm not very familiar with Jackson except for the town square that should not be missed and at least step into the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The Jackson Chamber can be found at www.jacksonholechamber.com . They would probably have some ideas for more "local" type of activities and places.

Hope this helps with your planning.

Happy Travels.

Buffalo Grove...
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41 posts
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4. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Hi Debby,

My hubby and I are going to be in West Yellowstone from September 5 - 10 and we are staying at Moose Creek Cabins. I can't wait to see Yellowstone and experience nature up close and personal.

I'll be checking this thread every day to see what aloahamom and Yellowstonefan come up with. Yellowstonefan has made suggestions before and I'm sure he'll come up with many more.

As the time is getting close, I'm getting very excited about the trip. I've been reading two books about touring Yellowstone- Frommer's and Janet Chapple's Yellowstone Treasures. So much info that it's overwhelming yet on Monday I'm going to write up our itinerary so I'm sure you can use all the suggestions you can get as I can.

Gilda

Red Bluff, CA
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242 posts
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5. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Debby,

We just returned from the trip of a lifetime to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. For wildlife, we saw the most in Lamar Valley (buffalo, coyote, pronghorn, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes) and Hayden Valley (buffalo, elk, bald eagle, WOLVES!) These two valleys will be noted on the map you receive when you enter YNP. Here's a few tips for wildlife viewing. Take binoculars - good ones. If everyone is slowing down, slow down and look carefully. If people are stopped and looking through scopes, STOP. This is usually an indication of either wolves or grizzly bears. Also, try getting on the road in the morning. Between about 8 - 11 was when we saw the most animals near the road. (deer, otters, foxes). In GTNP, our best viewing was from the patio at Jackson Lake Lodge after dinner. Again, you will find people with scopes who are happy to let you have a look This was the only place on our trip that we saw moose (two different evenings). By the way, the most recent activity for wolves in YNP has been at the overlook near Dunraven Pass. Ask a ranger to show you where it is on a map.

As far as itineraries go, we could have done the upper loop (Mammoth Hot Springs, Roosevelt, Canyon, Norris Geyser Basin) in one day with the most time at Canyon and Norris. Plan on one full day in the Old Faithful Geyser Basin if you want to see more geysers go off than just Old Faithful . Check at the Visitor Center for times on the five geysers they predict. In addition, get friendly with the "geyser gazers". They're civilians who love geysers and will sit for hours waiting for them to go off. They communicate with one another via radio which is how you can identify them. They were directly responsible for us seeng three geysers we would not have seen otherwise and are a wealth of information.

In GTNP, don't miss the Indian Arts Museum at the Colter Bay Visitor Center. I had not read much about it on the Internet ahead of our trip but it ended up being one of the highlights for us.

Have a lovely trip.

TreeBud

Atlanta
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72 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Thanks for all the good info. My husband and I are also going to be in YNP and Grand Tetons Sept 2 - 8. We are staying 2 nights at Western Cabins at Lake and 1 night Western Cabin at Canyon. We are staying 3 nights at a B & B in Jackson - Sassy Moose Lodge. We have dinner reserv. Sat. night at OFI dining room. We plan to do Beartooth Hwy as we head out Tuesday morning and return via Chief Joseph and head down to Jackson. Whatever time we have left over after Grand Tetons, we hope to go back in YNP and do that before we leave Friday - I cannot imagine how wonderful this is going to be. I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in 1997 and I felt like a kid waiting to see what Santa left as we approached the rim for the first time to have that "first look" - it put tears in my eyes to think of the beauty God created for all of us lucky ones to see. I have always wanted to see a moose, so I am hopeful this will be my time. I've been to Alaska and Maine and still they remain elusive! Any final suggestions is appreciated. Love all the commens.

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306 posts
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7. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Thanks for the great info! I will be looking for last minute hints next week. You guys have been great!

Has anyone done horseback riding in either Yellowstone or GTNP and if so, any particular ride or group that you would do?

Thanks again.

West Yellowstone, MT
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8. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Debby-

Make sure to stop in to the new Visitor's Center at Canyon Village. It just opened last Friday and is all about Yellowstone’s Super Volcano. There's video of active volcanoes, artwork, including a 9,000-pound granite ball and life-size bison, and interactive games to help people understand the park better. There is also a model of a glacier. Just some fun things for your family.

The animals are definitely starting to move again. There are large bison bulls now near the Norris Junction and along many of the roads that go along larger meadows. More info this week for you!

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9. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

Thanks for all the great info -- as always! Seven days and counting....

Missouri
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47 posts
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10. Re: To Yellowstone Fan or other locals

We will be there Sept 14-18 then on Tetons for a few days. Reading these post really is the best for the latest information on the park. Keep the great information coming because we will be checking back everyday until our trip.