We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

Chicago, Illinois
10 posts
Save Topic
My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

Hello! We will be in Yellowstone in mid-June. I have the basic outlines of an intinerary, but there are two days that I am a bit anxious about. So, I am hoping the experts can help me out a bit. I will be travelling with my husband and 9-yr-old daughter.

We will arrive in YNP after two days in GTNP. We will leave Jackson Lake Lodge in the morning, and head towards Old Faithful. We will be overnighting at the Snow Lodge. My plan is to pass up the Old Faithful area, and drive up to Madison, and then begin to backtrack to Old Faithful. I am thinking that we will get to Old Faithful in late afternoon--maybe 3 or 4-ish? We are eating in the dining room, but should have some time to explore the area. We only have one night in this area.

Ideally, my next day would include the morning ranger led walk through the Old Faithful area geyser basin. Then we head north towards Mammoth. Here it gets a little tricky b/c my husband really wants to go white water rafting. I know many would suggest doing it in Jackson, but that doesn't work out for us. So, Gardiner it is. So, after the ranger-led hike, I think we will need to drive directly to Gardiner, for an early afternoon rafting trip. Do you think we could make it there by 2 pm? I know we would have to skip Mammoth, which is a little troubling.

Then, after the rafting trip, we have to drive down to Lake Yellowstone for 3 nights there. I know that is a bit of a hike, but it is what it is.

So, my main question is whether it makes sense to go up to Madison and work our way down on Day 1, or whether we should just stop and explore the Old Faithful area for most of the first day; and hit some of the highlights of the other geyser areas on the way up towards Mammoth. If we did that, I don't think I would need the ranger hike on the morning of Day 2; and might give us time to see the Mid Geyser area, and Mammoth and still make our white water rafting. I just can't really gage how much time we would need to make that trip up to Gardiner, stopping at the Mid geysers, as well as Mammoth.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
19,021 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

It is 51 miles from Old Faithful to Mammoth plus another 6 out to Gardiner, so 57 miles so about a 2 hour drive. There is also road construction between Norris and Mammoth with a possibility of a 30 minute delay. Back to Lake is 54 miles, so another trip of essentially the same length.

You are right that that day is packed. I love the geyser area and I really enjoy the explanations the Rangers give regarding the geysers which is what the walk thru the Geyser Hill area provides for me.

Can you do the rafting trip on one of the other days that you are staying at Lake?

If not, of your 2 plans, I would go with seeing the Upper Geyser Basin the afternoon you arrive, and whatever else fits into that day. Then head toward Mammoth the next morning fitting in Midway and perhaps one of the extra drives (Firehole Lake Dr or Firehole Canyon Dr.)

Pam

Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
2,248 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

<< my husband really wants to go white water rafting. I know many would suggest doing it in Jackson >>

Count me among those who make that recommendation. White water in the Snake River south of Jackson deserves the name "white water" much more than in the Yellowstone River north of Gardiner.

That said, your plans go very smoothly if only you take out one element -- the insistence on white water rafting. Getting plans to work always takes a little bit of compromise.

ENJOY!

Chicago, Illinois
10 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

Thanks for your thoughts. Bill, you made me laugh because just a couple of days ago I was gently trying to suggest that the white water rafting was causing scheduling difficulties; but, I definitely got the message that it was a 'must-do'. ; ). Plus, I don't want the water to be too 'white'; I am a little concerned that the water will be really cold, and my 9 year is a consummate whiner, so I just don't want a lot of drama over getting too wet. So, I am fine with the lesser rapids of Yellowstone River!

So, Pam has given me some food for thought, and I have re-worked out itinerary which may help.

Day 1, as initially noted--heading up to Madison and working back to Old Faithful.

Day 2, AM ranger walk at Old Faithful; drive to Norris; head over to Canyon for the afternoon; late afternoon arrival at Lake Lodge.

Day 3, Lamar Valley AM; Tower / Roosevelt area; Cowboy Cookout; back to Lake Lodge

Day 4: Explore Mammoth Hot Springs AM ; afternoon white water rafting; return to Lake Lodge

Day 5: return to Jackson, but we have all day, so we can hit anything we missed earlier.

Better?

Chicago, Illinois
10 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

Double post

Edited: 30 May 2014, 21:10
N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
19,021 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

Oh yes!! I think that works much better!

Looking at that, Day 2 looks heavy and Day 3 looks light. I would probably do Norris OR the Canyon overlooks on the morning of Day 3.

Day 5, if you are up for it, you could do the Storm Point Ranger-led hike. Storm Point is 3 miles east of Fishing Bridge (no vault toilet there). The hike is at 10AM and takes about 2 hours. There is a marmot colony at the half way point.

Is your daughter going to do the Jr Ranger program? I think you can turn the paperwork in at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center so she can get her badge.

Pam

6. Re: My 2 Geyser Days seemed packed . . .

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 01 June 2015, 06:16