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  1. #1
    bisous is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Three Days in Yellowstone?

    Yellowstone, take 2! We had a lovely vacay planned for last year but that didn't work out. We're going to try again in a few weeks!

    Would love to have any Yellowstone experts give their advice about our itinerary? We already have our lodging planned out. We have one day where we start in Idaho Falls, then we have two nights in Gardiner, MT. Finally we have two night sin Jackson, WY to explore the Grand Tetons.

    My thoughts were:

    Day 1: Leave Idaho Falls, travel through West Entrance, visit Old Faithful and the Geyser basins. We might have time for more? We stay in Gardiner MT that night. Not sure what else we could or should fit in there? We plan to leave fairly early in the morning from Idaho Falls so we have a "full day" except we must check in before 8pm at our location in Gardiner.

    Day 2: Leave Gardiner and travel to the Lamar Valley. This is a major destination as several of my kids' top priority is seeing wildlife. I'm not sure which way to drive or what else to add there. For example, I need to research because apparently there is a scenic side drive along the north road but I can't seem to find which way it runs? The map seems to look like we could possibly visit Yellowstone Canyon and waterfalls that day? We'd like to do that at some point. We stay again in Gardiner, MT.

    Day 3: Leave Gardiner and travel down to Hayden Valley and to Yellowstone Lake and out the park via the South Entrance on the way to Jackson, WY. We stay that night in Jackson.

    I think my kids would like all kinds of geological features--mud volcanoes, hot springs, etc. Like I'd love to visit Mammoth Hot Springs and we're staying near them but I'm not sure which day to add that to? (We'll be passing by like 5 times.)

    I think our greatest priorities are major geological features (geyser basins), wildlife (Lamar and Hayden valleys), and I'd really like to see Yellowstone Canyon and the falls as those have been highly recommended!

    Any advice would be much appreciated? Also, do you guys have recommendations for food in Gardiner or Jackson? And what is your strategy inside the park? I'm imagining that we'd bring lunch and snacks with us. Wondering if you had any nice hacks for that?

    Finally, what do you wear in the park? Are there lots of bugs? Is it super hot? Do you need to wear clothes that can get muddy/dirty or are sundresses ok? Are hiking boots a must?

    TIA!

  2. #2
    bisous is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Oh! I meant to ask too if you have any Grand Tetons recommendations. My SIL says Jenny Lake is a must. We had Colter Bay cabin reservations last year but were unable to get them this year so we'll be staying further away in Jackson proper! We have two nights there so potentially part of the first evening, all of the next day, and part of the following morning. Just need to be in Lehi, UT by the night. Thanks in advance!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    Yellowstone, take 2! We had a lovely vacay planned for last year but that didn't work out. We're going to try again in a few weeks!



    My thoughts were:

    Day 1: Leave Idaho Falls, travel through West Entrance, visit Old Faithful and the Geyser basins. We might have time for more? We stay in Gardiner MT that night. Not sure what else we could or should fit in there? We plan to leave fairly early in the morning from Idaho Falls so we have a "full day" except we must check in before 8pm at our location in Gardiner. ​That is enough for one day. You have LONG driving distances and lots of traffic that drives really slow. You should take the Firehole River view drive--very pretty. See all the geyser basins on the way to OF. And walk all around the geyser basin at OF. Then you have a long drive to Mammoth. See the Mammoth geyser basin that evening. Instead of driving straight up the East side of the top loop, circle over to the west side and drive up to Mammoth that way. See whatever is on the west side for pull offs--I forget what is there exactly.

    Day 2: Leave Gardiner and travel to the Lamar Valley. This is a major destination as several of my kids' top priority is seeing wildlife. I'm not sure which way to drive or what else to add there. For example, I need to research because apparently there is a scenic side drive along the north road but I can't seem to find which way it runs? The map seems to look like we could possibly visit Yellowstone Canyon and waterfalls that day? We'd like to do that at some point. We stay again in Gardiner, Mt. The Lamar Valley is hit or miss. You might see wolves and bears and who knows what else. But you may have to camp out on the side of the road for a while with other wildlife watchers--they will be out with their spotting scopes. Go early for your best chance. If you see lots of stuff, you won't want to do anything else. If it's a miss day, then bag it and see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone that day. That is not a long stop--you walk in to the main view point and it is beautiful. You can walk down closer to the falls on the other side and that might be a hit for some. Didn't do much for me. There are some nice hikes on the rim around there--but ask the ranger about bears. I have been there where they closed the hikes in that area for bears.

    Day 3: Leave Gardiner and travel down to Hayden Valley and to Yellowstone Lake and out the park via the South Entrance on the way to Jackson, WY. We stay that night in JacThis is the day to see Yellowstone Canyon/Falls. You will also want to stop at West Thumb Geyser basin--more hot pots and an interesting visitors center with info on the fires from the late 80s. You will want to pull over several times as you drive down to Jackson because the views of the Tetons as they come into view are amazing!!

    I think my kids would like all kinds of geological features--mud volcanoes, hot springs, etc. Like I'd love to visit Mammoth Hot Springs and we're staying near them but I'm not sure which day to add that to? (We'll be passing by like 5 times.)

    I think our greatest priorities are major geological features (geyser basins), wildlife (Lamar and Hayden valleys), and I'd really like to see Yellowstone Canyon and the falls as those have been highly recommended!

    Any advice would be much appreciated? Also, do you guys have recommendations for food in Gardiner or Jackson? And what is your strategy inside the park? I'm imagining that we'd bring lunch and snacks with us. Wondering if you had any nice hacks for that. Pack a cooler for lunches and snacks. There are plenty of places to get snack food and the cafeterias are ok for food but we always bring lunches and snacks with us. Jackson can be really expensive. Find something a little south of town--near the junction and it will be cheaper. Or find a pizza place.

    Finally, what do you wear in the park? Are there lots of bugs? Is it super hot? Do you need to wear clothes that can get muddy/dirty or are sundresses ok? Are hiking boots a mu. this year is going to be muddy if you hike. The snows will not all be melted. And layers--lots of layers. expect it to be cold in am and pm and hot mid day. I always get dirty with the car trip and the in/out of the car. shorts and t shirts. It could be super buggy or maybe it's still too cold for bugs??? It's at 8K feet so expect that you will get tired more easily and you will burn so much more easily-sunscreen. And the bears could be a real issue just because they all woke up late and now have to get their lives in/done before fall in a much shorter time. But ask the rangers.

    TIA!
    Jenny Lake is really nice. You can take a boat across and then do a hike. You can take a nice hike near the south end of the park out of Lupine Basin or Lupine trailhead/campground. Just walking around the square is fun. Driving the back road from Teton Village to the park border near Moose is fun--very pretty. Stop at the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot. Not kidding--it is amazing!!!!!
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  4. #4
    bisous is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Thank you so much for your feedback! That's super, super helpful!

    Believe it or not, we're not unfamiliar with the Potato Museum, lol. My DH and father visited it on the way back from dropping off DS1 to school in the fall and they have tales to tell!

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    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default Three Days in Yellowstone?

    Clothing wise I would wear shorts and t shirts and have sweatshirts available for the evening. Food wise we have always brought our own food into the park (but that is because my in laws live an hour and a half so south of Grand Tetons off of Highway 189). There are regular stores in Jackson like Albertsons, and Smiths. Restaurant wise we have eaten at Bubba’s BBQ, and Jackson Drug. Bubba’s is outside of the main touristy area and Jackson Drug is in the tourist area (and tbh we ate there last summer and it was just okay and I thought it was expensive for diner food). There are a ton of restaurants though.

    Plan on at least 5 hours to get from Tetons back to Utah. I have only taken 189 to 80 so I am no help if taking 15.


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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnieW625 View Post

    Plan on at least 5 hours to get from Tetons back to Utah. I have only taken 189 to 80 so I am no help if taking 15.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    We take I-15 and figure on it taking 6 hours from SLC to Jackson. Traffic etc. You never know.
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  7. #7
    bisous is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Thank you SO MUCH for all your advice. It was a wonderful trip. I'll give details about what we did and what we visited and loved. I always appreciate those posts when I'm doing my research. Just wanted to say WE'RE FANS of those two parks for sure! Best sign of a good vacation? The day after we got home from our trip was INSANE in terms of things on my plate and responsibilities and logistics, but I didn't feel stressed. In other words, our trip must have been a true reset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    Thank you SO MUCH for all your advice. It was a wonderful trip. I'll give details about what we did and what we visited and loved. I always appreciate those posts when I'm doing my research. Just wanted to say WE'RE FANS of those two parks for sure! Best sign of a good vacation? The day after we got home from our trip was INSANE in terms of things on my plate and responsibilities and logistics, but I didn't feel stressed. In other words, our trip must have been a true reset.
    That sounds like EXACTLY what you needed!!!
    Mom to:
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    DS '05
    Percy--the wild furry child!!! 2022----
    Simon--the first King Charles cutie 2009-2022
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    Thank you SO MUCH for all your advice. It was a wonderful trip. I'll give details about what we did and what we visited and loved. I always appreciate those posts when I'm doing my research. Just wanted to say WE'RE FANS of those two parks for sure! Best sign of a good vacation? The day after we got home from our trip was INSANE in terms of things on my plate and responsibilities and logistics, but I didn't feel stressed. In other words, our trip must have been a true reset.
    So glad you got to take this trip. It sounds like it was definitely the perfect reset you needed!
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

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