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We appreciate any suggestions!

Raceland, Louisiana
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We appreciate any suggestions!

Four of us--two couples in our late 50's, early 60's-- are in the beginning stages of trip itinerary for a 2014 trip. We will land in Jackson, WY, around one pm, wanting to see GTNP and YNP, thinking we should spend two nights in GTNP and four in YNP. We could use some suggestions before finalizing any plans:

1. If we plan a mid June trip, will we be able to do a river float or rafting on the Snake River?

2. Is there a big difference in crowds from mid June/end of June?

3. If we land in Jackson around 2, how long would it take to travel to the Canyon/Lake area? Wondering if to begin there, staying at Canyon for 2 nights, move to Old Faithful for 2 nights, then to GTNP area for the final two nights, which would have us closer to the airport.

4. How long does it take to travel from the Canyon area to Jackson?

5. Or would it be a good option if we stayed in Canyon 3 nights and Jackson Lake Lodge 3 nights, seeing the Old Faithful area of YNP from that location?

Thanks in advance to all of you who provide such wonderful help and insight to those of us who are trying to "wrap our heads" around these beautiful areas of our country that we are unfamiliar with--much appreciated!

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

To answer some of your questions-

1. Yes can do float or whitewater trip. We've done both in early June.

2. Biggest crowds are in July and August.

3. Stay first and last night in JH. I would stay either 3 nights in Canyon and 1 at OF or 2 and 2.

4. From JH to Canyon area is about 3 hours or more if wildlife jams. Would need to get a cooler and supplies before you head to park. Do not drive in park at night.

5. Like staying at OF because of historic old lodge.

Let us know if you have other questions!!

jackson, miss
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2. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

I agree with everything Peachbell said. I always stay in GTNP unless it is winter (and the lodges are closed). I love both Signal Mountain Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge. Both are close to Oxbow where I like to catch sunrise. Gorgeous there at sunrise ( and other times too) and I have usually seen a moose around there in the early mornings. I stay at SML more frequently because it works better for my family but we don't mind sharing a 1 bath for the 5 of us in either the Lakefront retreats or the 2 room cabins.but that might be more problematic for 2 couples. You can't go wrong with either.

Breakfast at SML is a must--really good breakfasts and coffee!

You can't go wrong with a cocktail on the JLL terrace either.

In Yellowstone, I liked the Western cabins at Canyon (and at Lake). At Canyon they are quiet and serene with trees around. At Lake, they are quiet but I don't remember many trees.

At OF, I prefer the Snow Lodge to the Inn because I am 54 and don't like dragging my luggage up and down stairs and the Snow Lodge has an elevator. And the rooms are nicer, But the ambiance at the Inn is hard to beat. When my kids were little, I would pick a quiet spot on the balconey overlooking the fireplace and read (I go in late May and it is too cold to sit on the deck overlooking the geysers for very long). Lovely hotel. I highly recommend taking the free tour of the hotel offered just to see everything.

In mid June, you will get to see all the baby animals. I see you are planning on staying just on the lower loop, but don't miss out on going up to Lamar Valley and across Tower road which is know as black bear alley in my family because we never fail to see a black bear between Tower and Mammoth.

Edited: 26 August 2013, 22:26
jackson, miss
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3. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

Oh, I did not notice until just now that you are from Louisiana. I live in Miss. and was shocked at how much drier the air is there than here. Take lip balm with you, You will need it and a bottle of water the instant you get off the plane. The difference in humidity levels is just shccking! Have lots and lots of fun. it is so beautiful there and so different from home.

West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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4. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

I have been in West Yellowstone (visiting the park about 3-4 times / week) since mid-May and if I could only choose one piece of advice to give every traveler who wants advice, it would be to arrive as early in the season as you can imagine. Early June would not be too early, but mid-June will suffice if that's the best you can do. Late June starts to see differences in the crowd levels, but more importantly in the number of animal sightings.

I was nothing less than amazed when I first arrived at the animals everywhere (and I've visited as early as Memorial Day weekend in the past and thought I had it good then!) and continue to be amazed now, in August, at how many cars there are stopped for a single common (i.e. bison or elk) animal off the road about 1/4 mile. I don't know which is the true definition of "bison jam" but I use it in two cases: 1) multiple bison (including babies) ON the road, migrating and causing a traffic jam and 2) people and cars on the road looking at one bison off in the distance. I find scenario #2 frustrating whereas scenario #1 is exciting!

Raceland, Louisiana
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5. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

Zackdog, I guess I don't clearly understand the loops. I thought The Canyon area was in the upper loop. Could we easily reach Lamar from that location? We also were interested in seeing the Mammoth area. Would you recommend another lodging for the upper loop?

We have been to GNP and Estes Park area and know what you mean about humidity levels. Ninety degrees there is quite pleasant there.

Thanks for your help.

Raceland, Louisiana
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6. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

Adventuritus, we could go earlier in June or latter May. which is preferable?

More questions:

Is the weather much cooler at that time?

Would we still be able to do a float trip on the Snake River in GTNP or would water levels be too low?

We appreciate your help!

West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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7. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

When I arrived in mid-May, the first thing I did was open my windows to the apartment I'm staying in. The next week, it was snowing. It's a gamble, but worth it, IMO. I'd shoot for early June, but you still won't know until you arrive. Weather changes daily. In fact, we got a hailstorm in the area last week. But it sure beats fires!

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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8. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

Not Zachdog, but here is a link to the park map. The Grand Loop road is in a Figure 8. The road across the center of the 8 goes from Norris to Canyon, so Canyon is at the center of the *8* and a little south into the lower loop.

nps.gov/common/…

I would stay with your plan for 2 at Canyon and 2 at OF. You can do Lamar and Mammoth the day you move from Canyon to Old Faithful and cover the Upper Loop then.

Pam

Edited: 27 August 2013, 01:07
jackson, miss
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9. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

You can easily make it to both Tower and Mammoth from Canyon or from Old Faithful for that matter--I just didn't want you to overlook the northern section of the park, primarily because I had a friend who went and never made it north of Norris and I didn't want the same to happen to you! I hope you have a great time but I have no doubt that you will.

BTW, my friend went in mid-August and said at each of the geyser basins and at Artist Point, the parking lots were so full that he had to circle and wait for someone to leave. When I go the last week of May/first week of June,, nothing is crowded and we have never had to wait to be seated at the grills or a restaurant. And there are plenty o fparking spots, so I think you are smart to come mid-June

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: We appreciate any suggestions!

Early to mid- June is a great time to visit with all the wildlife babies. Here is a link and map to the most popular areas of the park to visit-

http://yellowstone.net/intro/top-10/

This link along with the park map that Pam sent you the link for are excellent sources for helping you plan your trip.

No heat and humidity like here in the south- wear layers as could be very cool in the mornings, drink plenty of water and bring SPF lip protection like we wear in the summer in the south.

You will have a great trip!!!

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