Itinerary Help Please

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Carebear0823
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 am

Itinerary Help Please

Post by Carebear0823 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:33 pm

I am planning a trip for July 16 - 30, 2019 to GT, YNP, and Glacier. It's very exciting but also overwhelming! I would appreciate any advise or suggestions you may have as far as timing, hikes, places to eat, activities, etc. I'm trying to plan early so I can book lodging :) It will be my daughter (almost 13 at that time), husband, and myself. I have two itinerary rough drafts as I haven't decided on flying into Bozeman or paying more for Jackson. (Bozeman requires more driving miles/hours and but Jackson is about $400 more total for flight and car flying into Jackson...of course, that's based on today's rates which will likely change.) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond!!

Jackson Itinerary
16th: Fly into Jackson Hole, sleep in GT
17th: Explore GT, attend Wednesday night Rodeo, sleep in GT
18th: Rock climbing in GT, sleep in GT
19th: Drive to YNP, explore Old Faithful area, sleep at OF
20th: Explore Lake/Canyon area, sleep at Lake Lodge
21st: Canyon/Lake area, sleep at Lake Lodge
22nd: Explore Mammoth area, attend Cowboy Cookout, sleep at Roosevelt
23rd: Drive Beartooth Highway from Roosevelt to Grand Falls, sleep at Grand Falls (or would Helena be better?)
24th: Drive to East Glacier, explore east Glacier, sleep at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn
25th: Boat ride and hike to Grinnell Glacier
26th: Drive GTTSR, stopping along the way for scenery and hikes, sleep in West Glacier
27th: Whitewater rafting and hiking in West Glacier, sleep in W. Glacier
28th: Ziplining, hiking, and exploring in West Glacier, sleep in W. Glacier
29th: *****trying to figure out where to spend this extra day....GT, YNP, East or West Glacier??? Is worth making a stop in Virginia City??*****
30th: Fly out of Kalispell

Bozeman Itinerary
Jackson Itinerary
16th: Fly into Bozeman, drive to West Yellowstone stopping in Virginia City, sleep in Old Faithful
17th: Explore OF area, sleep in OF
18th: Drive to Grand Tetons, explore, sleep in GT
19th: Rock climbin in GT, Friday night Rodeo?, sleep in GT
20th: Explore GT, drive to YNP, sleep at Lake Lodge
21st: Canyon/Lake area, sleep at Lake Lodge
22nd: Canyon/Lake area, sleep at Lake Lodge
23rd: Explore Mammoth area, attend Cowboy Cookout, sleep at Roosevelt
24th: Drive Beartooth Highway from Roosevelt to Grand Falls, sleep at Grand Falls (or would Helena be better?)
25th: Drive to East Glacier, explore east Glacier, sleep at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn
26th: Boat ride and hike to Grinnell Glacier
27th: Drive GTTSR, stopping along the way for scenery and hikes, sleep in West Glacier
28th: Whitewater rafting and hiking in West Glacier, sleep in W. Glacier
29th: Ziplining, hiking, and exploring in West Glacier, sleep in W. Glacier
30th: Fly out of Kalispell



Absarokanaut
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:19 pm

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Absarokanaut » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:53 pm

You mention hiking and I see one day of rock climbing; however for the most part this looks like a "checklist" that doesn't offer any substantial [day long] time for hiking or other more focused exploration.

Unless you really enjoy going from attraction to attraction and spending A LOT of time behind the windshield I make this recommendation for more active visitors looking for "special" experiences. You only have two weeks. I know that sounds like a long time but with one ecosystem in the 20,000,000 acre range and another in the 12,000,000 acre it is actually not a "lot" of time. So this is the suggestion: MAKE A CHOICE. Choose either Greater Yellowstone or Glacier and Crown of the Continent, not both. They are both incredibly special places and if you want a special experience give them the time you can and that they deserve. If you decide you do want to immerse yourself more in Crown of the Continent great, if not I'm going to make some basic adventure and hike suggestions for our greatest mammalian habitat of the Temperate Zone that is Greater Yellowstone.

Some people focus on Old Faithful for Yellowstone, personally I like the Canyon and Waterfalls more and it's closer to the Lamar Valley for wildlife viewing. I'd also think about dusk hikes in GTNP for wildlife including Hermitage Point past Heron Pond and Swan Lake to include Third Creek. Of course Northern Grand Teton offers some of the best grizzly viewing possibilities on the roads too.

One day of Rockclimbing? I don't really understand that. Are you a beginer? If not do you know anything about the Grand Teton Climbers Ranch? Were you just thinking of doing Middle one day? Do you have a helmet? If Rockclimbing is any kind of passion or want to be passion for you I'd think about spending a night or two at the Ranch, you do not need to be an AAC member.

Any interest in a float trip? If scenic make certain it is *IN* Grand teton National Park and not south of the Wilson Bridge. On same day as a float trip you might do the Aerial Tram. Renting a canoe and doing String and Leigh Lakes is a fun, pretty easy day too.

Hikes: In GTNP

Easier: Phelps Lake; String and Leigh Lake or around String; adding Laurel Lake to String can be a blast but makes it a bit tougher with one sustained climb. Bradley and Taggart Lakes and if you do stay at the Climbers Ranch ask about "Around the Block."

Harder Hikes: Hanging Canyon and Lake of the Crags;Ampitheatre and Surprise Lakes; Holly Lake and Paintbrush Loop if you are fit enough, take tram up and hike down Granite Canyon. GOOGLE TETON HIKES, GTNP is one of the greatst dayhiking destinations you will ever find. Yeah, I obviously think GTNP is worth more than just two days.

Hikes in the BTNF: Granite Hi-Line with afternoon soak at Granite Hot Springs, Jackson Peak, Continetal Divide and Breccia Divide near Togwotee Pass, Huckleberry Mt....So many. My favorite plaes are on the BTNF and SNF [Shoshone]

Hikes in Southern Shoshone
First two require basic off trail navigational skills.
Austin Peak
South Summit of Northeast Pinnacle Butte
Bomber Basin
Short days: Jade Lakes or Lake Louise

Yellowstone Hikes:

Avalanche Peak.
Slough Creek with Lake McBride
Riddle Lake
Washburn via Dunraven or shuttle with Chittenden if you can.

Well, you've got to make your own choices. I hope you choose to focus on one of these colossal ecosystems. I however know those checklists mean a lot to some people so whatever you do have an awesome time and may the trail rise up to meet you.



Carebear0823
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 am

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Carebear0823 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:08 am

Thank you, Absarokanaut, for your detailed reply! I'd like to visit all three parks as I'm not sure when we can get out there again. I realize there is so much to do and visiting all three is like getting a sampler flight at a craft brewery. We'll sample them for now, and hopefully, we will have the opportunity to visit again in more depth.

I appreciate the trail suggestions and will definitely look into your recommendations. I think we are more of half day hikers, especially with our 12 year old. Probably easy to moderate hikes less than 6 miles in length. On the days that I said "explore", I probably should have said "hike" as we do plan on hiking but I hadn't figured out yet which hikes. So for the extra day that I have, would you suggest staying a 3rd night in Lake Lodge? That would be a total of 5 nights in YNP. Or a 4th night in GT?

As for the rock climbing, I'm guessing you don't want to go with us ;) We certainly don't plan to free solo Grand Teton! We have done indoor rock climbing which my daughter loves and she is very excited to try real rock climbing. There is a company in GT that does guided family level climbs (helmets included :D ). The climb also requires hiking to Hidden Falls (1.3 mi)

Jackson Itinerary
16th: Fly into Jackson Hole, sleep in GT
17th: Explore (HIKE) GT, attend Wednesday night Rodeo, sleep in GT
18th: Rock climbing (short HIKE) in GT, sleep in GT
19th: Drive to YNP, explore Old Faithful area, sleep at OF
20th: Explore (HIKE) Lake/Canyon area, sleep at Lake Lodge
21st: Canyon/Lake (HIKE) area, sleep at Lake Lodge
22nd: Explore Mammoth area, attend Cowboy Cookout, sleep at Roosevelt
23rd: Drive Beartooth Highway from Roosevelt to Grand Falls, sleep at Grand Falls (or would Helena be better?)
24th: Drive to East Glacier, explore (HIKE) east Glacier, sleep at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn
25th: Boat ride and HIKE to Grinnell Glacier
26th: Drive GTTSR, stopping along the way for scenery and HIKES, sleep in West Glacier
27th: Whitewater rafting and HIKING in West Glacier, sleep in W. Glacier
28th: Ziplining, HIKING, and exploring in West Glacier, sleep in W. Glacier
29th: *****trying to figure out where to spend this extra day.... (HIKING) in GT, YNP, East or West Glacier??? Is worth making a stop in Virginia City??*****
30th: Fly out of Kalispell



Winona
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Winona » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:10 pm

You are going to have great time! We went with our 14 yo girls last summer to YNP and GT. 4 days in YNP and 2 in GT. We stayed outside of the park. I am happy you are going in 2019 since the park fills up quick! Definitely reserve as soon as allowed. I wish I could help more with the itinerary. We found that just seeing the tourist sites took all day. No time for longer hikes. But that was okay. We started out in South Dakota...Badlands, Mt Rushmore, etc. Everything took longer than I expected. Two days in GT seems enough-we really saw everything in 1 day including a float trip. But we did not hike. Definitely see the Lamar Valley in YNP. Our favorite was the Trip from the East Entrance through Lamar Valley-beautiful! I think you need to add a day in YNP personally. The rodeo, cookout, and rafting will be the highlights for the 12 yo. I can post what our itinerary was if it will help.



Carebear0823
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 am

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Carebear0823 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:14 am

Thanks for the info, Winona! Yes, if you have time, I'd appreciate your itinerary so I can get an idea of what can be accomplished in a day (especially with a 12 yo). I know the summer days are longer but the time it takes to travel and do things is hard to predict. We are flexible...I don't have to follow an exact schedule. Just trying to map it out so I know what lodging to book. I think adding the extra day in YNP is a good idea. Would you recommend a 3rd night in the Lake Lodge area? Or a second night in OF area? Or something else completely?? Thanks again!



Winona
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Winona » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:48 pm

In a nutshell. Day 1 drove from Cody to Cooke City and stopped at almost every stop/waterfall/pullover, etc. That day we saw Canyon, Hayden,Lamar, etc. Probably 7am departure and 5pm arrival to Cooke City.
Day 2-Saw Mammoth Springs, Norris Geyser Basin,Artists Paintpot Trail and back to Cooke City. Again 7-5. We stop to look at everything !
Day 3-Firehole Canyon,Mid and Lower Geyser Basin, and Artists Paintpots. I think we checked into the hotel in West Yellowstone 3-4pm.
Day 4-Got up early to see Old Faithful. Also saw Castle erupt which was better than OF. Walked around the boardwalk, saw Sand Basin and Biscuit Basin. Back to hotel early because we were exhausted. Probably 2pm.
Day 5-headed for Grand Teton. I wish we had gone back over to Yellowstone Lake since it was skipped. Although we saw some of it driving in from Cody. Hope it helps.



Winona
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Winona » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:49 pm

What I meant to say-we never really went hiking per say, but averaged 5 plus miles daily just doing the tourist stuff.



Carebear0823
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 am

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Carebear0823 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:26 am

Thanks again, Winona! Your summary is very helpful as far as giving me a sense of time for YNP!



Steve
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:09 pm
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Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by Steve » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:46 am

I'd go with your Jackson plan and spend another night at Swiftcurrent. There's more trails in that area than you'll ever do. Might want to drive to Polebridge and Kintla lake on the west side of Glacier.



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DawnTheRoadAgain
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Itinerary Help Please

Post by DawnTheRoadAgain » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:41 pm

If you are doing both YNP/GTNP and Glacier you might want to stop at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park when you are travelling from one area to the other. A few years ago I took a 14 and 16 year old on a trip from Alberta down to Yellowstone, and they both loved the cave tour. I did too!



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