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First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

Calhoun, Louisiana...
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First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

HI,

This summer myhusband and I are planning for our one year anniversary to fly from Knoxville, TN and spend a week exploring the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I know they are huge so we were wondering what we be best to do with the week we have. We actually were hoping to fly close to yellowstone and find a bus that would drop off at an entrance to the park then hike the entire trip until time to fly home lol. But from everything I've seen online this is not possible. We are 22 and 23 yrs old. We don't mind roughing it and are very active. We are on a tight budget also. We want to fill an ice chest with food when we get their and camp in a tent at the sites available. Besides the internet research I've done we are not familiar with the area. IF I HAVE to rent a car (lol) we would like to go ahead and fly into Jackson Hole and stay a couple days in the Tetons then on to Yellowstone. Any advice on cheap rentals or best campsites to stay at or even hiking trails as we prefer to do this mostly? Anyone ever hiked in the Tetons as well? Trying to plan an adventurous cost effecient trip. Thank you in advance!!

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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1. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

Hi,

Yes, if you intend to pack and ice chest full of food where you camp (when car camping) you will need a hard sided vehicle lol in either park, but it sounds like you know this.

As far as GTNP, you can camp at the Gros Ventre campground which rarely fills and is a good spot for a couple of days, or Lizard Creek right on the N side of Jackson Lake is a great spot too and my personal favorite. The most popular site is Jenny Lake for camping but there are no views of the lake and this one tends to fill first. I’m not sure why – perhaps the central location.

Backcountry hiking and camping is very popular in GTNP so permits are limited in certain sites that are very popular. However, a true backcountry experience will take a few days and limit your time in Yellowstone. But if you are fit, there are a ton of 10-20 mile hikes that can accomplish and see a lot of what the backcountry campers experience as well. I would recommend spending some time on the Teton Crest Trail and/or the Paintbrush Canyon to Cascade Canyon loop. Given that this is a once in a lifetime trip, you might want to consider purchasing a book to detail hikes in both areas. Have you also visited the website for each park that will help you plan your trip?

www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/hike.htm

nps.gov/grte/…Backcountry13_web.pdf

Others can give their suggestions for YNP. Have Fun!

Edited: 08 May 2013, 22:53
Calhoun, Louisiana...
3 posts
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2. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

Thank you for your reply! On those two spots in GTNP is there a certain time have to show up to get a camping spot? I'm trying to see how I should plan flying departure and arrivals like if I should avoid flying in at 6 pm then renting a car and trying to find a camp site for the night?

USA
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3. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

In Yellowstone, it is best to have one of the reserved campsites, Madison, Canyon, or Bridge Bay, especially the first night into the park when it can be challenging to find a first-come/first-serve campground site.

You can reserve online :

yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/what-to-kn…

Campgrounds have shared bear boxes for food, but, sorry, a rental car is pretty necessary to move in the park LOL.

Yellowstone Nat...
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4. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

<< IF I HAVE to rent a car (lol) we would like to go ahead and fly into Jackson Hole and stay a couple days in the Tetons then on to Yellowstone. >>

Bingo! Hard sided, as bbd mentioned above. Would you hike the state of Louisiana in a week? YNP alone is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Another campground to consider in GTNP is Colter Bay. Hot showers in Colter Bay village, and more centrally located than the two mentioned above, though those are good, too. Lizard Creek and Colter Bay sometimes fill, while Gros Ventre often has openings until pretty late in the day.

Check with the rangers each morning before setting out on your hike, and they can advise you of up-to-the-minute conditions such as closures, weather, frequent animal sightings, trail conditions, etc.

ENJOY!

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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5. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

If you want to be assured of a campsite in GTNP, then I would suggest being there at 9 am to see when people are departing. The reason I mentioned the Gros Ventre Campground is that it rarely fills. Most flights will arrive in Jac starting around noon, so you would want a safety net. GV would be it. Plus, that campground is really close to the airport.

Calhoun, Louisiana...
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6. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

We booked out flights today! Thank you for all the replies we are taking all of your advice!! :) we fly in to JAC at 5:45 if it is on time. So by the time we get a rental car and arrive at GTNP would it still be possible to find a campsite opening at Gros Ventre?

7. Re: First trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for us!

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