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Needing some lodging/itinerary help

Hendersonville, NC
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Needing some lodging/itinerary help

Hey, it's me again,

Yes, the annoying first-time road-tripper seeking more help with my 35-day trip out West next September.

I was all set with staying at the Hostel in Teton Village during the first weekend of my trip (Fri., Sat. and Sun. nights, 9/7, 9/8, 9/9), excited that this part of my trip would save me lots of money right off the bat. Then yesterday, I read a couple of recent reviews of the Hostel and now I'm worried. It wasn't just the thin walls (expected that at a hostel) and one working bathroom, but someone said the "kitchen" is nothing but a microwave, and I was hoping to prepare some basic stuff to snack on during my two full days in the park.

So now I'm re-thinking this, but - unlike other areas of my trip - there's no chance of finding a clean (or even dirty) $50 a night motel anywhere in or near Grand Teton/Jackson, as I'm sure most of you know. I've read good things about Motel 6 in Jackson, but even that's $90 a night. Then I called about Colter Bay cabins, and while it's still much more than a dorm room at the Hostel, I can get a small cabin with shared bath for $70.

So, since it would be nice to stay in Jackson that Friday night after driving all day from Fort Collins, CO, and then drinking a couple beers at Snake River Brewery and not wanting to drive after, I thought maybe Jackson the first night, Hostel the second night and then the Colter Bay cabin the third night, which would work out well since that would put me very close to Yellowstone to get an early start that Monday morning for the first of my three days there.

This will put me over my lodging budget for the trip, but if the alternative is being miserable, sleep-deprived (I'm very noise-sensitive) and prone to some strange bed-bug disease, do you think this is a good plan? Or, since I'll be spending sunrise to sunset in the park both days, should I just suck it up, stay at the Hostel two or all three nights and save the money?

Thanks a lot for any feedback.

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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1. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

I've never stayed at the Hostel, and Teton Village is pretty quiet in the Summer vs the apres ski party in the Winter. So I would think it wouldn't be that bad, but then again - I honestly don't know. I would personally want to spend the first night in Jackson, and the remainder of the time in the park.

Have you thought about Colter Bay Tent Cabins to save even more money? Best of both worlds - peace and quiet, campfire, steps away from a hard floor cabin. Mattress w/b like summer camp all over again, but maybe you dont' care about that.

I guess my question w/b for 35 days - why not incorporate a bit of camping, especially if you are on a budget?

Hendersonville, NC
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2. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

Thanks for the reply BlueBirdDay ... didn't realize they had tent cabins at Colter Bay. It's tempting, but - while it may sound paranoid - I refuse to be "exposed" like that in grizzly territory, lol.

I've given this a lot of thought the past couple days, and after reading all the great things about Colter Bay on various websites, I think I'll spend that first night at the Hostel and then "splurge" the next two nights with a one bed/shared bath cabin at Colter Bay.

Cheers.

Driggs, Idaho
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3. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

Nice. You'll still be able to partake in a couple of beers w/a better view at the Mangy Moose.

You'll be able the head out the next morning w/a good opportunity for pics of moose and bear on Moose Wilson Road that leads into the park.

It sounds like you are very prepared, and do your research but be sure to spend some time at the LSR preserve a few miles in, hike to Phelps Lake (short nice hike) for some wonderful photo ops, and continue on to the park. There is a lot to do and explore south of Colter Bay, so be sure to take advantage of all of this before you retire for the night if you don't intend to backtrack in your travels.

FYI - Signal Mountain Lodge Restaurant - awesome. Make sure you stop by to have their famous nachos and huckleberry margaritas.

Hendersonville, NC
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4. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

This is great stuff, BlueBirdDay ... it's why I love Tripadvisor so much. You can pour through a million websites, and then someone like you will throw out some "insider tips" that I otherwise never would have known about.

I did not know about Phelps Lake/Death Canyon hike. Just looked at some photos online and it looks spectacular.

I had planned that first day to hit the park at sunrise, drive Moose Wilson Road to look for wildlife, then head up to Jenny Lake and do the Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point/Canyon hike, then rent a canoe and relax and row a couple hours on the lake looking up at the peaks. Would you recommend Jenny over Jackson Lake for my canoe outing? Looked at YouTube videos and the scenery looks more dramatic on Jenny Lake, I guess since it's closer to the Teton range.

Anyway, after Jenny Lake, thought I'd head to Mormon's Row for late afternoon photos of the iconic barn.

Unfortunately, my two days in GT are Saturday and Sunday so I'll want to get to Jenny Lake early enough before the crowds hit, so not sure where that would leave time for a Phelps Lake hike.

On the second day, thought I'd catch sunrise at Oxbow Bend. After that .... any suggestions? Not looking for huge 10 to 15-mile hikes, just some short/moderate hikes, scenic driving, ect. LOVE the idea of a huckleberry margarita at Signal Mountain Lodge. Not much at all for hard liquor (I'm a hard-core microbrew beer geek) but I've been picking berries in the mountains of upstate New York and down here in the southern Appalachians my whole life so any drink made with huckleberries will be an absolute thrill!

Thanks again for the great advice. With Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, southern Utah, Columbia River Gorge, California Redwoods, ect., on this trip, Grand Teton sort of got lost in the mix, but the more I read and the more I hear from people who have been there, I have a feeling this will be at or near the top of the list of my destinations when all is said and done.

Cheers, Gary.

N. Idaho
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5. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

--->veering off topic to make a huckleberry comment! This summer I had some terrific huckleberry ice cream at the ice cream parlor in the Old Faithful Inn. As you go in the front door on the geyser basin side, veer off to the right, not down the hall by the gift shop, but more a soft right. Ice cream's back there. Awesome! -----> back to GT and huckleberry margaritas!

Pam

Driggs, Idaho
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6. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

If the weather is great, Jackson Lake hands down. Jenny Lake is small (not really but small in comparison to Jackson) and a complete circle. You can do a lot of extra exploring w/Jackson - I'd recommend a kayak over a canoe. But it is really important to get an early start and know the weather as the waves can whip up fast and its not fun to be out there if that happens.

If you are hitting up Oxbow Bend, check out Two Ocean Lake. The road goes N off the main road. You can probably see it on a map.

From Frommers -

Take your time and take a picnic on this delightful, underused trail around Two Ocean Lake. You can start at either end, the walk around the lake is fairly level, and ducks, swans, grebes, and loons are commonly seen on the water. The variety of habitat -- marshes, lakes, woodlands, and meadows -- means that you'll see these birds, as well as wildflowers, butterflies, and possibly bear, beaver, elk, deer, and moose. As usual, awesome views of the Tetons abound; for the best perspective, take the 1.3-mile trip up 600 feet to Grand View Point, a somewhat difficult climb through lodgepole pine and fir en route to a hilltop covered with orange arrowleaf balsamroot. You'll look down on lakes, meadows, and volcanic outcrops, and in the distance, you'll gaze at the Tetons, the Mount Leidy Highlands, and Jackson Lake. It's possible to branch off onto the Emma Matilda Lake Trail at the east end of Two Ocean Lake.

5.8 miles round-trip. Easy to moderate. Access: Two Ocean Lake Trailhead on Two Ocean Lake Rd., or Grand View Point Trailhead.

Read more: frommers.com/destinations/…ixzz1auVukedc

Edited: 16 October 2011, 04:09
Hendersonville, NC
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7. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

Yes, Pam, back to those huckleberry margaritas, please ... :-)

I've read your previous posts about the OF Inn ice cream. Sounds yummy ... I'll have to run/hike a few extra miles.

Now, here's the real question: Is it "bearly" possible that there will be actual berries left on the bushes by Sept. 10-15 in Grand Teton and/or Yellowstone?

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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8. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

Hucks? Hmmm, around here they are pretty dried out by then but I am at a much lower elevation. Maybe BBD or TetonBill will know.

Pam

9. Re: Needing some lodging/itinerary help

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