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GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

Connecticut
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GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

We are 2 middle age adults traveling with 2 senior parents...we are flying into Jackson Hole...spending 2 nights at Colter Bay Village Cabins...moving to YNP for 1 night at Old Faithful, then to Yellowstone Lake Hotel for 2 nights...we continue our trip to Cody for one night at Cody Cowboy Village and our final 3 nights at the Best Western in Hill City, SD...flyng out of Rapid City...

I am a seasoned traveler and travel planner but for some reason I am having a very hard time putting an itinerary together for this trip. I am looking for any help that we can get...We are interested in the Bar J

Chuckwagon dinner/show...snake river float trip in GTNP area. We are also thinking about Dan Miller's cowboy review while in Cody...also would appreciate your comments as to whether or not we should just settle in 1 hotel for GTNP and Yellowstone or if it makes sense to relocate as often as we have planned. I used some of the travel tour itineraries to help with our planning...But, seems like we are covering a lot of area and hopping from hotel to hotel. My concern is that we may be driving in circles without a 'game plan'...any help is much appreciated...

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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1. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

>We are interested in the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner/show

This is great western entertainment with a pretty good dinner, not to be missed.

>..snake river float trip in GTNP area

Great outdoors experience, floating down the Snake River with the Teton Range to the west. Generally good wildlife viewing.

.> We are also thinking about Dan Miller's cowboy review

Dan has a great western music show. You can combine your ticket with pre-show dinner at the famous Irma Hotel across the street from the theater and save a few dollars.

I think your plan on hotels is fine.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

Did you mean see both GTNP and YNP from one location? The answer to that is NO! If your folks are OK with moving I would keep what you've got in Yellowstone. You are on both sides of the park which will cut down on some driving. If you did decide to stay in one place in Yellowstone, I would choose the Lake area over Old Faithful.

A suggestion for your Yellowstone days:

Day 1: coming up from GTNP, do West Thumb geyser basin and then head for Old Faithful. Do the Upper Geyser basin, or as much as you want. If someone gets tired, I would *park* them on the 2nd floor deck at the Old Faithful Inn which overlooks the geyser basin. Overnight at Old Faithful.

Day 2: Head to your Lake lodging via Canyon. See both sides of Canyon, Hayden Valley, Mud Volcano, Fishing Bridge.

Day 3: Head back toward Canyon, heading over Dunraven Pass to Tower Fall, stopping at the overlooks and heading out into Lamar Valley for a bit. Reverse, head toward Mammoth, see the Lower terraces and drive the upper terrace loop, down to Norris, back to Canyon and back to Lake.

Day 4: If you are having good spotting luck in Hayden Valley, take a short drive up there, then reverse and head out the East entrance to Cody.

Pam

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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3. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

Great ideas. YNP roads are like a giant figure 8 so you we will doing lots of driving. Here is a website with the must sees for the park- this will help you plan-

www.yellowstone.net/topten

Enjoy your trip!!

Connecticut
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4. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

Thank you so very much for all of the fabulous and useful advise. One additional question...We arrive in Jackson Hole around 3 p.m., so our 1st day is strictly for travel...The 2nd day I was planning to do either the Snake River or just 'explore' and then to the Bar J for dinner/show...3rd day thought we would do the snake river and the drive to YNP...does this make sense? I am trying to avoid trying to cram in too much in 1 day...Or is it possible to do the Bar J and Snake River in same day? Sounds like reservations are needed so trying to figure out which days to reserve...By the way, we are traveling end of August beginning of September...

Once again...appreciate your responses...

Edited: 31 July 2011, 15:59
Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

If you do a float trip then it takes a 1/2 day so you should plan accordingly. I would call and see what they have available. We like Barker Ewing and they always are very helpful.

Connecticut
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6. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

Thanks...I've heard a lot of good reviews about Barker Ewing and am planning to use them...you've just confirmed...

I think we could do the float trip and the BarJ in evening but sounds like it is about an hour from Colter Bay Village...is that correct? also would like to allow for time on day 3 (or day 1 of our Yellowstone stay) to follow Pam's suggestions in post earlier...Posts have been very helpful...my blank spreadsheet is quickly filling up..........

United States
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7. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

I liked the Badlands which is near Rapid City. You could see it in half a day and could eat at Wall Drug either on the way there or back.

Personally, I really liked their astronomy program (go during a small or no moon if you see it) they have on some nights at the Badlands, but you would have to spend the night closer to the park. Since you don't seem to enjoy switching hotels, you're probably better off just doing a half daytrip there if interested.

United States
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8. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

I liked the Badlands which is near Rapid City. You could see it in half a day and could eat at Wall Drug either on the way there or back.

Personally, I really liked their astronomy program (go during a small or no moon if you see it) they have on some nights at the Badlands, but you would have to spend the night closer to the park. Since you don't seem to enjoy switching hotels, you're probably better off just doing a half daytrip there if interested.

Connecticut
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9. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

Thanks for advise on Badlands...my understanding is that Hill City is somewhat close to the Badlands and we were planning on spending one day exploring that area...with another day to explore Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park...make sense??

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: GTNP, YNP and Mt Rushmore - Itinerary Questions

It is about a 2 hour drive to the Badlands from Hill City. Yes plan on part of a day at Mt. Rushmore and at least a full day in Custer SP. Eat lunch at either Blue Bell or State Game Lodge.

Go online and look at travel planner for SD- click on Black Hills and will give you lots of info-

www.travelsd.com

Post any questions on the SD forum. DE is very good. Enjoy your trip.