We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

Hi, I'm from Sydney Australia, and am just starting to research a trip to the States.

I'm particualrly interested in hking,scenery,wildlife and flora and am pretty fit. I am starting my focus on the specatcular national parks and areas of the North West as these are my must do , and then will work things out from there.

I am looking at doing this in ...2015 ! to ensure I can get the accomodation as i realise these areas are very popular. Also I have commitments in 2014 (30th wedding anniversary and son's 21st ).

Looking at maybe August and then early September (take advantage of some quieter time before things shut, although this is quite flexible. I

Some initial advice would be appreciated as to the best way logistically to see the above NParks and surrounding areas. I am looking at between 4-5 weeks in the US and would be able to spend say 2 weeks exploring these areas.

I will liikely fly in either to LAX or SF, as these are the main comnnections tot he west coast from Sydney and then do other conections from there.

I wouldalso like to vsiit San Fran, and also would like to see some of the Coast - Redwoods etc.

My initial thoughts were to perhaps fly to Jackson do GTNP and Yellowstone, return and Fly to Kallispell- is there a direct connect ??. or perhaps drive all the way...

Or else maybe fly to Bozeman and drive to GTNP/Yellowstone and then fly from there to Kallispell ?

Ideas including comment on hire car premiums for one way as against return to original destination, timing eg need to avoid snowy roads with hire car etc best cheapest comnnection eg - LAX - to Bozeman compared SF - Bozeman etc appreciated.

Never been to the States before so I'm a total newbie.

my aologies for the long post ! Alll your ideas welcome.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
29,988 posts
442 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

If you want to save on one way car rental fees then a lot of people do fly in and out of Bozeman. You can check flying in or out of Jackson or Billings or Bozeman for Yellowstone and Kalispell or Great Falls or Missoula or Spokane for Glacier. A couple of years ago we did all the parks and flew into Spokane and out of Billings and got affordable car rental.

You will need at least 4 days to do Glacier. If into hiking then stay on the east side in Many Glacier/Swiftcurrent area. There is lodging outside the park in St. Mary on the east side and on the west side in Kalispell and Whitefish.

Here is the link to lodging in the park-

http://www.glacierparkinc.com/

For Yellowstone you will need a minimum of 4 days and more would be better to just begin to see the park. YNP is huge and there is much to see and do. You will need to book lodging thru Xanterra and split lodging in the park between Old Faithful and either Canyon or Lake area. For out of the park lodging there is West Yellowstone and Gardiner. Here is the link to lodging in the park-

http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/

For the Grand Tetons you can stay in the park or in the town of Jackson Hole. You will need 2-3 days here.

If time permits a one day trip to Cody would be good to see the museums and rodeo.

It will take a full day to drive from Glacier to Yellowstone so plan accordingly in your schedule.

Best time to go would be in my opinion mid to late August to early September. I would do Glacier first and then head to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. The main road thru Glacier- GTTSR- is usually not open until late June and is closed the third week of September. The busiest months in the parks are July and August. We did our trip at the end of August and had good weather and no crowds.

You will need to book your lodging if you want in park ASAP.

Some of the people who post on the road trip forum know a lot about car rentals for non-US residents so possibly should post there for more info.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

A lot of us post here and on the road trip forum. Many have done this same trip. So you may want to post on the road trip forum too.

Good luck and let us know if you have more questions.

montana
Level Contributor
1,275 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

Fly into San Francisco so that you can easily get to the Redwoods -- very nice choice for visiting California! Skip flying into LAX, and save So. CA for another time. By flying from the SF Bay Area to MT you will save a few dollars, a few hours in flying time, and also get to enjoy the beauty of No. CA. You can fly from Oakland OAK, or San Jose SJC, or San Fran SFO into any Montana cities.

In MT, plan to rent a car and do a loop of driving to see Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons. Do not expect to fly between these places, because there are no direct flights. It will be a lot of driving, but beautiful scenery. Picking up a car in one location and dropping it in another will incur high drop off fees, but it might be worth it.

Your timing of late Aug. early Sept. would be perfect for missing crowds but still enjoying summer weather. Very unlikely that you'll encounter any snow, other than seeing it in the higher elevations.

Enjoy the planning process!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
119 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

Thanks all great info and suggestions , when you mention book asap as I'm looking at 2015 I hope I'm giving myself got plenty off time to sort out the details. However when do bookings open for the following year, from what I've noted it looks like they open a year or so in advance ?

thanks again

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
29,988 posts
442 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

Yes booking usually starts the year before. Many people who are planning for 2014 have already booked lodging in the parks. I would go ahead and make my plans and then at the beginning of 2014 get my lodging in place for 2015.

5. Re: advice re doing Glacier, GTNP, Yellowstone

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 06 March 2014, 05:16