Hello. I'm beginning to plan a family trip next July to Grand Teton NP and Yellowstone. We're a family of 6 - 2 parents and 4 kids (that are 14, 16, 18 and 20). It looks like we'll get in the night of July 3rd (around 9 pm) and stay until Sunday, July 13th, so we'll have 10 nights (9 full days). We would like to do scenic hikes, see wildlife, do a whitewater rafting trip, horseback trail ride, rodeo and perhaps a chuck wagon dinner (if that's something that my teens would enjoy vs something geared towards younger kids?). We've never done whitewater rafting or horseback ride so we wouldn't want any too advanced (unfortunately for my kids, I'm a pretty risk adverse mom!). Please let me know if there are any other activities we should consider.
I was thinking of booking our first 4 nights in Jackson. Is this close enough to GTNP that would make it convenient as a base or should we try to get closer to the park? Should we go to the rodeo, white water rafting, horseback ride and dinner while in Jackson or would there be plenty of other good places to do some of these activities in Yellowstone? I was hoping to spread out some of these throughout our trip.
After Jackson, we would spend 3 nights in West Yellowstone (looks like in-park accommodations near Old Faithful are already booked for next year). After that, 2 nights in the Canyon area of Yellowstone. Should I switch these around to 2 nights in West Yellowstone and 3 in Canyon? Should we do a horseback ride/cowboy dinner or whitewater trip out there?
We'll be flying out of Jackson at 1:30 pm on Sunday, so should we plan to spend our last night in Jackson?
I would really appreciate any advice you could give me, including accommodation advice. It seems like the kids would appreciate staying in Jackson if there's more to do there in the evenings vs a more quiet, remote spot, at least for part of the trip. Budget wise, I would like to keep it under $250/night per room, if we need to get 2 rooms for the family (more is fine if all of us can be in a condo or 2 room suite). Simple is fine as long as it's clean and in good condition.
Thank you so much for any help!!