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9/2014 - Obsessive planner

Point Pleasant, NJ
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130 posts
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9/2014 - Obsessive planner

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?

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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1. Re: 9/2014 - Obsessive planner

Red Lodge raises a (good) red flag. Spend a night away from the park, go to Cody. Even a surly teen would appreciate:

Buffalo Bill Center of the West A fascinating world class complex (with cafeteria). The center consists of five museums and a research library on one site that include exhibits on Yellowstone National Park, Western Art, Plains Indians, Firearms and on William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Plan on at least three hours. For all ages. http://www.bbhc.org/home/

And as an adult, consider seeing the National Museum of Wildlife Art Another remarkable museum focusing on western art of all kinds. Just north of Jackson. http://www.wildlifeart.org/

Spery, Iowa
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2. Re: 9/2014 - Obsessive planner

You could do a night in Jackson, and maybe would you consider a night in Cody? The rodeo will be over, but I believe you can still do the museum. Depending on where you are flying in and out of, you could do a night or more in that area- SLC or Billings or Bozeman. You might want to move your nights around for Beartooth to Red Lodge depending on your flight.

West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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3. Re: 9/2014 - Obsessive planner

I suspect you will appreciate a night or two in Jackson at the end of your trip before getting on a plane and returning back to reality. As much as I enjoy being disconnected from society while in the parks, sometimes you just crave a good restaurant, etc. at the end of an exhausting period of outdoor activities as a transition before returning home.

I can't speak to the cabins at Mammoth, but I personally enjoy the hotel and Mammoth Village a great deal. There is a lot of history in the area - It was originally the army camp before the park was designated as a park and there is a self-guided walking tour of the buildings explaining how the military was called in to protect the land before the world's first national park was established. In addition, the hotel is one of the older properties in the park. It is not the log cabin "parkitecture" style people may expect from a place like Yellowstone. It was built at a time when travelers enjoyed finding all the comforts of home at their destinations, Of course, all the comforts of home was a different story back then, so you will find that some rooms do not have a private bathroom (shared, down the hall) and the plumbing leaves something to be desired, but I like the vintage feel of the place. In addition, elk tend to gather on the lawn around the area almost every evening. It's very relaxing to me because there is less to do in the area. You could return by dinnertime and relax with a drink on the front porch, watching the elk and people after a nice dinner, maybe enjoying an evening program in the map room. Gardiner is just about 10 minutes away if you need anything from a real store, but it doesn't have the same feel.

KCK
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4. Re: 9/2014 - Obsessive planner

I agree with Adventuritis, Mammoth has its own charm and almost feels like a little town. But I really think one night in that area is plenty. I love Jackson and it would be a nice way to end your trip.

5. Re: 9/2014 - Obsessive planner

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