We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
69 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Planning a trip to the area in the beginning of October 2013 w/ wife and 8 yr old daughter. We're flying from the east coast have six nights to spend... My questions are:

1) which is the best area/city to fly into and use as a base to visit both TNP and YNP? We only want to stay at a hotel in one location Also, we want to visit both parks w/o spending all day in the car getting to/from.

2) I know the weather is always unkown, but generally what can we expect for temperatures and precipication?

3) Will all roads and amenities still be open this time of year?

4) Lastly (and most importantly) what wildlife is active and most seen this time of year?

Thank you in advance for any help and expertise given.

-Brent

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
19,051 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

#1 - It sort of depends on what is a good deal for you. The most popular choices are Jackson, Bozeman, Billings, Idaho Falls and a 5-6 hour drive away, SLC. You might look in to flying into Bozeman and out of Jackson, keeping in mind one-way car drop off charges.

#1A You can't stay in one hotel and see both GTNP and Yellowstone. The area is just too spead out to do that effectively. You can stay one place in Grand Tetons and one or 2 in Yellowstone. Weather may factor in on that as well.

#2 It may be cold and there may be some snow. The last few Falls have been pretty warm, who knows what next year will hold. It will be below freezing at night but may warm up during the day. You will need warm jackets, gloves, hats. It can snow in Yellowstone in any month.

#3 No. Things start buttoning up after Labor Day. Here are links to Road Opening/Closure and Facility Opening/Closure.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm

nps.gov/yell/…open_closedates.htm

#4 Bison and elk for sure. Bears will be entering hyperphagia to prepare for hibernation so are usually around. Wolves may be visible. A lot of it will depend on weather conditions at the time. If it is still warm, bears may be higher up. If there has been cold weather higher up that has moved them down to lower elevations they will be visible.

Do your 6 nights include your arrival day? You will need to position yourself relatively close to your departure city the night before you leave, depending on which city it is and of course what time your flight leaves. We usually recommend stopping to get a cooler and fill it with lunch stuff, snacks and drinks. This is especially important this time of year when many of the restaurant facilities will have closed down in Yellowstone. If what you have is 5 days, then I would suggest 3 in Yellowstone and 2 in Grand Tetons.

Pam

Edited: 17 December 2012, 03:05
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Is it impossible for you to come earlier? When the weather is more certain and the wildlife more abundant?

Edited: 17 December 2012, 15:27
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
27,388 posts
382 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Great info. Just as mid to late May can be iffy in terms of weather so can late Sept/early Oct. If you want to really enjoy the park and the wildlife I agree with voyaging about coming at a different time of the year.

Please let us know if you have more questions.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
69 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Good info.... Thank you,but I'm planning on coming out there for my 40th birthday (beginning part of Oct). would it be worthwhile to still come out there at that time of yea? We like the "peace and quiet" in visiting in the off-season, but just want to make sure we're still able to have the same amenities of high season.

USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

How about the cold being from South? Driving skills?

I personally loved it that time of year this summer, less crowds, cooler temperatures, fall colors, but iffy weather& cold at night/morning brrr:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60999-i481-k58008…

However, I was camping. Slept in the back of my campershell with lots & lots of blankets over me. It would be much warmer in your lodge LOL. You probably won't be starting a backpacking stove to get coffee LOL

I do have alaskan blood still but the Wyoming/Montana winds can be something else. In Alaska the winds are in winter where we were & then we were in a protected area in town up against woods.

With the right attitude, snotty weather driving skills & the right warm base layers, waterproof breathable rain gear, hats gloves it's wonderful. Plus, the right vehicle with those snotty weather driving skills!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
19,051 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

"but just want to make sure we're still able to have the same amenities of high season."

As indicated before, many things close down with the last open day being Labor Day because it is definitely moving on toward winter. Take a look at the links given above and see how this might impact your trip and see if they are things you can live without. All the Ranger-led hikes/programs will have ended by your projected travel date as well. The last week of August would really be the last week for every restaurant and lodging opportunity to be open. I think some of the horse rides might shut down before that, but I am not 100% sure on that.

It might also help to know what you are thinking when you say amenities.

Pam

USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Pam, when I was there early Sept., labor day, I hiked from petrified tree to Roosevelt dreaming of lunch, & it was closed!

Then in late Sept., I stopped at Canyon for lunch & all the restaurants were closed, even the cafeteria. The only food was chili dog-type stuff at the outdoor store. Plus, in late Sept Dunraven pass was closed for construction so I had to drive all the way around.

Good point, Pam.

Those amenities aren't important to me, but they might be to Brent & family..

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
19,051 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

Yeah, I've run in to the same dilemma at Canyon the end of Sept. I'm not a chili dog kind of person and think I wound up with wheat thins and Red Vines for lunch. Yummo!

I didn't realize Roosevelt closed ON Labor Day, I guess I thought that was the last day, so I would have been in your spot as well. As many times as I have been to the park, I still learn new things.

The wheat thins/Red Vines incident definitely got me in to a better thought pattern on stocking my cooler with real food.

Pam

Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
2,249 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

<< would it be worthwhile to still come out there at that time of year? >>

Absolutely. As indicated above, though, some things will be closed, so you need to make plans accordingly. ENJOY!

10. Re: I've read previous postings,but have a few simple ?'s

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 20 December 2013, 05:15