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Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

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Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

We will be in Yellowstone for about 3.5 days the first week of Sept. We will be coming from Missoula and have the first two nights booked in Canyon Lodge and the third and fourth nights booked in the Old Faith Cabins. The fifth morning, we will exit from the South Entrance to Grand Tetons National Park.

According to Google maps, we will be coming in from the Yellowstone West Entrance.

I am looking for help in planning the must sees in the 3.5 day time and also based on where we will be staying. I also understand we have to leave some time for "bison jams" and detours etc.

Thanks very much!!

Tacoma, Washington
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1. Re: Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

Assuming traveling this year---You are going to have problems......

After Labor Day(September 1) the road between old faithful and west thumb/south exit will be closed. You will have to loop around through canyon to exit or go down to Grand Teton by going outside the park to Idaho Falls then to Jackson.

ideally try to se if you could flip Canyon and old faithull on nights 2 and 3.

Based on where you are staying now.

day 1 4 hr drive in AM to Gardiner---PM explore Mamoth Hot springs and Lamar Valley to Canyon

day 2 explore Canyon area, Lake Yellowstone area and check out Hayden Valley ...night in Canyon

day 3 explore Norris and Madison areato west yellowstone gate the to old faithful

day 4 old faithful for the day..night in old faithful

day 5 loop around through canyon then explore Southern Lake Yellowstone then down to Jackson.

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2. Re: Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

Thanks Dan for your response.

Yes our trip is this September. But can you please tell me why the road between the Yellowstone South Entrance and Grand Teton is closed. What is the source of the information as when I tried to cancel my reservation at Grand Teton, I was advised otherwise.


N. Idaho
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3. Re: Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

It's not the road between the South entrance and Grand Tetons that will be closed, but the road between West Thumb and Old Faithful that will be closed. The South Entrance road will be open, but the difficulty begins as Dan alludes to when you try to go to Old Faithful after you have come in the South entrance road. You would have to loop up around the top side of the lower loop to get there, so better to put Old Faithful later in your trip.

Here's a map link.



Driggs, Idaho
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4. Re: Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

Road construction can be found on the park website...


If you decide to go outside of the park to get to Jackson and GTNP, you do not have to go to Idaho Falls when exiting the West Entrance. It would take you about 2.5 hours http://mapq.st/1nF0U1U

That would be your shorter route. It is also lovely, going through Island Park, following two different rivers and has site seeing opportunities along the way such as Mesa Falls. A new GeoTourism Center is opening up in Driggs, ID next week which is one of the towns you will go through prior to travelling over Teton Pass to Jackson if you elect this route. That could also be a suggestion for a quick stop.

The work around mentioned above going past Canyon would be more like 3.5 hours, especially given slower traffic. If you can switch your lodging to end at Canyon, that would not be a bad idea.


Douglas, Wyoming
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5. Re: Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

FYI - construction going on from Old Faithful to Mammoth with a 15 minute wait. About a 30 minute construction wait going from Mammoth to Lamar Valley. We ran across a buffalo jam of several hundred buffalo on the road and a park officer driving back and forth through it trying to clear it up at Lamar Valley. We actually had a buffalo attack our vehicle unprovoked and we weren't moving so DO NOT get out of your vehicle. Once we got out of that jam we encountered another buffalo jam of several hundred buffalo a mile down the road. They were running full force down the road at our vehicle. Come to find out they were being herded back into the park by park employees. Whatever you decide to do, plan twice as long to do it because of jams and construction and people crowds.

6. Re: Help plan 3.5 days in Yellowstone

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