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Planning our vacation for next year

Clio, Michigan
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185 posts
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Planning our vacation for next year

Just starting to talk about our vacation for next year. I would love to go to Yellowstone National Park. We would fly from Michigan, where should we fly into? What is the best time of year to go? What area or town would be best to stay in? Any recommendations on hotels or cabins? We would plan on renting a car. Is 1 week too long/short of a time? We are in our late 50's but love to see beautiful scenery, wildlife and hike. Besides YNP what other areas would you recommend? Thanks for helping us make a memorable 2014 vacation.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

The best times in the park are late May/early June to mid to end of Sept. Each time of year has it's pluses and minuses. Spring can be nice weather or wintery still (had snow flurries when I was there June 21) but you have the wildlife babies which are so cute. Some services don't open until Memorial Day weekend. July/Aug are prime months, everything is open and it can be crowded with families but the wildflowers are awesome. Late Aug/Sept has good weather usually, altho there is always the chance of some wintery goodness. The bison may still be in rut, elk rut is Sept. There may be wildfires in the area so smoke is an issue in some years. Some services start to close down Labor Day weekend. Generally, pick a time and go for it.

Lots of choices for airports...Jackson, Bozeman, Billings (can do a drive over Beartooth Highway if it is open during the time you are there), or a bit further afield, Idaho Falls, Salt Lake City or even Denver.

If you just do Yellowstone and Grand Tetons a week is OK. If you start to add Cody, Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highways those add a day each. If you want to fly in to Denver and do a loop that includes Mt Rushmore and Badlands, then over to Yellowstone and the Tetons 2 weeks is better. How much time do you have to spend?

It is best to stay in the Park lodging as it cuts down on your drive time. Book only thru the concessionaire Xanterra at this site. http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/

Spend some time looking at the lodging options (you can book now for next summer and there is a lot of movement, so don't get discouraged if things show they are booked up!) and also looking at the park map to figure out where everything is. nps.gov/common/…

BTW, none of us think there is EVER an amount of time that is *too long* in Yellowstone so you will get skewed answers on that one, lol!!

Pam

Ennis MT
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for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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2. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

I would recommend doing some reading to start your planning.

The "Top Questions" at the upper right of this page address most of your questions re: lodging/airports/time-frames etc. The "Newbies" thread is especially helpful.

Also the YNP website has a wealth of information: www.nps.gov/yell

Visiting YNP is an amazing experience - enjoy it!

Smithtown, New...
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3. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

Fly into Seattle to save money, and rent a car for a 5+ drive to Grand Teton, a bit more to Yellowstone. Fly into Jackson Hole to save time, but there will be a premium on the flight costs.

http://1quest2thenext.wordpress.com

Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

We found very affordable air travel to Denver and spent a few days in Rocky Mountain national park before a long (8 hour) drive up to the Tetons. This took us about two weeks and we were not really rushed. We also had time for a night in cody and one in red lodge so we could drive the whole beartooth highway. Salt Lake City is closer to Yellowstone. Where you fly will depend on what (if anything) else you want to see and how much time you have. For us, another factor is where we can get a direct flight. Pittsburgh doesn't have many and i HATE layovers. More accurately, I hate the chance of a delay cutting into any if my precious vacation time!!

PA
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5. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

We just visited the 2 parks for the first time a few weeks ago & I am still on a "Yellowstone / Grand Teton high"! Already thinking about when we can / will return! Not counting our travel days, we had just 7 full days. We flew in & out of Jackson which is actually IN GTNP. we also drove the Beartooth & & Chief Joseph Highways and did rodeo & museum, etc., in Cody. We got up early every day & packed in a lot! Stayed a couple nights in Jackson, couple nights in Yellowstone, also in Gardiner, MT (north) & in Cody.

Because Yellowstone is SO big, I think its best to move around 2-3 places for the week

Here's my trip blog (trip was last full week of June):

www.tilley203.wordpress.com

You will LOVE this trip!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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6. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

Seattle is pretty far away and not usually an airport we would normally think of for a Yellowstone destination. For most people it is a day and a half trip from Seattle to the park (750 miles or so). SLC would be a better hub if you needed to consider that, and it is about 6 hours or less from either Jackson or West Yellowstone.

Pam

7. Re: Planning our vacation for next year

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