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Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

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Brighton, Michigan
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Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

starting to plan family trip for summer (July) 2011.

would like to go from SLC to Tetons and Yellowstone and back, but thought trip to Vernal/Dinosaur NM to do day raft trip "on the way" would be fun. Thought about staying first night in Vernal, then second in Dutch John (as I see they have some nice cabins/scenery there, and it would be on the way to Tetons).

Any recommendations on lodging in both places?

We like camping cabins/cabins with linens, or not-too-fancy hotels, preferably with a pool (& refrigerators and/or microwaves a plus)

Also, any concerns on taking these smaller roads up to Tetons/is there a recommended route from there? We will have a rental car.

Park City, Utah
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1. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

The roads shouldn't be a problem for you. Do note that while this is an interesting area, it's definitely a long ways off the route to the Tetons. You can also experience river trips on the Snake up in Jackson.

While we travel through this area a lot, we haven't done the rivers there so I can't give you a lot of firsthand info. However, some of my staff have used the following company to rent gear on the Green near Vernal:

http://www.fishgreenriver.com/index.htm

A good friend of mine owns a very experienced rafting company, Holiday Expeditions, operating out of Dinosaur as well as further south. They do both the Green and Yampa in that area:

http://www.bikeraft.com/

In terms of the roads, 191 from Vernal up to Wyoming is just fine. The only place it might get a bit dicey for you would be some of the backroads south of Vernal if you end up driving down there. But if you use an outfitter, you should have that issue.

I'm always plowing through Vernal so have never stopped. But as a major outpost for the oil and natural gas industry, you'll find just about every major hotel chain represented, many with brand new properties. My memory is that they just built a brand new Staybridge Suites and a few others. Plenty of places to stay.

Have fun.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

The Flaming Gorge area is fantastic for scenery and you can't beat this place for location location: http://www.redcanyonlodge.com/

Brighton, Michigan
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3. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

Tumbleweed -- thanks for the info -- how far off route???

It LOOKS like it would be only 4 hours more of driving to swing out to Vernal and up to Tetons from SLC (realize these are smaller roads, though).

We are looking at the Snake River as well for rafting, just thought Dinosaur NM with new Visitor's Center (should be done, right?) would be an interesting stop (not to mention I like hot weather, and realize that the rest of the trip will most likely be cool).

Roosevelt, Utah
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4. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

I think it's a great idea to add a raft trip to your Yellowstone/Grand Teton plans. You will love the Uinta Mountains!

If you can work out a deal to save money you can easily stay both nights in either Vernal or Dutch John, they're a scenic 45 minutes apart. If I was doing the planning I'd choose Red Canyon Lodge but it can be pretty pricey in July. The only other hotel in Dutch John is the Flaming Gorge Lodge -- it seems to have pretty good reviews (I've never stayed there myself).

In Vernal, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott was just finished (I'd even guess some of the rooms have never been used!). The Holiday Inn Express is about 2 years old but if you've stayed in one you've seen it before. Another good choice is the Best Western Antlers, a well-maintained, pool included hotel that has been popular for years.

There is a terrific B&B in Vernal, the Landmark Inn. It's a converted church just blocks from the Dinosaur Museum and within walking distance to downtown. It is a beautiful B&B and very private (separate baths, etc.)

If you want to experience class III rapids in the mounument you'll have to go with a professional rafting company. There are multiple options and I've never heard anything bad about any of them.

Of course, I'm still the champion of the "raft it yourself" crowd and personally suggest renting your own raft at any of the three locations available in Dutch John. They will give you instructions and information, and going it alone is really the best option! There are no class II rapids or higher on this section of the Green River.

From Dutch John to Jackson Hole I'd stick with staying on 191 and going through Pinedale. It's about a 4 hour trip without stops.

*Pixie*

Roosevelt, Utah
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5. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

Just saw your reply! Some more information...

From Salt Lake to Vernal it's an easy (and beautiful!) 3 hour drive that takes you through Park City and over 2 mountain passes.

From Vernal to Jackson Hole would be 5 hours -- about the same as from Salt Lake.

I meant to say above "there are no *Class III* rapids in this section of the river" -- in regards to the 7-mile stretch from Flaming Gorge to Little Hole, as referenced at this site in pictures and descriptions:

fishgreenriver.com/…20fishing.htm

The Dinosaur Monument visitor center at the Quarry is being constructed as we speak, stay tuned to this forum for my updates. I'm going to go over and *try* to take pictures of the construction later this month (if they let me close enough!).

As to when it will be finished? WHO KNOWS -- the US gov't. is in control of the building schedule! LOL

*Pixie*

Edited: 28 June 2010, 17:52
Uden, The...
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6. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

Well, we're just tourists like you but we did the same thing you've planned but in reverse. We stayed in Vernal at the BW Antler in a huge room and the pool was good. Can be highway noises though but it didn't bother us. Flaming Gorge really is beautiful and worth to stay a few days and the drive from Vernal to Park City is very scenic as well. It's a detour between SLC and GTNP though but if you have the time go for it. We visited the Quarry before it was closed but Pixie will keep you updated!

Tet

Brighton, Michigan
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7. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

Thanks for the input all -- think I'll look into one or 2 nights in Vernal at BW Antlers, and maybe Don Hatch day raft trip Rainbow Park to Split Mtn -- anyone have any experience on this trip?

Any other outfitters that would do similar day or 1/2 day trip I should check into?

Also -- how long drive from NW Yellowstone (Gardiner) to SLC airport? (not sure if I want to go to Yellowstone 1st (then Tetons then Vernal) or in reverse order (i.e., Vernal first)

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

gardiner to SLC is some 7 hours of driving.

Brighton, Michigan
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9. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

Pixie --

Now looking at going end of June 2011.

what are the raft rental places in Dutch John/Red Canyon Lodge area (THINKING about going it ourselves for a change of pace rather than guided Dino NM tour, as I am looking into a guided tour on the Snake a day or two later (looks like better rapids on Snake -- which is what we want).

I assume there set distances/pick-up points if you go yourself in the Flaming Gorge area??? Typically, how much cooler would it be there than Vernal/Moab rafting in June (would we be cold/need jackets on the river)??

Also -- any updates on the new Dino NM visitor's center???? I am HOPING it will be done by the time we go !!!

Roosevelt, Utah
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10. Re: Vernal then Dutch John (then on to Tetons)?

First, the bad news. Regaring the quarry rebuild, the old building (well, part of it anyway) is gone and they're starting the rebuild now. The plan I heard last week (?) is completion by Fall 2011. Sorry about your trip plans but I doubt they'd have it completed sooner.

NOTE TO ALL OTHERS: The other "rumor" I heard last week was that once the Quarry is reopened look for a NEW NATIONAL PARK in my vicinity!

Now, it's just a rumor, but this individual (whom I trust -- they REALLY know this place!) mentioned that the amount of money they're spending on this rebuild is more than they would do just for a National Monument-type structure.

The GOOD news is that the quarry building isn't the only part of the monument out there to explore! They are still directing tours through various dinosaur bone sites still open, there is a great expanse of backcountry for hiking, and the river is always there to marvel and enjoy.

Dagget County has a website that lists businesses and what they provide

www.daggettcounty.org/index.aspx?nid=155

The "floatable" Green River section is anywhere from the dam to the Monument bondary near the Gates of Lodore. I've floated almost all that way and it is beautiful and pretty easy (nothing Class III or higher on the rapids). The rental co.'s will provide drop off and pick up service for a fee but if you have two vehicles a pickup isn't necessary, you just tie the raft to the top of your vehicle and bring it back at the end of the day.

From what I now understand you can "reserve" a raft rental in advance (how far in advance I can't tell you) as long as you PAY for the raft via credit card over the phone. If you know your dates and that you want to rent a raft I'd take care of that tidbit as soon as you can, especially since June/July are the busiest months they have.

The weather on the river varies with the mountain weather; it can be hot! hot! hot! or cold and windy, even snow in summer. On especially rainy days you're not so prone to runoff as you would be other places (its a pretty deep canyon and can handle a lot of water) but it's no fun to be wet and cold in the bottom of a deep canyon surrounded by freezing cold water. LOL I've found that layered clothing really helps with this, especially if you can take a warm jacket in a waterproof container for later on, and really do bring an extra pair of pants!

I have never taken a guided trip on the Green River so I can't accomodate you there but I know there are plenty of reviews here for guides. Maybe there are others that can comment on this?

*Pixie*

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