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Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Detroit, Michigan
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Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Just starting to explore options, is this doable in a week? How would you plan a circle trip starting from where. What is not to be missed? We would be using frequent flyer miles and can fly into either Rapid City, or Jackson Hole....must leave from the same airport.

Need to get the destinations planned then will start on lodging plans for next Sept........

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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1. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

I've been to 3 out of 4 of your destinations, and there is no way to accomplish all this in a week, especially leaving from the same airport. I would recommend choosing Mt Rushmore/Black Hills, Yellowstone/Grand Teton, or Glacier and spending the week at one of the three areas. I have been to the Black Hills and Yellowstone/Grand Teton. I spent 11 days in the Black Hills and 8 or 9 days in Yellowstone/Tetons.

September is a wonderful time to visit Yellowstone!! The crowds are light, and the weather is terrific!

Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Ok, between Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, and Mt. Rushmore Blackhills, describe which area you liked better and why?

Nashville
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3. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

mzambo:

Our family will fly into Denver and make a triangle from Mt. Rushmore(2 nights)to Cody (1 night) to Yellowstone (4 nights) to the Tetons (3 nights) and back to Colorado (3 nights).

If I were in your situation, I think I would fly into Montana, north of Yellowstone, then drive to Grant Village for 2 nights and daytrip to the northern Tetons from there, spend 2 nights in the Mammoth area, drive to Glacier (an all day drive) and spend 2 nights there and then return to your airport city. If you could time things out to start on a Friday and return on a Sunday, you might be able to squeeze another non-work day (if that is an issue) in and make it an 8 or 9 day trip. Good luck. You will see beautiful country.

(I am no expert. Take my 2 cents worth with a grain of salt. I originally hoped to combine the Grand Canyon on our trip until members of this forum convinced me that I would be doing way too much driving.)

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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4. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Hi Mzambo,

Wow..this is a tough decision... I absolutely loved both of these trips, but if I had to choose, I think I'd pick Yellowstone. Yellowstone is like nothing you've ever seen, and I've told many it's the most fantastic place I've ever been. Of course, there's so much more our great country has to explore.

I really enjoyed the diverse terrain. You have the thermal areas, the mountainous areas, Yellowstone Lake, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, waterfalls (Artist Point at the Canyon is lovely), the brilliant colors the thermal areas provide, and even the sulfuric smells will amaze you. Seeing the abundant wildlife in natural surroundings is awesome.

In Grand Teton National Park, you will find some of the most jaw dropping scenery you can imagine. The Tetons also provide you with amazing wildlife (moose are plentiful), and both Jackson & Jenny Lakes are framed beautifully by mountain peaks. I have a picture of my husband on my desk at work at the Snake River Overlook in the park. We visited 11 years ago, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about our trip to this area. We do plan on returning to show our daughter what an amazing place this is!!

All this being said, I also think about our South Dakota trip as well. If you are a person who loves an old west/native American feel, South Dakota's Black Hills region will interest you greatly. The nice thing about this region is the close proximity of its attractions. Everything is within a 2-3 hour radius. There are many caves in this area if you enjoy being underground (my family loves it!!) The terrain is much different here, but beautiful nonetheless. All types of attractions abound here, whereas in Yellowstone/Tetons, the parks are the attraction. You will find more "civilization"(i.e. Chain restaurants in Rapid City, WalMart) in the Black Hills region also. That can be good or bad depending on your perception. We found the people especially nice in South Dakota. They would go out of their way to help you. The northeast moves at a much faster pace than this area; sometimes, I wish we'd have time to slow down and "smell the flowers."

All this being said, I think with your September time frame, I'd definitely go with Yellowstone. The lodging rates do decrease after Labor Day at some of the motels in Jackson and the Yellowstone area, and as I said before, the crowds will be VERY manageable. We visited right after Labor Day. The weather was mostly good, but it does vary widely from day to night. Just go with layers and you will be safe.

I hope this is helpful to you. Enjoy your trip!

Detroit, Michigan
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5. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Thank you so much your post is very helpful!

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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6. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

I just found this website about a month ago and signed on today because I happen to be planning a 2nd trip to Yellowstone and noticed your post. Figured I may as well give my opinion.

Actually, if you don't mind some extra windshield time, this trip can be done in a week (well, 9 days if you include weekend to weekend). We went on this trip and hit Mt.Rushmore (1 night), then Yellowstone/Teton (3 nights), then Glacier (3 nights), but the problem is that you don't get to see as much in one place (thus, my trip plan back to Yellowstone that I mentioned above). That being said, which of those areas to choose is really based on the kind of trip you enjoy. I enjoy the wildlife/hiking/semi-isolation aspect on my vacations so I personally would recommend doing Yellowstone and Glacier since these two parks are the wildlife nexus. I agree 100% with slrtravelplanner's descriptions of the Yellowstone/Teton area, but I really think you would be missing out to omit Glacier N.P. from consideration. We stayed on the eastern side of the park near the St. Mary entrance. Crowds were much less and wildlife viewing at the Many Glacier area was exceptional. I would also recommend driving into Canada and seeing the Waterton Lakes portion of the park. Additionally, omitting any and all opinions on the cause, the glaciers are receding and I think everyone ought to see G.N.P. while they can.

If you do decide on Mt.Rushmore & Yellowstone/Teton, make the detour to see Devils Tower. I think regardless of which trip you select, you won't be disappointed.

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Thanks so much everyone!!!!!!!!! You have all been a great help!

Since our flight is a later one, arrives 6:30 we will have dinner in Jackson and stay there for the night, head to Yellowstone early the next morning, and spend 3 nights there, coming back late the 3rd eve to spend the night in Tetons, spend one full day in Grand Tetons, and unfortunately it is a early flight the next morning, so only 5 nights, but we did Zion/Bryce/North and South Rims in 5 days, yes we missed alot, but I don't regret a minute of that trip!

Catlin, Illinois
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8. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Hi mzambo,

This may sound strange, but if you are planning to stay in Yellowstone you need to book now. All lodging in the park is ran by Xanterra. Their web site is: http://www.travelyellowstone.com/

Most people have found that it is easier to call them at 866-439-7375.

There are many areas to stay in Yellowstone. My favorite is the Canyon area because of its central location in the park.

Enjoy your trip!

Detroit, Michigan
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9. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

Rwdw,

Believe me I found that out!!! I pretty much knew from our experience booking the Grand Canyon a few years back.

Had no luck online, had to hold for 20 minutes on the phone, but there was some availability left. We plan to be in the park from dawn till dark, so basically a place to drop and shower is all we need, but must have a bathroom!!!!!!!!! and no tent camping, must have walls.......lol

Right now the only lodging left is Canyon and Old Faithful Inn... Should we split 2 and 1????? or stay central? $70 a night difference Canyon being more..... Colter Bay Village also available in Grand Tetons for the night we wanted there.

We have a big AI trip to JA in April, and my husband is hesitant to book quite yet, I think I am just going to do it....... We are using freqent flyers for the flight.......so saving a ton there, this is a good flight to use miles on, it is an expensive flight!!!!!

Catlin, Illinois
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10. Re: Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Mt. Rushmore??????

mzambo,

I would stay in one locations in YS. The reason is to spend all of your time enjoying the park instead of checking in and out of different lodgings.

Given a choice I would still choose Canyon. The Canyon area is more in the center of the park, while Old Faithful Inn is in the lower left.

But, do visit Old faithful Inn. It is a must see IMO.