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First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

london
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First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

We (2 adults from UK driving a rental car) are doing a trip to Yellowstone and would like some itinerary advice from you experts - we like wildlife (would love bear & wolf sighting), geysers erupting, least time driving in car, walks (not long hikes), some time chilling out - having a coffee/ice cream/drink. Our draft itinerary is:

5th July - Driving 8am from Cody to East entrance at Yellowstone

see mud volcanos, Hayden Valley, lunch at Canyon, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, top of Yellowstone Falls? Overnight Roosevelt cabin - may be 'Stars Above Yellowstone' Ranger talk?

6th – Morning drive to Lamar valley, breakfast at Lodge.

Chill out until 3pm, Cowboy cookout

Overnight Roosevelt cabin

7th - Morning drive to Lamar valley if not much luck with wildlife yesterday, breakfast at Lodge,

drive to Mammoth hot springs and terraces, Lunch in Gardiner, Montana (just to go to Montana!).

Overnight Mammoth cabin. Visit map room at the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel, Ranger talk, flag lowering at fort?

Dinner?

8th July - Steamboat Geyser, Fountain Paintpots, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery centre in West Yellowstone?, lunch at Running Bear Pancake House?, dip our toes at Firehole Canyon?, Crows’ Nest flag lowering booked at OFI at 5:45 pm,

Overnight Old Faithful Lodge Cabin

Dinner?

9th - OF, Lower Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, tour of OFI?

Overnight Old Faithful Cabin. Ranger programmes?

Dinner?

10th July- West Thumb Geyser Basin, Grand Teton, Jackson Lake Lodge coffee, lunch at Doran’s,

Moose Drive in search of moose & Teton village. Coffee in Victor, Idaho (just to go to Idaho!)?

Overnight Jackson

Do you see any holes in this plan? Or a better order of doing things? Any big geothermal or wildlife 'must sees' we've missed out? Ranger programme recommendations and budget dinning for the open evenings. Thanks.

10 replies to this topic
Madison, WI
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1. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

That's cool you're going over to Victor. Nice drive over Teton Pass and you'll get to see the "backside" of the Tetons. Someone will soon be by to check your itinerary. Just a note....as you go through Ten Sleep Canyon from Buffalo, you might see a lot of rock climbers on the canyon rock walls. It is a world famous area for rock climbing.

https://res.cloudinary.com/miles-extranet-de…

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2. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

On the 9th I would add in the Fairy Falls hike to see Grand Prismatic Spring from above - it was beautiful. The overlook is not as far as the falls and is more of a walk up a pretty big hill than a hike. The path is wide and flat and we saw people of all ages doing it.

You will love the flag lowering at OFI - we got to hear the history of the hotel as well as getting to see the great views from the top!

N. Idaho
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3. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

Here are my thoughts:

5 July: There are 2 falls in the Canyon - Upper and Lower. Some of the overlooks will be closed at various times for trail reconstruction so you'll see what you can based on what's open when you are there. Otherwise this day looks fine. I'd stop at the Visitor Centers at Fishing Bridge and Canyon. FB is an older VC and doesn't have all the bells and whistles which new displays have BUT it's got an excellent collection of stuffed birds (very old collection as they don't collect specimens any more).

https:/…canyonprojects.htm

6 I'd probably add in Tower Fall and the overlooks north of there up to and including Calcite Springs. Spend some time looking across the canyon to the dry sandy looking area below the line of columnar basalt. (Even if you don't know what this is you'll recognize it when you see it. It looks like huge pipe organ pipes!)

7. This looks good. When you head out to Gardiner you might want to drive thru the Roosevelt Arch, then take a left (away from town) around to the high school. Continue on this road (turns to dirt/gravel but is generally well graded) and drive out here 2-3 miles looking for wildlife. Often you'll see bison, pronghorn and elk up close. There are also a lot of birds out here - can usually count on seeing Horned Larks (on the ground or on top of a small rock) and Mountain Bluebirds. BTW, the Montana line is before you get to the North entrance. There is a sign for Montana as well as the 45th Parallel.

8. If you've had good luck with wildlife, I'd probably skip going out to West Yellowstone. It's just a hassle to get back in the gate as there is sometimes a traffic backup. If you DO go, also stop at the Yellowstone Historic Center which is in the old Union Pacific Train Depot just on the left past the first traffic light. The swimming area on Firehole Canyon Drive is down a steep set of stairs and really doesn't have much of a wading area. If you want to go to Idaho you can also do it from here. Drive west on US 20 about 10 miles to Targhee Pass which is the Montana/Idaho line.

9. This looks good. If you are early risers, I'd go for the Ranger walk at 830 as the Rangers are a wealth of information.

10. This looks fine.

I'm sure you'll have a great time!

Pam

Madison, Wisconsin
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4. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

Your itinerary looks great! We did a trip to Yellowstone August 2016 and loved it! The link below has more details about each thing at Yellowstone and might help you know how much time to spend at each location. Hope it helps!

…blogspot.com/2018/06/yellowstone-national-p…

london
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5. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

Thanks all. Please keep your tips coming. Krista H - I've been researching this trip for ages and had already read your blog. We were inspired by your fab photo taken of the top of the falls (with the water tumbling over) that we would like to see for ourselves - can you remember the easiest way to reach that point?

Spery, Iowa
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6. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

On the 6th, you might like to go on in to Montana to Cooke City/Silver Gate and eat breakfast instead of going back to Roosevelt. There is the Log Cabins Cafe in Silver Gate, even has trout on the menu. Also a bakery in Cooke City that gets recommended. A visit to the museum in Cooke City is a nice stop as well.

We like the lower general store and the Snow Lodge Obsidian dining room at Old Faithful for meals. The Obsidian serves latest if you are out and about or had late lunch.

Georgia
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7. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

The bakery is the Bearclaw Bakery -

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Revie…

"Overnight Old Faithful Lodge Cabin

Dinner?"

I love the Dining Room at Old Faithful Inn. Make reservations!

If you want something more casual, the bar next to the Dining Room is very good too. Basic bar food but the burgers are great and the hummus plate is a favorite.

Edited: 24 June 2018, 09:26
Georgia
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8. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

Bear Pit Lounge -

"Another popular gathering spot is the Bear Pit Lounge. Adorned with etched glass panels inspired by the original wooden Bear Pit Murals, the lounge offers a pleasant locale for a drink, appetizers and fond recollections of the day."

https:/…

Reviews -

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

A menu (not current) -

https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDir…

Edited: 24 June 2018, 09:32
Madison, Wisconsin
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9. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

Sorry I just saw this! If you go to The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, there are 2 hikes you can do, the upper and lower. If you do both, like we did, you will see exactly what I saw in the picture. It is an easy hike and no way you can miss it! This website should also help lay it out and explain it better than me!

https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do…

I hope this helps!!

Spery, Iowa
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10. Re: First time trip to Yellowstone NP - itinerary advice please

Note that there is construction in the Canyon area. https:/…canyonprojects.htm

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