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Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

Chicago, Illinois
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Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

I have been looking around at itineraries and was hoping to solicit some ideas for our trip. We are looking at going in late August but haven't booked any hotels yet (already booking up, so I better decide soon!). The trip would be 5-6 days and may or may not include the Tetons (we are flying in/out of Jackson).

My wife and I are in our late 20s and like to do trips where we can do a mix of hiking and relaxing. We definitely want to do all of the big sights (geysers, hot springs etc.) but also want to do some solid hiking. We may also do a mix of camping in addition to hotels, especially if we do a 2-day hike.

Any recommendations?

Spery, Iowa
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1. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

my two cents: Flying in and out of Jackson Hole it would be hard not to do Tetons, at least a little. Perhaps, depending on flight, some on arrival day, and some on departure day- possibly have to stay the night there or Jackson depending on flight times again.

That said (confusingly) If you want a two day hike in Yellowstone you will want at least 6 days. If you have been reading, you will know a minimum of three days for an overview of Yellowstone, so hiking adds on top of that. Relaxing requires more time, lol.

I am not a camper or overnight backpacker in Yellowstone, others will be more help. However, have you hiked & camped in bear country before? Two is not a big group for backcountry, so extra caution will be in order.

Xanterra has a nice cancellation policy, which helps with booking two ways. Book now, and if you decide to camp, you can cancel up to two days before your first night. Cancelling after your first night has no penalty (at least in the past) It also means people book and change plans, opening up rooms all the time, so keep stalking the website and calling to get in if nothing is available now.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

And adding on to thbergs...do your 6 days include your arrival and departure days? If so that is really only 4 days to tour.

Pam

Houston, Texas
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for Yellowstone National Park
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3. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

With that amount of time. Stay the night you fly in and the night before you fly out in Jackson or Grand Teton. The reset of the time in Yellowstone. If you only stay in one place Canyon is the most central. Otherwise pick two locations on opposite sides of the park ideally.

There are over a thousand miles of trails so lots to pick from. Get the Trails Illustrated/National Geographic maps and one of the published trail guides. ASAP try and pick one or more prefered trails/campsites/dates and do the reservations. Have multiple choices. It's explained on the backcountry pages. Get lodging reservations for all the days and you can drop the ones you are going to be hiking up to 48hours in advance without penalty. They do keep some campsites available for walkups 48hr in advance but it's better not to just trust to luck.

Just getting 100 yards from pavement puts you further in the backcountry than 95% of the visitors, just think about when you hike in a few miles away from the roads.

Backcountry NPS page

nps.gov/yell/…backcountryhiking.htm

Edited: 27 February 2013, 20:18
Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

Sorry for the sketchy details, still planning things out.

We fly in at 7ish so we will spend the first night in Jackson Hole. After that we will have 5 or 6 full days depending on the flight we decide to book.

I think we are just going to do day hikes now and not deal with backcountry camping. The bear risk just isn't worth it! I purchased the Top Trails book by Daniel Nystrom, but haven't picked any yet.

I was thinking since I enter and leave through the same entrance, maybe I should try to do a loop starting in the old faithful area, work my way up the west side of the and then over to the east side and down. Is that too much? I also don't want to have to stay at too many different hotels.

Thanks everyone

Spery, Iowa
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5. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

You can easily do 2 locations and see all of the park ( well, not all of course, lol) without changing lodging every day.

if you want longer day hikes, I would go for the max days you can get. Old Faithful and Canyon (more things, more people) or Lake (my personal preference) work well for splitting the park. If you were willing to backpack, you can go with the least expensive lodging you can get- you won't spend much time in them anyway.

So, if your day 1 / first night Jackson Hole (Colter Bay Cabins get good reviews, never done that myself)

Day 2 through GTNP to OF

Day 3 OF

Day 4 Canyon

Day 5 Canyon

Day 6 to GTNP

Day 7 Fly out

If you get lodging set, D0bby is great at giving you ideas for daily direction- if you want a hike in each area, many here are good with that as well.

Happy planning- that is what keeps us going until the next trip!

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

The lodging is proving to be difficult - how rough would it be if we only stayed at the canyon lodge the whole time? The 3 old faithful inns/lodges are fully booked up.

Burlington, Iowa...
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7. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

It wouldn't be horrible but I'd still try for Old Faithful. Availability changes all the time so just call Xanterra and check the website often. Get 1 night at a time if you have to, they can combine them all in the end.

Do you have specific dates in mind?

What kind of lodging do you prefer, rooms or cabins? Or whatever is open?

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

Or I could get Grant Village for the first couple days and canyon for the rest. I think there is some availability at the Lake Lodge I figured Canyon would provide better access to the rest of the park

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

I am pretty much open for any type of accommodations

Most likely the nights we will be spending in the park are August 19-23

Burlington, Iowa...
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10. Re: Trip Itinerary Ideas Please!

I don't recommend Grant unless you only use it as your first night. The bonus about staying at OF is you have access to the geyser basins in the morning and evenings when the crowds have left.

Canyon is more centrally located, Lake would be better for your last night on your way to the Tetons. But that would mean you are moving 3 times.