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Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 20, 2013 11:32AM
My husband and I want to go to Yellowstone sometime in September.
We would be coming from Atlanta, so I guess we would be flying into Salt Lake City and renting a car.
What would be the best route from SLC to Yellowstone, so we could break up the drive and see some of the sights along the way?
How long should we plan to stay in Yellowstone and what would be the must see list?
Should we try to sign up for some sort of guided tour, or just wander around on our own?
We would not be camping, so any recommendations for where to stay, preferably inside the park, would be great.

We were planning on 7-10 days, but are flexible, if you guys think there are more things in the area we should see.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: June 20, 2013 11:44AM
Bring hand sanitizer.

[www.cnn.com]



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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: dfilpus
Date: June 20, 2013 12:18PM
All in-park housing is handled through Xanterra.
[www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com]
The cheapest lodging are the Cabins. We stayed in the Canyon Frontier Cabins in 2009 and found them serviceable and affordable.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: Acer
Date: June 20, 2013 01:01PM
Salt Lake City is interesting on its own. Antelope Island for nature, the Mormon compound for culture, even if you are not a subscriber.

Yellowstone is HUGE. The big driving loop is a couple hundred miles, Wildlife and scenery lighting changes throughout the day, then there's waiting for geysers...it's like the Disneyword of nature! And all the programs and trails...I'd not consider less than five days there, and I've been there twice. See it all while you have the chance. I'd just drive yourself around, but pick up ranger programs and visitor centers on the way.

I'd pick a route that takes you through Grand Teton N.P. on the way or back, just to see it. Maybe Jackson Hole, though I've only driven through.

If you've never been out that way, the whole place is amazing. Any roadside stop or little park will be a new discovery.

EDIT: That's G-E-Y-S-E-R-S. Ooh, I feel so naughty!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2013 01:04PM by Acer.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: billb
Date: June 20, 2013 01:39PM
When we were there last we were van camping and stayed in one of the southern campgrounds . Due to so many sights there really wasn't time to get to the northernmost parts of the park from camp. Can't imagine what that is like trying to do now on heavy traffic days. . We always figured if we got back we'd have three camps for home bases with 6 days.
I think we tried to have two camps back then and only the southern one had sites. Probably can't even consider just driving in without reservations far in advance now.
But, the sulfur smell really got to me so it isn't really tops on my list to get back to.



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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: Speedy
Date: June 20, 2013 01:58PM
However you go, you can't miss. As Acer says, Jackson Hole should be on your list of stops which means you'll pass through Grand @#$%& National Park which makes for a pleasant drive to Yellowstone. Prepare for freezing temps in September.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: June 20, 2013 02:25PM
Quote
Speedy
...you'll pass through Grand @#$%& National Park....

Gotta love that auto-censor! jest smiley
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: Acer
Date: June 20, 2013 02:28PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
Speedy
...you'll pass through Grand @#$%& National Park....

Gotta love that auto-censor! jest smiley

It's going to be quite the trip, according to the censorbot!
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: modelamac
Date: June 20, 2013 04:35PM
If you think this will be your only trip to Yellowstone, plan to visit areas near the Park. You can leisurely drive with stopping and looking and cover the main loops in 3 days. You may find some roads closed, maybe not. We went in early October and could not drive to a few sites due to wintry conditions.

Whatever you do, plan your route through the Park, minimizing backtracking. That will make the best use of your time yet allow for a thorough visit. The Park is big enough to allow you to visit areas outside the Park as you get near them, but there are a limited number of entrances/exits so you need to plan carefully.

Gas up each evening, or whenever you see a gas station if your tank is less than half full. Carry your lunches and snacks with you. There are very few services available at that time of year, and they are very far apart.

Get maps ahead of time and layout several alternatives. The Nat'l Park Service has good online info. I laid out the trip before hand, using Google Maps and dropping pins, getting directions, then printing each page. I then taped the pages together in proper sequence. I then used a magi marker to lay it out on a foldable US map. A Road Atlas will work as well.

Because we went in early October, we made no reservations, and paid no penalty for that. You probably can get away with that as well, providing you go there after the 15th.

Plan on taking 1000's of digital pictures. It's easily done. The scenery alone is breath-taking, and then there are the critters. Take plenty of SD cards and USB thumb drives and/or a laptop for downloading as needed. I got caught on this one. Had to buy a couple of USB due to lack of room on the laptop.

Unless you have a cell phone service with every carrier, your cell phone will be useless outside of the cities, and certainly within the Park itself.

If you are a Senior, you can buy a lifetime permit that is good for all national parks, forever. It's a great bargain, and saved us a bunch of $ on our trip.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2013 04:37PM by modelamac.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 20, 2013 05:35PM
Just remember that although they LOOK like hot tubs, they aren't.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 20, 2013 08:17PM
Thanks for all the info.
It looks like the hotels in the park might already be filled up, for September, so we may have to do something else, but I am going to keep checking.
Maybe going to the Grand Canyon might be easier.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: davec
Date: June 20, 2013 11:39PM
Our family trip last year was to Yellowstone N.P. While I enjoyed the more "populated" southern sections of the park I particularly enjoyed the northern loop. We spent 5 days in the park and I would agree with Acer, that 5 days was a minimum for seeing the park.

Dave



...on the trailing edge of technology.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: srf1957
Date: June 21, 2013 01:27AM
I thought everything should be booked for this year. Yahoo has a list of national parks that are not as visited. This years list didn't have the same as last years so a search might give you a decent list of choices. North Cascades Black Canyon and numerous others



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2013 01:32AM by srf1957.
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Re: Need help planning a trip to Yellowstone
Posted by: srf1957
Date: June 21, 2013 01:50AM
This place is in a wilderness area. Don't know if it's still open sold a coup,lke of times in last few years' minam river lodge
I buried a phone line into here in the early 70's. Even if the Minam Lodge is not open the Eagle Cap Wilderness is a great place to hike into. If the lodge is open there is actually to small airplane landing strips to fly into. Reds horse ranch was turned over to FS and is not open for cabin rentals. The whole wilderness area has numerous trailheads and spectactular scenery.
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