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Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

Chicago, IL, USA
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Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

Have never been to either of these places before and would like some help. How do you plan your trip, as far as days spent in each goes. I'm trying to get an idea of how long I should stay in each place. Could I use Jackson Hole as my base and go to GTNP and Yellowstone respectively, as day trips? Or, are they too far apart?

I'm trying to make this as simple as possible and need a few ideas. I also would like to go river-rafting and try camping (with an outfitter) while I'm out there. I'm also interested in going to Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

let me say that you will love going here. i went for the first time in 2001 and loved it so much i'm going back in a week.

however,

it's time for you to do some reading. i suggest that you read EVERY post in this forum. then, you should read everything you can on the National Park Web sites:

www.nps.gov/yell/pphtml/planyourvisit.html

www.nps.gov/grte/pphtml/planyourvisit.html

You could use Jackson Hole as a base for GTNP, but NOT Yellowstone. Driving takes a lot longer because it's not the mileage, but the low speed limits (35 mph or so) and having to stop for animals or construction. I recommend staying in both parks as it's more convenient and fun to be right there.

Here's the web site for Yellowstone lodging:

travelyellowstone.com/dynamic/mz_viewer.htm…

Grand Teton lodging:

http://www.gtlc.com/

Book your reservations at least 6 months or a year in advance as well as plane reservations if you plan to fly.

Have fun!

Southeast PA
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2. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

I have to agree with Texas Ham. That would be too much driving.. If you absolutely wanted to stay in 1 place... maybe Flagg Ranch? Even still, that quite a drive if you're up near Mammouth, or tower near the end of the day. Canyon seems to be much more central while in Yellowstone, tho we stayed in West Yellowstone, and found it fine. While in GTNP, we stayed with friends right in Jackson, so I'm not familiar with hotels in that area.

Ohio
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3. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

I totally agree with Texas. We just came from Yellowstone and GT. We stayed 2 nights at Canyon, 2 nights at Old Faithful Snow Lodge and 2 nights at Grand Tetons. If I had to do it again, I would add at least one more day at Yellowstone area (that hotel look so beautiful and peaceful).

Take Texas' advice and read all a lot of these posts and it will help you a great deal. It certainly helped me.

I also took out several videos from our local library and learned a lot about the history of both of these places.

Great Smoky...
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4. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

You are going to have a marvelous time! Three years ago our family went for the first time and we are getting ready for our 6th trip! We love it. I recommend getting a hold of Frommer;s Guide. The lastest edition would be best. This will give you an idea of what to expect. I recommend breaking your trip into two to three different stays and planning your days according to the area that you are in. Jackson Hole, Cooke City, and West Yellowstone will give you the most coverage. GTNP can be done in one-two days. I would give yourself 3 -5 days in YNP. Jackson Hole has the best outfitters for rafting. Although Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful are the most popular "attractions", you will be cheating yourself if this is your focus! Try things like wolf watching in the Lamar Valley, hiking the DeLacy Trail to Shoshone Lake, and watch the sun rise over Lake Yellowstone! In West Yellowstone I recommend the Three Bear Lodge or Kelly Inn and in Cooke City I recommend the Sinclair Cabins (www.ccsinclair.com). While in Jackson Hole eat breakfast at Bubbas! Also, don't come to Yellowstone without a spotting scope!

Chicago, IL, USA
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5. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

Forgot to mention I'm going next week, can't wait 6 mos. Also, as far as accomodations go I'll be staying at hostels.

I've decided to spend 4/3 nights in Jackson, 4/3 in W. Yellowstone. Cooke City might be an option, I'll know once I get to Yellowstone where I'll stay.

Boca Raton
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6. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

I live in Jackson for part of the year so here is my suggestion. Grand Teton Natl Park is very easy trip from town. Stay in town or at Aspens or Teton Village. Quick trip to park. Get hike book at most shops in town and plan a few easy ones . e.g. Taggert Lake, Bradley Lake etc.

Yellowstone is another 45 minutes from town and you could stay in town and 'day trip' a few times. bit it would be easier if you stayed closer. You should plan at least a few days to see part of the park and really get into the scene. Rafting can be done either from town or from Jackson Lodge in Grand Teton Park. It takes at least 1/2 day so you should plan accordingly.

If you stay in town or nearby there is plenty to do for a few days. If you can afford it. try to stay a night or two at OLd Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone. Will give you a head start in seeing that park. You can also find other places to stay nearer Yellowstone than the town of Jackson.

Remember that the entire valley is perhaps the most beautiful place in the world. Try and see as much as you can.

Camping is easy to do. My wife and I try to get a week or two in every year. We are in our 60's. so do not worry about too much. Lots of campsites available. The Moose entrance to GTNP has all the info available at the desk etc. Most outfitters in Jackson can also be very helpful. Please remember that this is the west and the western culture of being a good neighbor is still the rule. Code of the West is not bulshit here. 99.99 % of the folks who are in the tour buisness are in for the long haul and will try and do the right thing.

Chicago, IL, USA
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7. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

I have already made my reservations, 4/3 nights in Jackson and 3/2 nights West Yellowstone.

I won't be staying at the Old Faithful lodge because it's undergoing a major renovation at the moment. But I will stop by just to look at the place.

Last year I was on a business trip and traveled throughout the West, and yest the people were neighborly and helpful.

I'm looking forward to going next week.

Pasadena, California
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8. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone. 9/7-911/05) We stayed two days in the Teton Mountain Lodge a little outside of Jackson Hole. It's a great hotel/lodge. I liked being outside of the city, which is a bit touristy. We have a large lovely room w/ a fireplace and kitchen, though we used neither. We had dinner at Nani's, a pricey but excellent Italian restaurant behind the Anvil Motel. For an afternoon treat, go to Cicolato for the chocolate mousse or other chocolate creations by the 2nd place winner of the Patisserie Olympiad, Carlos Ortega. (Avoid the napoleon as it is a bit soggy.)

We spent two days near the Tetons and two in West Yellowstone to visit Yellowstone National Park. Since we had a car, it was not a problem to cover a lot of ground in the four days. Be sure to visit Midway Geyser Basin, in Yellowstone not found in our guide book, but an amazing sight. At Jenny Lake in the Tetons we hiked one mile up to Inspiration Point. It was inspiring to see the number of senior citizens effortlessly hiking. The view from Signal Mountain is also worth the stop. As for Old Faithful, it was a bit disappointing because it was smaller than I imagined, but it does faithfully spout every 90 minutes +/-.

In our short stay, the weather ranged from hot to snow, so prepare to layer clothing.

I liked staying in two different places as Jackson Hole and W. Yellowstone are quite different socioeconomically. with the latter being more rustic. Jackson Hole is more upscale.

In W. Yellowstone we ate breakfast and dinner at the Timblerline. The service is unpredictable but the food and value is excellent. The Southwest meatloaf and coconut cream pie fit the the category of "comfort food." The local IMAX theater has a good movie on Yellowstone. Some hotels have discount tickets.

I would happily return to both places. Three days in each should be fine.

Dessertarian

Chicago, IL, USA
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9. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

Thank you dessertarian (love that name) for all that useful information!

Nani's is right behind the Anvil, which by the way. is the place I'm staying at. Never heard of Cicolato, but since I love chocolate mousse I'm definitely going there. BTW, you're the second person who's mentioned Midway Geyser Basin, I'll add that to my list along with IP & Signal Mtn.

Always looking for good suggestions on the restaurant front and Timberline sounds right up my alley. SW meatloaf sounds interesting. As far as that movie goes, I've heard a lot about it. I'll make a note of getting discount tickets at a hotel.

As far as the weather goes, it sounds a little like what I experienced in CA recently. So I'm getting use to dressing in layers.

Chicago, IL, USA
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10. Re: Need help planning my trip to Jackson Hole, GTNP...

Thnx! I'm at the Anvil now, it's clean and decent and the price is definitely right.

Now I'm looking to rent a car at a reasonable rate. Nothing fancy, just a compact. I had to cancel my reservation at the airport because it was too expensive to get there. Jackson Hole is the first city I've ever been to that doesn't have a public bus that goes to the airport.

If anyone has rented a compact at a decent rate please let me know?