I am a planner, and I have been reading these forums for months & months and planning! I would like your thoughts, input, and advice. I was last in Yellowstone during the summer of 1988. It was my dad's 40th birthday trip and I was a surly 16 year old teenager. We were there for the fires, and I remember being diverted around certain areas because of them. I'm not sure of the details, because, remember - I was a surly teenager. As an aside, I remember one of the names of the fires as Clover Mist, and as a result, we named our next dog Clover.
Ok, so since I got the intro out of the way... My husband and I will be going to Yellowstone in September 2014. Due to his job, summer travel isn't an option, so we plan to head west the weekend after Labor Day. I have been booking our in park reservations and think I am on the right track, but have a few gaps to fill in, and could use some expert advice.
9/6 - Fly in. Where? Unknown. TBD. Looking at Jackson, Billings, Bozeman, Salt Lake City, and all the others. Depends on airfare and rental car price - to be determined. Get a cooler and supplies. Stay near whatever airport we fly into or get in the car and travel to one of the closer gateway cities, and stay there the night before entering the park. Day 1 is the most flexible part of our trip!!!
Yellowstone - 6 nights!
9/7/14 and 9/8/14 - Booked Old Faithful Snow Lodge - Frontier Cabin
9/9/14 and 9/10/14 - Booked Canyon Lodge - Frontier Cabin
9/11/14 and 9/12/14 - Booked Mammoth - Frontier Cabin
This is the reservation I am questioning. Mammoth is not reviewed favorably. I understand that staying in Gardiner, MT, is a really good option. It is geographically close, plus it may be nice to have some of the creature comforts a town may offer, especially after being in park lodging for 4 days. Any suggestions for lodging in Gardiner vs. Mammoth?
9/13/14 - This would be the day we travel the Beartooth. I think I want to stay the night in Red Lodge. Especially if we get an early start, we can leave the Mammoth (or Gardiner) area, travel the Beartooth, and by the time we got to Red Lodge, we could do some laundry!!! And then we would have dinner and drinks! Is Red Lodge a good choice for our needs, or do you have any other recommendations.
9/14/14, 9/15/14, and 9/16/14 - We will head to the Grand Tetons and spend 3 nights there at Signal Mountain Lodge in a one room cabin with fireplace.
We check out of Signal Mountain Lodge on Wednesday 9/17/14, and don't really need to fly out until Saturday 9/20/14. Maybe a few nights in Jackson, or we can fly home early and save some $$$
I'm thinking a night or two in Jackson and then fly home. Any thoughts or suggestions?