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Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

boston
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Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

My wife and I are going to Jackson Hole in August. We want to see as much of Yellowstone as we can in 2 consecutive days. We will be renting a car and driving from JH both days. Any tips on planning the trip, links to itineraries from other people, or other helpful suggestions would be welcome. What are the best/most important things to see? Should we focus on one part of the park for both days, or try to see different sections on each day?

Thanks in advance!

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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1. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

Are you aware that you have will have a significant amount of relatively nonproductive driving, both in miles and especially time, to see the YNP sights from JH? We typically recommend separate lodging to see the two parks, in part because YNP is so large you'll drive hundreds of miles just there and because you do not want to drive these areas at night, at risk to yourselves and to the wildlife. I hope you can reconsider your lodging location(s).

You'll want to see, of course, the geyser areas; that's one very full day including the drives. Wildlife can be seen in Hayden and Lamar Valleys (and anywhere along the figure 8 road).

Edited: 28 June 2013, 16:10
boston
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2. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the only reason we are able to make the trip is the excellent deal we received on lodging in JH, so additional accommodations in YNP wont be possible. We're willing to leave early in the morning to make the ~2 hr drive each way and still have plenty of daylight to see some highlights of the park. We drove all over Ireland in February in order to see the things we had on our list, sometimes going 3 hours in the car just to see a castle for 15 minutes, then get back in the car.

I have read that the geysers are somewhat overrated. Seems to me they would be at the top of the list, as "Voyaging" mentioned.

Any other input? I get the impression that you can just pick a route, drive through the park, and see a lot of amazing stuff (scenery, wildlifeetc) wherever you go, rather than trying to hit specific spots in the park (other than the geysers). Is that accurate?

Pittsburgh...
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3. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

I could be wrong - I am not an expert - but I believe the two hours you reference is from Jackson to the park entrance. Most of the main attractions are some distance beyond that. Just now I entered 'Jackson to old faithful inn' on google maps and it shows over three hours. Your in park driving will take much longer than highway driving. Perhaps you'll want to limit yourself to the more southern areas of the park and skip places to the north like mammoth and the Lamar valley.

Also, I am not of the opinion the geysers are over rated. The thermal areas are so unique and special I would not want to miss them even on a brief trip. I hope you Enjoy your planning and the trip itself!!

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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4. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

If you must stay in Jackson, then I would suggest a one day trip to Old Faithful, and another day to visit the Canyon area of yellowstone which will also take you through Hayden Valley, which is one of the better areas for wildlife viewing, second to Lamar Valley IMHO. This will allow you to stick to the lower loop, but anything N of that Lamar Valley/Mammoth etc would not be feasible due to time considerations. I lived in Jackson for 10 years, and would make numerous trips to Yellowstone with family when they visit (and still do now, living in Driggs). It does make for a long day, but if you are mentally and physically prepared for it, I guess its ok. Obviously staying in the park if preferred but your lodging is set.

If you want to avoid the same out and back drive one day, you can also do a loop via the Teton Scenic Byway. Still enter via the S entrance, tour Old Faithful that day, and leave via the west entrance through West Yellowstone, Island Park, Ashton, Teton Valley and returning to Jackson via Teton Pass.

Is your trip only 2 days, or is this the time you are allowing for Yellowstone? Curious if it was only 2 days, how you would devote time to the greater Grand Teton area and Jackson where you are based out of...?

Edited: 28 June 2013, 19:19
boston
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5. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

Thanks for the helpful replies. The trip will be from Friday evening to Thursday morning, but we have only allotted those 2 days for YNP. We've never travelled to this area of the country before (we live in Boston), and will also be spending some of the trip with friends who will be in JH at the same time for a wedding, so we are trying to do as much as possible while we are there (white water rafting, mountain biking, relaxing at the hotel, shopping, etc.)

If the geysers are a must-see, we will definitely dedicate one day to that, and stick to the lower loop the second day. I have a guide book I need to peruse, but what are the other highlights of the lower loop?

Thanks again!

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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6. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

>>>>what are the other highlights of the lower loop?

The NPS website is a good place to start to plan your visit :

nps.gov/yell/…areatripplanners.htm

The areas of Canyon, Grant, Old Faithful and Lake would be considered part of the lower loop.

7. Re: Planning 2 days in YNP while staying in Jackson Hole - HELP!

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