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GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

Atlanta, Georgia
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GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

Our family of 4 with 2 girls ages 10+11 are arriving into Jackson Hole May 24. Trip plan Grand Teton NP-2 days Yellowstone NP-7 days then departure to Billings via the Beartooth Hwy.

1st + 2nd night??? We would like to explore the Grand Teton area for 2 days.

Would you suggest our first night in Teton Village or Jackson? We will get up bright and early to go look for animals!

We would then like to move a little closer to YNP the next night (we don't mind changing hotels). The 3 in the park seem rather pricy and wondered if anyone has any advice where we should stay the second night on our way up to YNP.

3rd + 4th nights- Old Faithful Inn

5th night- Lake Yellowstone Hotel (annex)

6th + 7th nights- Canyon Village (western cabin)

8th + 9th nights- Mammoth Area (frontier cabin)

10th day + night- driving the Beartooth Hwy and staying somewhere in Red Lodge???

11th day- drive to Billings to catch our flight home to Atlanta

I would LOVE to hear anyone's thoughts and suggestions for our trip since we have never been and want to make sure we do this area justice.


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1. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

I am in the planning stages but based on my research we are going to stay at Teton Lodge or Inn at Jackson Hole.

Your trip sounds great. I can't wait to show Yellowstone to my son although we aren't going until next year.

Bruceton Mills...
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2. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

Sounds like a nice trip to me. Make sure you have an alternative plan to Beartooth Highway. It won't necessarily be open while you're out there.

If possible I might try to combine the 5th night at Lake with the 2 nights at Canyon. Just to save a move.

I don't remember anything between Jackson and Yellowstone other than the 4 lodges in GTNP. I don't know when they open but they would make a nice second night. I can't help with picking between Teton Village and Jackson.

If you haven't seening, you might find parts of our website helpful.


Trip reports, pictures, sample itineraries, planning info and other stuff.

Bear in mind too that you could see snow while there. Early June can still be wintry in those parts. Look at our 2008 trip for instance.

Saint Louis...
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3. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

I'd definitely choose Jackson over Teton Village for the first night. Much more to do and see in Jackson.

Have you looked in the cabins at Colter Bay for the 2nd night? I find them to be one of the more reasonable accomodations in the park. Pretty bare minimum in luxuries, but they're clean, spacious, private and are in a good location in the park.

Billings, Montana
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

The annual date for getting Beartooth Pass plowed and open to traffic is always Memorial Day weekend which this year falls on May 23-25. Both Montana and Wyoming highway departments work really hard on getting the road open but late May snowstorms can always push back the opening date. Last year they got it open on time but had to close it a few times in June due to snowstorms. However, the pass was only closed for 1 1/2 days at the most. It is such a tourist pull they work at keeping it open. Last spring was unusual as it was so wet and very cool all spring and into June. My grandson and I went camping the last week in June in the Beartooth Mountains and Yellowstone Park. I haven't seen that much snow and water in the streams/lakes for years.

Its hard to predict this early what the status of Beartooth Pass will be when you'll be here. You can send me a private message a few days before you leave and I can tell you what it looks like but you'll still need to wait until you get to Mammoth and ask there what the day to day status is.

If the pass is closed you can drive north out of the park through Gardiner to Livingston, turn east on I90 and drive to Billings to catch your plane. If you have to do that you could either stay another night in Mammoth or add a town outside of the park to your agenda since there's really no reason (in my opinion) to drive to Red Lodge from I90 if the pass is closed.


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5. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

I think your itinerary looks great, as long as the weather cooperates and lets you enjoy the Beartooth. For me personally, 2 nights in the Tetons is enough and 7 nights in YNP is a great idea.

If you do stay in Red Lodge, we really liked the Chateau Rogue when we stayed there a few years ago. Very reasonably priced and great units. Red Lodge is a neat little town.

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

Wow, thanks for all of your comments!

The info about Beartooth Hwy is really helpful. We also will try to combine our nights at Canyon and not stay in the Lake area. Not sure now if we need 2 nights at Mammoth- maybe just one there or both nights at Canyon since it is more central and if Beartooth is closed provides a quicker exit through Cody and up to Billings. We may stay in Red Lodge for a couple of nights so if anyone has nay suggestions for lodging there, it would be greatly appreciated!


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7. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

Looks great to me! I would do two small things differently though.

1. I would shave two days off Yellowstone and make it 5 days

2. I would add the 2 Yellowstone days to Grand Teton, making Grand Teton 4 days.

3. I would spend the entire Grand Teton time at Colter Bay Cabins inside the park, which are awesome.

Trust me when I say that Grand Teton offers an alpine splendor that perfectly compliments Yellowstone. I've stayed at Coltar Bay cabins and they are *awesome* for families. First of all it's sensationally beautiful right at that spot, there's numeorus short trails, wildlife, a marina, a store and dining right at the cabins.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

Thanks for everyone's help on this post- it has been very helpful and we have adjusted our schedule accordingly!!!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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9. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

My question is do you have lodging reservations yet? If not, you may have trouble getting lodging in the places you want to visit. I would spend 3 nights in Tetons/Jackson area and 6 days in Yellowstone.

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: GT/YNP itinerary- too little or too much time in each area?

We're booked below although I cannot decide which place to stay in Grand Teton!

1 nt. Jackson (Cowboy Village Resort)

1 nt. Grand Teton (Colter Bay or Jackson Lake cabin?)

2 nts. Old Faithful Inn

1 nt. Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge

3 nts. Canyon Village (western cabin)

1 nt. Lake Village (frontier cabin)

2 nts. Red Lodge (Beartoothe Hideaway Inn)

Any other comments would be appreciated- thanks!