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Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Westfield, New...
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Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

My husband and I are planning our first trip to YNP and GTNP this July. We are very active and are looking forward to lots of hikes and activities. This will be our first time camping, which is exciting (and daunting). We are early risers and live on the east coast, so we are hoping for lots of early mornings to avoid crowds.

We are open to all options and if you have a favorite hike in either park, I would appreciate your input!

I have a very thorough Google doc here of our activities. A lot of options are just that: options! I have tried to put things in our itinerary that are along the way so we can decide on our trip. I do appreciate any feedback if some days look like they will be too packed: https:///docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rCPB8oGvOj9WLRKOiyl7cGaVUoO6qS6iEu78MBdyyMw/edit?usp=drivesdk

An overview of our trip:

We are planning to fly into Salt Lake City and stay overnight on a Friday. The following day we will be driving north and staying just outside of the park in Wilson, WY. On Sunday we will drive into YNP to tent camp at Canyon Campground for 3 nights.

While in YNP, I have 3 days of activities planned:

(1) Sunday: explore Canyon Area, Hayden Valley, Bay Bridge, and Lake Butte

(2) Monday: Old Faithful and Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pots

(3) Tuesday: Lamar Valley, Tower Fall, Monmouth, and Norris -- this will be a very early morning since we will be avoiding the road closures north of Canyon

We will then be spending time in GTNP. I have arranged an Air BnB in Driggs, ID to help with our budgeting since it does not seem like a bad drive from the southern entrance. Camping does not come easily for my husband and I so we will be looking forward to a real bed by this point, I'm sure!

(4) Wednesday: final hike in YNP (Lake Overlook), then Taggart & Bradley Lakes, Jenny Lake

(5) Thursday: Whitewater rafting, Colter Bay, Jackson Lake

From there we are planning to relax and sleep a little before we fly home Friday night.

Thank you in advance for any advice! I appreciate any and all feedback on our itinerary, favorite hiking routes, or tent camping in YNP.

7 replies to this topic
Spery, Iowa
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1. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Welcome to the forum! I do wish you would have looked here before securing your reservations. As you are returning for time in GTNP, you could have stayed in YNP your first night instead of Wilson. Wilson would work better for GTNP than Driggs, ID. If you can change reservations, consider it.

A few things. Being new to camping, do know that nighttime temps can get quite cold in July, so you don't want to use an air matress, you want a foam pad or Thermarest type for your sleeping pad.

You don't want to leave your campsite until you can see colors in the morning.

I am not sure what road closures you are meaning north of Canyon?

Others can help better with the Teton portion, but do you have a whitewater time reserved? They are south of Jackson, not in GTNP.

Westfield, New...
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2. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Thank you! This is very helpful.

Yes, we had to get a little creative with accommodations since we decided to go on the trip only recently. I will see if we can switch out Wilson and Driggs, though, to make the end of our trip easier when we are closer to GTNP.

For camping, we do have a thermarest pad and are planning to bring lots of blankets. We don't like the feeling of sleeping bags...do you think we will be warm enough with the pad and blankets?

I was under the impression that Dunraven Pass would be closed between Canyon and Tower Fall. If that is not the case, then that makes our trip easier for our Lamar Valley day!

Spery, Iowa
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3. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

No, Dunraven Pass is open for the season, barring any weather related closure. https:/…parkroads.htm

There is road construction with delays up to 30 minutes on the Norris/Mammoth road, with overnight closures, so that route would not be open until 7 a.m. , depending on the exact dates of your visit.

You can make the drive from SLC to Canyon in a day, if you want to try for your first night there.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Nighttime temps in YNP can get to below freezing. You should have good sleeping bags rated to below zero. I don’t think you can bring enough blankets to keep you sufficiently warm. You may want to rethink that plan.

I agree that you should head to Yellowstone first rather than going to Wilson for the first night. It’s the same drive time. You could stay in West Yellowstone that first night and then head to Canyon for camping.

Driggs isn’t the best base for GTNP. It’s almost an hour from Driggs to Jackson and then another 20 minutes thru Jackson to the park. If you stay in Driggs, you will need to plan your day so that you are back at your accommodation well before sunset. Large wildlife can be on the mountain road and pass after dark. If budget is an issue, look at Kudar Motel in Jackson. It’s a very clean, basic motel. The rooms aren’t huge. But they are clean with everything that you would need. Kudar is also very close to the South Park entrance and walking distance to many restaurants in Jackson.

Edited: 12 June 2018, 05:29
Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Also, you can make the drive to Canyon from SLC the same day only if you have a morning arrival in to SLC.

Westfield, New...
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6. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Thank you!

@Connie B-- very helpful. We will take your advice and rethink the sleeping bag for sure!

We will look at Kudar for our Wednesday and Thursday nights. Thank you for the recommendation!

Spery, Iowa
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7. Re: Itinerary help for 3 days in YNP and 2 days in GTNP

Connie, they are overnight in SLC after the flight and have the next full day, currently to Wilson.

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