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July 2014 Planning Advice

Cleveland, Ohio
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July 2014 Planning Advice

We are taking our first trip to YNP/GTNP this summer and would really appreciate some assistance helping to plan our itinerary. We are a group of 10 (4 adults and 6 kids ranging from 5-12) and will there July 19-28. We like to hike but would probably keep them to a max of 2-3 miles given the age range we have.

Our schedule was set to a large extent by availability of lodging in the park and I'd love feedback on whether it makes sense and also how to optimize our time in the park based on where we'll be sleeping each night.

Our schedule right now:

Sat July 19: Arrive at Bozeman @ 1:16pm

7/19-7/22 Stay at Mammoth Hot Springs hotel

7/22-23 We are planning to visit Cody and spend the night there. The kids are very excited about seeing a rodeo and we plan to also visit the museum - any other recommendations or lodging recommendations would be appreciated.

7/23-7/26 Lake Lodge Western Cabin

7/26-7/28 Grant Village

We are flying out of Jackson Hole at 9am on the 28th and plan to spend the last few days of the trip exploring GTNP and Jackson Hole so the Grant Village reservation will likely change. We haven't booked this lodging yet so, again, any recommendations would be great.

Finally, we'd also like to do the Roosevelt horse trip / dinner but are trying to figure out which night makes most sense.

Thanks in advance for taking a look and for any feedback you can give. We're really excited about this trip and have been doing a lot of reading and research, but it can seem somewhat overwhelming at times! I know we can't do everything, but would like to see as much as we can in the time we have.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

First keep checking for cancellations because they do occur all the time. I would want to spend at least 1-2 nights at Old Faithful so after your first night at Mammoth try and see if you can get something at OF. Staying at OF is truly a Yellowstone experience.

Here is a link to most popular sights in the park to help you plan your trip-


Pam(DObby) is great at detailed trip plans if that is something you need. Pam, Denalicat and others can give you hints on hikes in the park.

We always stay in Jackson Hole to tour the Grand Tetons and see the town. We have stayed at the Wyoming Inn, Lexington Inn and Homewood suites.

In Cody we always stay at the Cody Cowboy Village. The owners are super nice!!

Let us know if you have other questions!! If your family is anything like mine they will love their trip to the parks and will be talking about it for years.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

I am with PeachBelle as far as trying to get something at Old Faithful. I would try to swap out the nights at Grant for Old Faithful

You will get a newspaper when you enter the park which will give you a schedule for the Ranger programs and hikes. When you are in the Lake area, I would definitely do the one at Storm Point with the Ranger. It is usually at 10AM. The trailhead is about 3 miles east of Fishing Bridge. There is not a vault toilet at the trailhead, so make sure you go at Fishing Bridge Visitor Center before you head out there.

Easy hikes are also Natural Bridge (near Lake and Bridge Bay) and Lone Star Geyser (near Keppler Cascade just east of Old Faithful). Both of those are on old road beds so level and an easy walk. Natural Bridge is only about a mile. Lone star is longer, but still pretty easy. I would take lunch, do the 2.5 mile back to the geyser area, rest, eat and I'll be the 5 year old will not have a problem getting back. The treat is afterward go to the Old Faithful Inn, 1st floor, get wonderful ice cream and take it to the 2nd floor deck overlooking the geyser basin.

Here is a link to the hikes by area in Yellowstone.


Ranger Programs:


Jr Ranger badge program:



jackson, miss
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3. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

I would not stay in Yellowstone the night before your flight out of Jackson. I would stay at Signal Mountain Lodge or in Jackson. You will find people who love staying in Jackson. I am not one of them as I find the town touristy and expensive. But I love staying in the park! Jackson Lake Lodge is also a nice place to stay.

Since you asked, I think you are spending too much time at Mammoth and Grant and would stay 2 nights in Mammoth, 1 in Cody, 2 at Lake or Canyon, 2-3 at Old Faithful and the rest in Grand Teton/Jackson.

We are going May 16-26 and have 3 at Old Faithful Snow Lodge, 2 at Gardiner (5 miles north of Mammoth--it is signiicantly cheaper and it is nice to get a break from Xanterra food), and 4 at Signal Mountain. We have been many times and love Grand Teton. Roosevelt and Canyon are not open when we going this year .

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4. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

The best thing I did before going to Yellowstone was getting this book: Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler's Companion to the National Park...I'm not a big fan of most travel guides but this one is great.


The park is set up perfectly for a trip with kids...pretty much every major site is right off of the main loop roads...you pull into a parking lot and there are paths or boardwalks. The worst thing are the restrooms, it is a park...and you'll need to bring food and water...there is are a few stores, Old Faithful has a nice grocery store...Mammoth has a gas station...there was another I think but can't remember where...Cody is a nice town, I've stayed in a cabin there and the Holiday Inn, it was o.k...it's a tourist town, 2-star hotels...the gunfight in the middle of town is great and there are a-lot of places to eat and stores...it would be a good break after that many days without t.v. and very little cell coverage in the park. Your plan seem really good...I've stayed in the Mammoth Hotel it's very cool and that area in the evening is great for watching elk, the restaurant is good...Grant Village is more like a dorm room...very clean...the food is more like a cafeteria. I liked Jackson...it would be a good base for a few days.

Tacoma, Washington
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5. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

Are you planning on doing Grand Teton at all---you should do about 2 full days there. maybe add a 3rd day.

If you cant find park lodging you can get lodging in Jackson or Teton village.

when you drive to cody---you should do beartooth highway--US 212 up to red lodge then cut over and go south to cody. do the reverse if coming from cody---but this drive is a must.

Yellowstone Nat...
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6. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

I think your schedule looks good. I would get the last couple of nights IN the Tetons, say at Colter Bay or Signal Mountain. Grant Village to the Jackson airport is too long a drive for that early a flight.

As for the horse trip and chuckwagon dinner at Roosevelt, people all seem to love it. You will not want to dilly-dally after the end of the dinner because you don't want to drive after dark. Consider getting the last day at Mammoth switched to Roosevelt for that reason -- much more convenient to the horsey activities.


Cleveland, Ohio
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7. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

Thank you to everyone who responded on this thread.

We are planning to spend time a GTNP at the end of the week - probably will allocate two days. We are definitely planning to spend the last two nights either in GTNP or in Jackson and will look into the recommendations here.

My other takeaway from the responses it to keep calling and looking for cancellations! Right now Old Faithful and Roosevelt are entirely booked while we're there, but it sounds like those might be good alternatives so I'll keep checking.

8. Re: July 2014 Planning Advice

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