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Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

Austin, Texas
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Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

My BF and I will travel to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone NP in August. Neither of us have ever been and we need some help with possible hotels and must sees at each place in case we never get back there again. So far we plan to fly into Idaho Falls and rent a car there. We will drive to GTNP and spend 3 days. We thought we should stay somewhere in Jackson Hole or is there a more budget friendly place near the park to stay?Our main objective in GTNP is to take some great photos and do some hiking and/or 1/2 day rafting trip. We would like probably a half day hike, nothing too advanced. We will then drive to Yellowstone. Is Gardnier the best place to stay there? We definetly want to see Old Faithful but also the park's "Grand Canyon". We thought we would then fly out of Yellowstone Regional airport. Will it be possible to leave the rental car at that airport? Thanks for any help or suggestions you have.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

Check one way car rental drop fees- they can be very very expensive- look at flying in and out of same airport like Jackson Hole, Bozeman or Billings.

In GTNP- check out Signal Mt. or Colter Bay for lodging. Barker Ewing does great scenic and white water trips.

In YNP- staying in the park is best- call Xanterra ASAP for lodging- 4 days is good so split time between OF and Lake/Canyon area. For out of the park then we prefer West Yellowstone.

Here are the must sees for the park to help you plan-

http://yellowstone.net/intro/top-10/

When you arrive always check at the visitor center for wildlife updates. Be sure to get a cooler and pack it with snacks, water and possibly lunch so you can spend the day in the park.

We've been to the park three times in recent years and I have 3 huge photo albums and multiple memory cards full of photos.

Good luck!!

Spery, Iowa
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2. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

How many days do you have for Yellowstone?

N. Idaho
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3. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

Where exactly is Yellowstone Regional Airport? West Yellowstone? Billings? Bozeman?

I prefer staying more days in West Yellowstone than Gardiner. I like the selection of lodging and restaurants better. Plus, to me, it is a more walkable town than Gardiner as everything is in a couple square block area. I also like West Yellowstone because it is closer to the Upper Geyser basin (where Old Faithful is located) and I love to geyser gaze.

Gardiner is more convenient for people who want to spend long days watching for wildlife in the Lamar Valley.

Have you looked at the Yellowstone map?

nps.gov/common/…

We also recommend 4 days in Yellowstone if you can do it. More is better. If you want to include a visit to Cody plus a drive over Beartooth Pass, you need to add a day each for them.

If you wind up staying in West Yellowstone, it might be just as easy to fly back out of Idaho Falls. It is about 2 hours from West Yellowstone to Idaho Falls and about 2 hours from West Yellowstone to Bozeman.

Pam

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

Stay in the Park if your budget allows.

Flights:

We have done the Billings in and Jackson out. The Beartooth pass is amazing. We fly into Billings and overnight in Red Lodge in order to begin our drive across the pass early in the morning.

You enter the park and are in the Lamar Valley.

Spend time in Yellowstone and then move to GTNP for the remainder of your trip.

We enjoy GTNP more than YNP. Hike String Lake or Cascade Canyon as far as your ambitions allow. Get an early start for Cascade and use the Jenny Lake boat to shorten the hike.

Rental drop off fees have skyrocketed in the last few years. This might encourage you to fly RT Jackson.

Spery, Iowa
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5. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

I am assuming there will be some altitude adjustment from Texas- do not plan the more strenuous hiking for the beginning of your trip and stay hydrated. Have a great time!

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

Thank you everyone for the tips on our GTNP/YNP trip that we took last week. We ended up flying into Jackson, WY which was a good choice. We stayed at Buckrail Lodge in Jackson Hole. Would definetly recommend this place. We also stayed at Lazy G motel in West Yellowstone during our time at Yellowstone. Good option for the budget conscious.

We really enjoyed our time at both of these spectacular parks. Hiking, wildlife, kayaking, photo opportunities...what could be better!

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

So glad you had a nice visit last week!!

Spery, Iowa
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8. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

When you get a chance- give us a trip report!

9. Re: Need help with Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip

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