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Consolidated "Visiting/traveling to Yellowstone Park - question/suggestions" thread

Consolidated "Visiting/traveling to Yellowstone Park - question/suggestions" thread

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Old Apr 11, 19, 1:08 pm   -   Wikipost
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Wiki Link
Fodor's http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...-national-park
Frommer's
http://www.frommers.com/destinations...-national-park

National Parks passes
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm
$80 annual pass
$80 senior lifetime pass (62 and older US citizens and permanent residents)
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Old Aug 26, 10, 9:35 am
  #106  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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You might think about going up to Glacier NP while you're in the area.
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Old Aug 26, 10, 11:26 am
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by PIONEER View Post
You might think about going up to Glacier NP while you're in the area.
For us, we found that when traveling with kids it's better to allow more time to fewer places and try to stay in the same lodging when possible.

Or as one fly attendant on Southwest once put it - ".. and for our passengers today who are flying with young kids - WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" (that got a good laugh )
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Old Aug 26, 10, 12:43 pm
  #108  
 
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I will add my 2 cents on Yellowstone & GT. I was just there a few weeks ago (though I came in through SE Wyoming). I will second the fact that traffic was horrendous. Add all the visitors to the road construction increased the aggrevation factor. It might be better in Sept (I was there 6 Aug). Since Old Faithful is one of the main attractions expect even bigger crowds (they just opened a new visitor center there at Old Faithful this week). On the day I was there, the parking lot was entirely full surrounding all the lodges and stores. I estimate there were 5,000+ people along the boardwalk waiting for the eruption. Then there was a mad rush for their cars. It was like leaving a football stadium with all the slow traffic. I would much rather go back to the park in the spring or fall when there are potentially less visitors. I didnt even see any wildlife. As for the Grand Teton NP, it was a lot less crowded (but still had a lot of road construction) and just as scenic. Good luck with your trip.
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Old Aug 26, 10, 12:46 pm
  #109  
 
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things to do: yellowstone and SLC

In Salt Lake City, there's an Aquatics Center called "Northwest Recreation Center" (see link: http://www.recreation.slco.org/north.../aquatics.html )
It has a nice kids pool, as you can see by the pictures at their website.

At West Yellowstone, there's the "Wolf and Grizzly Discovery Center"
(see link: http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/ )
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Old Aug 26, 10, 7:18 pm
  #110  
 
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The Gateway Center in downtown SLC has a planetarium with lots of free exhibits (the star shows/IMAX theater charge), a children's museum, and the Olympic fountain that kids can play in (it sprays water in all sorts of patterns, like the one in Atlanta). There is also a multiplex movie theater, lots of family-friendly restaurants, etc. There's a brand-new Hyatt Place property right on site, too, and it's a 10-minute ride to the airport. Plenty of more historical/cultural sites in SLC too, but Gateway is the easiest bet for entertaining kids.
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Old Dec 7, 10, 12:21 pm
  #111  
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Yellowstone in winter.

I am flying into Rapid City on a Sat afternoon in the last week of Dec. I would like to see Mt. Rushmore and then drive to Yellowstone. I leave from Jackson Hole on Wednesday evening.

I am trying to know how to allocate these days. Would Sat evening be enough to see Mt. Rushmore? I am thinking of driving on Sunday to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. What are some things to do/not to do in Yellowstone/Teton?

I was looking at road closure and winter timings in the foll link:

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Does anyone know what "oversnow travel " travel is? I'm thinking of taking a rental car from Hertz, can I get snow tires/chains for rent from them?
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Old Dec 8, 10, 2:39 pm
  #112  
 
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For me, a few hours at Mt. Rushmore was enough. The only Sat. afternoon in the last week of Dec. is Xmas, so you might want to check to make sure it will be open.

YNP is beautiful in winter. AFAIK, Hertz does not rent the equipment you need for oversnow travel, e.g. snowmobiles or snow coaches (or cross country skis). The east entrance of YNP to Old Faithful to the south entrance is closed to other vehicular traffic that time of year. I did a snowmobile trip from the S. entrance to the E. entrance through the park and only such as snowmobiles (and bison) were moving on the roads.

For your trip, you probably do want 4WD and snow tires, even though you probably won't be using them inside YNP. Barring major winter weather, you should be able to reach Jackson or Moran in a day from SDak., possibly even with a detour to Devils Tower if open and the weather is decent. To the best of my knowledge, Flagg Ranch is the closest lodging to YNP, and it may be open that time of year. A little further away is where I would stay again, Togwotee Lodge (east of Moran Junction). I think they run snowmobile tours into YNP as well as Gros Ventre.

Around Jackson, the downtown area is an interesting mix of shops, restaurants, bars, etc. The area near skiing is several miles out of town.

Lots of opportunities for snowshoeing or cross country skiing; Jackson Hole is a well known ski area, generally for more experienced skiers so I'm told. A short trip through the National Elk Refuge was interesting, as was the museum across the highway from it.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 3:05 pm
  #113  
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Thanks, TRRED. May I know if the entrance to the park is fenced? The reason I ask is that it looks like the visitor's center is closed on Christmas, however there does not seem to be an entrance fee:

http://www.nps.gov/moru/planyourvisit/things2know.htm

http://www.nps.gov/moru/planyourvisit/hours.htm
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Old Dec 9, 10, 3:48 pm
  #114  
 
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Yellowstone is closed to cars in the winter. The only way through the park is Snowmobile or Snowcoach, so if you have a car you will have to drive around the park to Jackson.
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Old Dec 11, 10, 8:24 am
  #115  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Thanks, TRRED. May I know if the entrance to the park is fenced? The reason I ask is that it looks like the visitor's center is closed on Christmas, however there does not seem to be an entrance fee:

http://www.nps.gov/moru/planyourvisit/things2know.htm

http://www.nps.gov/moru/planyourvisit/hours.htm

I can't help you definitively on Mt. Rushmore, as I have only been there in the summer. As I recall, the parking lot was a fenced area, but one walked between the buildings to the main viewing area, so it was not necessary to go through any building. Maybe call or e-mail the park and ask?
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Old Dec 29, 10, 11:53 am
  #116  
 
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Parking lot was fenced?

I went in 2009, and they had multi-level parking garages there.
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Old Dec 30, 10, 8:17 am
  #117  
 
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Correct. There is a multi-level parking garage, but you have to pay to get into the garage. I can't remember how much.

The question becomes... will the parking garage be open that day.
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Old Jan 29, 11, 8:06 am
  #118  
 
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Lodging Around Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Anyone recently stayed at

1) Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone
2) Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton
3) Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton

Interested in thoughts on the above as far as activities, food, quality of lodging. Thanks in advance
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Old Feb 4, 11, 1:49 pm
  #119  
 
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What time of year?

In general, I would rank Signal Mt as #3. Depending on how you weigh amenities (JLL) versus atmosphere (OFI, IMHO. YVMV) would impact which was #1 and which was #2. OFI has a lot of easy walking options in the immediate area. Boating options like float trips and rafting can be found south of the dam on Jackson Lake, though those depend somewhat on the flow through the dam, which depends on farmers that have control of the dam (and are downstream, I assume).

I don't know who is managing the GTNP facilities currently. If the same company that is managing OFI, expect similar food.

There are several threads in the forum within the last year that might provide some useful information.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 8:13 am
  #120  
 
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Jackson Lake Lodge is reasonably nice. You're paying for location and the ability to stay in a National Park however. For the price of the room you would get a much higher quality room in a big city hotel in cities like DC, SF, Boston. That is, the room is a bit rustic. Good dining options, friendly staff, great view of Tetons.

The location is okay if you're touring Yellowstone. It's a long drive each day to get into Yellowstone-an hour at least to West Thumb. So it depends on what you are doing--if you want to stay in one place and see the Tetons and Yellowstone, it's okay, but if I were doing it again, I would stay in Yellowstone or here for a couple of days and then somewhere on the northern end of Yellowstone for a couple of days so you don't spend half your day driving into/out of park.
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