My husband and I are bringing our two boys (10 and 12) to Yellowstone and Grand Teton next July. Since we rarely return to the same place, we're assuming this will be our only visit so we've allotted two weeks to get as much in as possible. We are outdoorsy people and camp on the East coast, but will be staying indoors on this trip. We enjoy hiking, probably 7 miles/day maximum. We are anxious to see the geysers, canyon, wildlife, etc and are trying to keep costs down but that doesn't look too likely! ;-)
Here's our tentative plan:
Monday July 7th -- explore upper geyser basin, overnight at Grant
Tuesday July 8th -- explore lower geyser basin, overnight at Grant
Wednesday July 9th -- explore geyser basins then drive to Grand Teton (staying at Colter Bay?)
Thursday 7/10 -- GTNP, kayaking from Colter Bay?
Friday 7/11-- GTNP, Jenny Lake hiking?
Saturday 7/12 -- GTNP, rafting/float trip?
Sunday 7/13 -- leave GTNP area, head up to Lake Yellowstone, then spend the night at Roosevelt Lodge
Monday 7/14 -- explore Roosevelt/Mammoth/Lamar area, overnight at Roosevelt (shared bath cabin)
Tuesday 7/15 -- hike Tower Falls, horseback riding+cowboy supper, overnight at Roosevelt (shared bath cabin)
Wed 7/16 -- head over to Canyon area (I know its close),explore Canyon itself, overnight at Canyon (Western Cabin)
Thursday 7/17 -- hike Mount Washburn, overnight at Canyon Lodge
Friday 7/18 -- drive to Big Sky (or another area near BZN airport) for one night
Saturday 7/19 -- fly out of Bozeman at noon.
We have the reservations made at all the Yellowstone sites, but will try to switch Old Faithful for Grant. We haven't decided where in Grand Teton yet, but it looks like Colter Bay might win because of its reasonable price. The last night will be near the Bozeman airport, but we don't know where yet -- only that we want it to be somewhere fun. Maybe in Big Sky?
Does our order of locations make sense? Should we spend more/less time in one area? Is it worth the extra money to rent an SUV for the ground clearance? We're probably not going to do Beartooth Highway because of car sickness issues, and won't wind up in Cody since we've done other rodeos in the past. We want to focus on the natural wonders, so aren't particularly interested in Jackson, shopping, etc. Any suggestions are appreciated. TripAdvisor has never steered me wrong!