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Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

New Mexico
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Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

First of all, thanks to all the great posters on this forum. I have learned so much just reading the responses to other questions.

It will be a road trip for my husband and I, leaving from So. Cal. We made late reservations, so we'll be hopping around the park a bit. That means we need to do a morning hike, check out at 11 & toss everything in the car, then spend the afternoon sightseeing and check in again somewhere else in the evening.

Friday night we'll stay mid-Utah, then spend the night Saturday in Jackson. Plan on spending some time in GTNP on Sunday.

Sunday night we're at Old Faithful Inn, plan do do a gyser basin in the morning Monday, check out, and do the other gyser basin in the afternoon and head toward the lake.

Monday and Tuesday nights we are in The Lake Hotel - no exact plans for those days, but since Tuesday is the only day we aren't changing hotels, we could do a longer day hike somewhere. Any suggestions?

Wednesday we'll check out the Canyon area and work our way North. Wednesday night we are in Gardiner; Thursday morning we'll do the Mammoth Hot Springs area and spend Thursday night in West Yellowstone.

We'll head south through Idaho Friday and spend the night again in mid Utah, then get home on Saturday.

Should I plan our itinerary more detailed? We want to leave room for spur-of-the-moment exploring.

Luckily we have a lot of room in the car for coolers, day packs, warm jackets, etc. Can't wait to go!

N. Idaho
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1. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

On Monday when you say you will do one geyser basin in the morning and the other in the afternoon, well, there are 3 or 4 different areas. Basically when you leave Old Faithful, I would head north to Madison Jct and pick up the other geyser basins on the way as well as Firehole Lake Dr and Firehole Canyon. I would not plan to do Norris Geyser basin that afternoon, do that on your way to West Yellowstone on Thursday. You might have time to do Artist Paint Pots which is between Madison and Norris.

Part of your hiking plans may be driven by the current weather. I would talk with the Rangers at the Visitor Center. Mt Washburn trails will likely not be open by then. You could do Yellowstone Picnic Area hike which is just east of Tower Roosevelt junction but I would check with the VC for recommendations. You will need bear spray.

I think your itinerary sounds fine. One of your days at Lake you can thoroughly work the area from Fishing Bridge up to Canyon. The day you head to Mammoth, you can go north from Canyon over Dunraven Pass IF it is open yet.

If the Blacktail Plateau Drive is open (near Pertified Tree on the Northern part of the upper loop) do that. Everyone but me sees great wildlife there!

You are going to have so much fun!!

Pam

Edited: 27 May 2012, 00:42
New Mexico
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2. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Thank you so much Pam, I was really hoping you'd reply!

I've got books, maps, and trail guides that we just haven't had time to read yet. Have been so pleasantly surprised to find the wealth of information here!

I'm not an avid hiker, and DH is almost recovered from a knee injury, so 1/2 day mild to moderate hikes are probably what we should shoot for. Will definitely get reccomendations at the VC. If weather is poor, we'll stick to boardwalks.

We've been so busy and stressed with work we don't want to cram too much into this vacation since we need the rest, but since we are driving so far, we want to see all that we can - within reason. :)

Thanks again for replying. You really help people get the best out of their trip!

N. Idaho
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3. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Well, you will have plenty of time to relax! My favorite time zone is Yellowstone time!

If you want an easy hike, do the one back to Natural Bridge near Lake. It is an old road bed, so fairly level, but just beautiful back in there. Or, well, amending it to say, last time I was there it was beautiful! Yellowstone Picnic area may not be for your husband with a recovering knee injury as it is quite steep when you start out from the parking lot. That is the worst bit right there. In any event, you will have plenty of walking without doing a specific hike. Does your husband's knee hurt when he goes downhill? If so, he may want to avoid some of the switchbacks down to the Canyon overlooks. The most level one is Artist's Point, which is my favorite viewpoint anyway.

You can read all your material on the way. Make sure you bring some paperclips (get the nice ones with different colors!) and small sticky notes! If you want to drive your husband nuts, you can read them aloud! lol

Since you are looking for relaxation, try to have a drink on the 2nd floor deck of the Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser basin!

Pam

Green Valley...
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4. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

And drinks on the porch at Lake Lodge (not the hotel) and commune with nature and whatever appears (Bison, Bear, the lake in the distance, etc.).

Since you'll be at Lake, take your time driving through and stopping at the viewpoints in Hayden Valley for very good wildlife watching.

Edited: 27 May 2012, 02:08
New Mexico
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5. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Oooh, drinks on the porch sounds great - put that on the itinerary :)

Trying to convince DH that we need another pair of binoculars so we don't have to share...

Thanks for the advice!

Edited: 27 May 2012, 18:59
N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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6. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Oh yes, definitely 2 pair of binocs!

Pam

Green Valley...
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7. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Definitely, two pair.

Wildlife Viewing and Photography, prepared by several TAs: http://tinyurl.com/7dt5xe2

New Mexico
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8. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Picked up a pair of small waterproof NIkon Binocs (10x25) which should be great for hiking. DH has a similar pair so I'm used to the size and limitations of compact binocs. They should come in handy when we're out & about.

Looks like the forcast is calling for rain - so we're gearing up for that. Like I said on another thread - if I wanted it hot & sunny, I could stay home! (LOL) we"re bringing extra old towels and plastic bags, as well as some plastic hangars for hanging up wet clothes.

Good thing we're taking our small SUV and have tons of room!

3 days until we leave - I can't wait!

Yellowstone Nat...
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9. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

Your itinerary is plenty detailed. It actually sounds quite good to me. I am a believer that most of the best days in the park simply come to you ... unplanned, unexpected, wonderful serendipity, what you call "spur-of-the-moment exploring."

Check with the rangers each morning for road closures, trail closures and hiking suggestions, and you could hardly go wrong.

This morning has dawned sunny and cool -- who would have guessed after several quite wintery days?

10. Re: Heading out Friday - confused, but can't wait!

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