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Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

West Palm Beach...
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Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

I was lucky to be able to get reservations late and am now fine tuning the number of days staying in different areas of the park. Below are the reservations . We will be driving from Glacier National Park and will spend the first night in West Yellowstone.

I visited YS/GT 6 years ago and am excited to return. I love to take pictures so we stop for that.

I want to make sure I see the geysers and thermal areas, Grand Canyon of YS, other must sees and am MAINLY interested in WILDLIFE, bears especially, so that will include Hayden and Lamar Valley. We don't mind being busy and moving around.

Since I did not have the reservations until recently I did not put all the specifics together yet. I like to have a plan, but don't mind last minute deviations. I think I have a good mix of places and areas, but am not sure about the number of days in some places.

Suggestions on the itinerary and what to do and when are appreciated. Thanks!

Day 1 West Yellowstone- Will arrive late afternoon or early evening.

Day 2 Old Faithful

Day 3 Jackson Hole (Don't want to do a float trip or cookout again. Will not be there during the rodeo day.)

Day 4 Canyon (or Colter Bay)

Day 5 Canyon or Roosevelt

Day 6 Roosevelt

Day 7 Roosevelt

Day 8 Up early, Drive early to Bozeman for a 1:30 flight

Mount Washburn
National Parks, Mountains
Gibbon Falls
Waterfalls, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Geologic Formations, National Parks
Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

While in JH if on a Monday thru Sat. go to the shootout on the square at 6 pm. Also drive the Moose Wilson Rd. and go out to the Laurence Rockefeller preserve if you have not done that on a previous trip.

West Palm Beach...
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2. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

Thanks. We will be there on a Friday. That sounds like fun and we have not gone to the preserve. I would like to do that.

West Palm Beach...
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3. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

Any suggestions with regards to adjusting the number of nights in a couple of places. I had questions about the ones where I listed two places to stay on one day. I am not sure about Days 4, 5 and even if 8 will work? Thanks.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

If you do not like to move around then I would keep my nights at Rosie. Depends on how much time you want for the Tetons as to where to spend day 4.

I am one to be closer to the airport for the last night. You just never know about traffic, etc. If I were planning then I would stay in either West Yellowstone or Gardiner the last night.

West Palm Beach...
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5. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

I don't mind moving around. I want to make sure I have enough time to see the Geyser Basins and Thermal areas. I am not sure when we drive from W. Yellowstone and then stay at OF one night if that one day will be enough. Perhaps I will need to do more the next day after arising at OF, which would get us into JH later.

I think the shootout sounds interesting, visit the preserve and eat at the Gunbarrel. Thinking of taking a wildlife tour early the next morning so may not need/ have time to drive the Moose Wilson Rd. I am not sure if I need more time. I think I can do one day there.

I can see where I might not get to Canyon until later in the day for the first day so 2 nights at Canyon might not be too many.

I have been advised on this forum that it takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to drive to Bozeman from Roosevelt. If we are up early, it seems like it will work. That will give us one more dusk viewing of wildlife in the Roosevelt area. That is why I wanted to stay there the last night.

N. Idaho
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6. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

Thanks for the PM, I'd be happy to comment. It's hard to tell you whether you should stay at Canyon or Colter Bay for night 4. You don't really have much time in Grand Tetons and it looks like you have plans for the morning, so it really depends on whether you want to do some hiking or other things there or if you think your time will be better spent in Yellowstone. I would keep the reservation at Canyon for Day 5.

As far as an itinerary, here is what I would suggest. And it is just a suggestion on which way to head from your lodging each morning and what to see along the way. Certainly if you see the bear with 3 cubs that takes precedence over ANY plans, lol!

Day 1: Drive from Glacier. Depending on your route you may want to stop and pick up supplies along the way at a bigger city. Overnight West Yellowstone.

Day 2: Enter the West gate. Turn south at Madison. Just after you cross the Gibbon River turn right into Firehole Canyon Dr. Re-join the Loop Road and continue south. Stop at Fountain Paint Pots for a walk, then again head south. Turn left into Firehole Lake Dr. This is one way going north, so you will exit by Fountain Paint Pots again, so turn left and again head south. Pick up Midway Geyser Basin, Biscuit and Black Sand Basins. When you get to Old Faithful go by the Visitor Center. Pick up the map at the desk for 50 cents and write the eruption times for the predicted geysers down on the back of the brochure. If anything interesting is set to go soon head in that direction, otherwise, work your way thru the geyser basin down to Morning Glory Pool and back. (Vault toilet near Morning Glory pool.) If you like, there is a Ranger walk at 530PM that starts from Castle geyser. Overnight OF

Day 3: Catch the 830 Ranger walk leaving from the Visitor Center which goes around Geyser Hill. I would probably eat lunch at OF before heading for Jackson. I like to eat at the Lower General Store which is the first building on the way back from Morning Glory. Overnight in Jackson.

Day 4: I'm going to assume you will spend this night at Canyon, just to give you options. Enter the park in the afternoon and stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin. Continue north along the lake. Stop at Fishing Bridge and walk across looking for wildlife. Continue north to Hayden Valley stopping if you see people out with scopes and long camera lenses. Stop at the Canyon Visitor Center to see the displays and to check the white board in the foyer area where people post animal sightings. Overnight at Canyon.

Day 5: Maybe do a pre-breakfast drive thru of Hayden? If you do that, I have heard that the General Store at Fishing Bridge has a good breakfast altho I have no personal experience with breakfast there. There is a fun Ranger led hike from Storm Point at 10AM if you all are wanting to do some hiking. Also drive east on the Entrance road to Lake Butte Overlook for a look back at the Tetons. Today at some point you can stop at LeHardy Rapids, Mud Volcano and do the South and North Rim overlooks of the Canyon. There is also a rainbow over the Lower Falls from Artist Point at 10AM if that is of interest. Depending on how your day develops, you may want to see some of Norris Geyser Basin this afternoon if you have time. Overnight Canyon.

Day 6: Head toward Norris. If you like, take the Virginia Cascade Dr on the left. It is one way heading back east so you will back track a little. If you didn't get to Norris yesterday, do it now. After Norris go toward Madison and do Artist Paint Pots and Gibbon Falls, then back to Norris and head to Mammoth. There is road construction along here with a possible 30 minute delay for a pilot car. As you descend toward Mammoth take the Upper Terrace Dr on the left. Do that loop then head down in to Mammoth. Do the Lower Terraces. (Best bathroom here is between the gas station and the bus parking lot.) If you like, drive out to Gardiner to see the Roosevelt Arch and to look for bighorn sheep on the cliffs on the east side of the road. Return to Mammoth and go east toward Roosevelt stopping as you like at Undine Falls and Petrified Tree. The tree is not much, but there are often black bear back in here, so it is always worth it for a quick drive thru. If you have time drive down toward Tower Fall and look for the bear mom with 3 cubs. If you have lots of time, take a drive out to Lamar. Overnight Roosevelt.

Day 7: This morning head out to Lamar for some wildlife. If you want you can do a pre-breakfast drive and head to Cooke City for breakfast after a run thru Lamar. Today if you want a longer drive, you can also head east from Cooke City and go up Beartooth Pass. It is about a 2-2.5 hour drive from Cooke City to Red Lodge, so 4-5 hours out and back. You don't have to go all the way to Red Lodge. You will have seen the most scenic portions if you turn around at Rock Creek Vista. Alternately, you can drive south from Roosevelt to Canyon to cover Dunraven Pass and perhaps do a hike in the area after you do Lamar in the AM. Lots of people are posting good bear sightings between Tower and Roosevelt. Overnight at Roosevelt.

Day 8: As you say, leave early for your trip back to Bozeman.

Have a wonderful time!

Pam

West Palm Beach...
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7. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

WOW, Thanks for the details! On day 5 would I have time to visit Norris, Artist Paint Pots and Gibbon Falls? Or I could make sure I saw that on day 4.? I know that would depend on when we left Jackson. I think I will only spend one night there.

Part of me wants to spend the night on day 5 in Roosevelt so I can be in Roosevelt/Lamar at dusk for more wildlife viewing. I know I will do it again in the morning and the next evening. I will have a long lens for photography and spotting scope for viewing.

I might skip Mammoth. It was interesting last time (6 years ago) but if I recall correctly it seemed like a long drive between Norris and Mammoth with not much to see in between. Then add road construction and I am not sure. I could be wrong though. The road from Roosevelt to Mammoth looks faster if we decide on Mammoth, possibly the next day. That means backtracking. I think I would like to see The Petrified Tree area, (wildlife?)

I want to maximize wildlife photo opportunities. I am thinking of the Beartooth Hwy. too but am not sure about the timing. We drove it before. I could give up either one or both of Mammoth and/or Beartooth if need be. Along those lines, do you have any more suggestions? It is so hard to make decisions having not been there in a long, long time. thanks again for such wonderful detailed suggestions!!

N. Idaho
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8. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

You can probably fit in Norris and Artist Paint Pots on Day 5 if you choose not to do a hike. If you hike and do all the viewpoints at Canyon maybe not. You might do the viewpoints on one of the Rims, then go over to Norris for a Canyon *break* then finish up the viewpoints later.

Petrified Tree is a 5 minute drive back in there. Of course if you are lucky it could turn into a 2 hour viewing of a black bear! Skipping Mammoth is up to you. You may well enjoy more time in Lamar. If you've done Beartooth, you might skip in and spend more time in wildlife hotspots.

It's 21 miles from Norris to Mammoth so about 42 minutes plus 30 for construction more or less and 18 miles from Roosevelt to Mammoth or about 36 minutes. We usually recommend you double the miles to get the approximate time for travel. Of course the construction impacts that. You probably have this map link.

nps.gov/common/…

Your choices may be weather dependent. If it is rainy in one area, sometimes if you drive a bit you get some sunshine.

Pam

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9. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

I am pretty sure I want to wake up on Day 5 in Roosevelt to access Tower and Lamar early. I recall being in Canyon last trip and getting up very early and beginning to drive in the dark to get to that area. Although I think I recall getting a couple of sightings of black bear on the way from Canyon to Tower. How long does that drive from Canyon to Tower take in the early morning?

I also looked at the steak cook out in Roosevelt. We did that in Grand Teton last time( 6 years ago) and the wagon train trip was interesting but the food was not that good. Roosevelt cookout has been getting good reviews, but perhaps doing that once was enough too. I would end up giving up wildlife viewing one evening if we did that.

If I stay overnight in Roosevelt on day 4, once the morning viewing hours are done, we will need something to do mid day on days 5 and 6 so a trip to Norris, if needed, Mammoth and/or the Beartooth Hwy. might work out?

On Day 2 I want to hike the Fairy Falls Trail in order to get a good photo of Grand Prismatic Springs. How long will that take? I still want to see the rest of the thermal areas/geysers too. I watched OF erupt online today and it will be incredible to see it in person!

We will be there mid July. I hope the rainy weather lets up. Good to note that you can sometimes drive to better weather. Thanks for the link to the map. I have one I use from my last trip but did not have this one online. Thanks so much for your help!

10. Re: Itinerary adjustments and suggestions needed

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