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TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

So, first of all, I know, I know. One day is not a sufficient time to visit Yellowstone! Trust me- I am used to giving people advice about visiting Yosemite and have the same problem. But ultimately I always say that one day in Yosemite is better than none, and I think the same is true of Yellowstone.

A quick background of our trip: we were 5 middle aged ladies celebrating a high school reunion together. We stayed near Teton Village in Jackson Hole, and the focus was on visiting that area. But everyone wanted to see Yellowstone, particularly the geyser area. They seemed to trust me to be their "activity director" (apparently they don't know my secret weapon, which is all of you TA advisors!) So I made sure they were all aware of the time the trip would take, and what the limitations would be, so off we went.

The most helpful info in planning this trip was something I learned about here, a link to a website: www.alandsuejohnson.com/yellowstone_home.htm

These lovely people had created a website of their travels, including a section on Yellowstone with day trips from Jackson. Particularly useful was the link to a map with apprx. driving times between major sights. This was invaluable in preparing us for how much we could see in one day, particularly since none of us had been there before.

The suggested itinerary had you leave Jackson at 6 am and head up to the right side of the lower loop, and Hayden Valley, to catch the wildlife in the morning. Well, we didn't leave until 8:30, and everyone wanted to see geysers, so we just took the recommended loop backwards.

We had packed our own lunch in order to save time. We made a few scenic stops along the way, including Oxbow Bend. What gorgeous scenery! The trip was worthwhile just from scenery alone. We also vowed to stop whenever we saw that there were wildlife sightings along the way, which we did.

Our first major stop was in Grant Village for a restroom break and to gather a bit more info. Then we turned left and headed up the lower loop for our first stop at Old Faithful. It was blowing right as we arrived, so we parked and spent some time walking along geyser hill nearby (some decided to watch the movie in the Visitor Center instead.) Then after the next "eruption" we switched places, and some walked around some more geysers and some saw the movie. I also stopped in at Old Faithful Inn, which is an attraction all by itself.

We had our picnic outside there in the Old Faithful area, and even watched another eruption while we ate.

We moved on toward Norris, stopping to look at bison and at Gibbon Falls. We passed a number of worthwhile stops, but it had to be! We enjoyed walking around the Porcelain Basin at Norris and were in awe of that unique and amazing spot. It was already about 3 when we were there.

On to Canyon, where snacks and coffee were in order, and a quick visit to the amazing Education Center. I checked in with the ranger to ask about seeing the falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. He gave me an excellent plan of attack for the area, so I'd certainly recommend anyone do the same. However, we knew that our time was running out, so we opted for half of it, heading to the road on the south side of the river, visiting Brink of the Falls, and later Artist Point. It was getting close to 5 oclock by then, and I could tell everyone was getting a bit weary, but all were thrilled with our stops.

Lastly, we headed back towards Grant Village, keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife along Hayden Valley (saw some bison and elk, no bears!) We stopped for a bit at Mud Volcano and walked around a bit- what an otherworldly place that is! I was amazed by the ranger who could be there all day, as the smell of sulphur was overwhelming.

We continued along, enjoying the views of Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb Geyser Basin. One last quick stop for snacks and a bathroom break at Grant Village (we got there just before 7 when the Visitor Center closes!) and we were headed back to Jackson. We got back at 9, with enough energy to have a great dinner at "Q" near our condo.

While it was not the ideal way to see Yellowstone, to a one we are all glad we did it, and enjoyed everything that we WERE able to see. While I didn't post many questions here before our trip, I did read the posts here religiously, and I want to thank you all for your helpful advice.

Marlborough...
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1. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

thanks so much for sharing your day. i enjoyed reading it.

i totally agree, 1 day in YNP is better than ZERO!

sounds like you made the most of your 1 day as well!

im goign to check out the link you provided.

thanks! :-)

Spery, Iowa
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2. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

So, second "real" visit in the planning??

Oakland, California
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3. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

Oh yes! I'm ready to return to BOTH Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

Spery, Iowa
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4. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

excellent! Get the book Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple and be prepared for Yellowstone Fever, especially now that you have been exposed :)

Leicester, United...
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5. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

Hi Macjack,

Thanks for the TR. Just wondering about the renovation work inside Old Faithful inn as mentioned in Xanterra website.

Did you see any construction work and was the big fireplace covered ?

Boston...
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6. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

Thanks for the TR! Sounds like it was a great day! I'm amazed at how much you were able to do in a single day. I'm in the early planning stages of my first trip to Yellowstone so I love reading other trip reports to get ideas. Very helpful with my planning. And thanks for that link... looks like some great info on that website.

Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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7. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

In regards to the Old Faithful Inn: yes, unfortunately the fireplace was completely covered by scaffolding and tarps. Someday it will be a sight to behold again. However, I'm still glad I got to go inside. It's a greet spot to watch the geyser from, too.

We were able to keep a good pace because the roads weren't crowded. We were concerned, because it was Sat. and the free admissions day. But early June is a nice time to visit; the crowds were fine and the animals were calving, so we saw lots of babies, too.

Maybe Yellowstone doesn't get the same heavy traffic as Yosemite does in the summer, I don't know. But we did get to see a lot, and tried not to think about what had to miss.

Leicester, United...
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8. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

Thanks Macjack for the update on OFI. Our trip is not till end August so I just pray the scaffoliding would come down by then. We are still very much looking forward to our stay there.

Cheers

Oakland, California
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9. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

Lucky! I would love to stay there someday, fireplace or no. It's a beautiful spot. The rooms are not surrounding the main room, anyway, so I'm sure you will enjoy your stay whether the construction is finished or not.

Yellowstone Nat...
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10. Re: TR: Our one day visit to Yellowstone from Jackson.

It sounds like a good one-day trip. Your flexibility and ability to enjoy whatever the park gave you are great. I'm sure that enhanced your experience. Your report gives a good example for others. Well done, and I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.