I have a short trip planned for Yellowstone and Grand Teton in first week of September. I will be flying in Salt Lake City in evening (at 6:30) and then head to Idaho Falls to stay in Hotel, after picking rental car.
This is the first time, I will be doing camping (I am excited). Few questions, if I can get help on them.
1- Can I get Cooler on rent in Salt Lake City or at Yellowstone ? Since I will be flying in and out, anyway I will not be carrying such a big thing back with me.
2- This one is really silly question :-) I will be camping in YNP. I will be carrying air-mattress (which I heard is more comfortable than other options). I am thinking to carry Car-powered (12V) DC electric pump to fill air in mattress. Just wanted to confirm, if I can take car exactly to that spot, where my tent is located. I am asking this because pump's wire will be only few feets and I want to fill air in mattress, while mattress is inside tent.
3- Regarding sleeping bags. I was browsing around and saw Coleman sleeping bag of 30 F and 40 F. Should it be sufficient to sleep in night ? 30 F should be always better then 40 F according to climate in first week of September ?
4- Now, the ITINERARY part. I have booked two nights at Canyon Campground and one night at Grant Village Campground and next night will be at Grand Teton. I gone through lot of posts in past few days and understand that it is not really a enough time, when I want to give some time to Beartooth also. But I can take out only these days and here can a possibility with this rough plan. I am not going to come in this part of Country again in next 8-10 years, so I do not want to miss major spots at least. Please comment on this to modify it.
30-Aug Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls. Hotel stay. (Can I go drive further to stay in hotel near West entrance, instead of Idaho Falls ? Pros: This will allow me to start early next morning and give more time in YNP. Cons: It will be late night by the time I reach. Are there scenic places, which I shouldn't pass in dark ?)
31-Aug Packup things from Walmart and start for Yellowstone from West Entrance. Norris Geyser, Mammoth Springs and backtrack. Reach Canyon Campground setup tent and visit Canyon. Spend evening at Hayden Valley. Overnight stay at Canyon Campground.
1-Sep Wake up early. Leave for Lamar Valley, spend 2 hours and then Cooke City, Beartooth Pass (or till Rock Creek Vista) and then backtrack. If time left, spend evening in Lamar Valley till dusk. Overnight stay at Canyon Campground.
2-Sep Pack-up Camp. Old Faithful and other geyser basins including Grand Prismatic Springs, Fountain Paint Pots, Firehole Canyon Dr and stay at Grant Village Campground in night. Once reason to stay in Grant Village is, I will be close to Grant teton, which will give more time there next day. A side question for this day only - How much time does it take to go on Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail ? Is it steep ?
3-Sep Packup Tent. Leave for Grand Teton, whole day in surrounding area, may be 42-miles drive and other places and night stay at Lizard Campground in Grand Teton.
4-Sep Leave to SLC in morning at 8 via Bear Lake.