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Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

Virginia Beach...
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Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

We have a timeshare week in Jackson Hole for the last week in August and plan to visit the Black Hills , SD (Mt. Rushmore) enroute during the drive from Milwaukee after visiting my daughter.

As such, from the Black Hills area, I think I have to drive thru Cody and YNP to get to get to Jackson Hole - is that correct? Will I be driving on the Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highway on this route? If so, should I just stop at Cody for the night and do this drive the next day enroute to Jackson Hole.

For the second week from Aug 31-Sept 6, I booked 2 nights at Snow Lodge Cabins, followed by 1 night at Lake Lodge Cabins, night at Cody, 2 nights at Canyon Lodge Cabins, and 1 night at Mammoth Cabins. If I do Cody at the beginning of the trip, should I replace that night with one at Red Lodge? I would love to get to Lamar Valley one morning and try to spot some wildlife, is this doable from Red Lodge since Roosevelt is closed after Labor Day?

If not, any suggestions on what I should do to replace the Cody night? Would you spend an extra night at Lake or Canyon given the choice ( I need to check daily for cancellations at the Xanterra site)?

We are interested in taking our time to see all the YNP sites and doing some easy to moderate hikes up to 3 or 4 miles to see some of the awesome scenery. We did visit the Park about 10 yrs ago for 2 days - so saw only the highlights.

Thank you for your assistance.


Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

You do not have to go thru Cody and Yellowstone to get from Keystone, SD to Jackson, WY. You can take US Hwy 26 W and it will take you about 9 hours of driving time.

IMO and I am no expert many who want to do early morning Lamar Valley either stay in Canyon area or in Cooke City. Red Lodge is not close to the Lamar Valley.

N. Idaho
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2. Re: Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

Red Lodge is a good 2.5 hour drive from Lamar Valley and is on the far end of Beartooth highway, so agree with Peachbelle that it is not feasible to stay there to visit anything in Yellowstone including Lamar.

Are you driving back to Milwaukee or points east after your time in the Tetons and Yellowstone? If yes, then that is when I would do Beartooth, altho the later you get in Sept the more risky the weather can be.


Virginia Beach...
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3. Re: Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

Thank you PeachBelle - you are correct. I needed to look at my mapquest routing closer. This takes care of my issue - we will just do a night in Cody as originally planned during our YNP week and see the BearTooth and Chief Joseph enroute. We are eventually driving all the way West to Vancouver Island and then have to drive all the way back home to the East Coast in early October. Maybe it was crazy to do a cross country trip - but we don't have to rent a car for 6 weeks and pay for airfares. But the price of gas at today's prices may costs even more. But we just retired last year - so thought we would give it a try.

BTW, isn't it about an 1.5 hr drive from Canyon to Lamar Valley? Don't know that we can get there early enough to see wildlife. Heck, why not, it will be like working when we got up at 4:30 am to leave the house by 5:30 am to do our daily commute.

st louis
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4. Re: Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

We loved the town of Silvergate. One mile to the Northeast entrance and next to Lamar Valley.

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5. Re: Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

Another idea....

Day 1 Snow Lodge cabins

Day 2 Snow Lodge cabins

Day 3 Lake

Day 4 Cody

Day 5 Cooke City-Silver Gate

Day 6 Canyon

Day 7 Mammoth

When I go to the park, I move around a lot so as not have to drive so much, so I love your itinerary. It's pretty easy to have a carry-on to hop in & out of cabins. Think of it as glorified backpacking LOL from cabin to cabin.

I love too that you will get to drive the east entrance road from Lake to Cody on day 4, one of the most beautiful drives in the park & not often mentioned. I love to stop at Pelican creek just east of the bridge to scope for animals & birds, a very rich wildlife area. Get up early for time at the museum in Cody that afternoon, if interested. I have seen moose around the east entrance area.

One option, to give you your desired Beartooth & early morning Lamar would be:

Day 5 get up early, take a cooler of goodies, drive the Chief Joseph to the Beartooth, turn east on the Beartooth to drive up to the Rock Creek vista, turn around there & drive to Cooke City/Silver Gate to spend the night there.

Then Day 6, get up early & drive through Lamar valley on your way to Canyon, stopping all along the way at pull-outs with your binoculars for scoping for wildlife. If you are interested in mt goats, stop at Barronette Peak to search with your binoculars. If you see a lot of folks stopped, it's probably the wolfers with wolfs in view.

But I certainly wouldn't cancel Canyon until you secured lodging in Silver Gate or Cooke City.

I highly recommend the Log Cabin Cafe in Silver Gate, perhaps for dinner the evening you arrive:


Just another idea.

Edited: 20 April 2013, 16:18
6. Re: Comments Needed on YNP & GTNP Itinerary

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