Your advice on this forum has been invaluable to planning our first trip to YNP in mid-June, so thank you! We've booked flights from SLC (cheapest by far) and through daily checking, I've booked in the park rooms. We are a family of four, two kids, 10 and 12, who are not good a sitting still (so I'm trying to minimize driving each day), but love to play in the water and find creatures under the rocks, see wild animals, and cool geology/science stuff (but not much into plants, trees, flowers). Short hikes (1-3 miles) are good if plenty to see, but not long ones. I want to avoid hikes along high unprotected cliffs. Due to availability of lodging, we will criss cross the park. I could use a little help refining what to see when, since we can not do the four areas of YNP in any sort of normal order. Here's what I have booked (in order) and what I thought we'd do that day:
Canyon Lodge 1 night : Lamar Valley, Canyon visitor center
OF Inn 1 night: drive to this section, OF, nearby geysers,
Lake Lodge 2 nights: grand canyon, fishing on the lake, Fishing Brigde visitor center, maybe grant village visitor center
Here's what I was thinking of booking BEFORE the above (starting from SLC):
--West Yellowstone 1.5 days/1 night: IMAX, Wolf&Grizzly center (first .5 day), Norris geyser area and visitor center (and hotel with swimming pool)
--Gardiner 1 night: Albright visitor center, swim in river heated by spring (my kids will LOVE this) and white water rafting...then leave to Lamar valley next morning and on to canyon lodge
Am I missing a key section of the park or key area to see? Where is the safe, warm swimming " Firehole" area - I wasn't sure which day should I work this in? Finally, any advice on which trails avoid high unprotected cliffs in the grand canyon area would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your help!
P.S. We decided against the Yellowstone Family Adventure because we are the type of family that when we find something fun to do, we can do it for hours, and we wanted the flexibility to go at our own pace.