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Old 09-10-2016, 11:00 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ohyes View Post
We just returned from trip out West and had the best time. The two nights before Yellowstone, we stayed in Cody, WY. Visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, lunch at Irma's and rodeo. The next day, we drove up to Red Lodge, MT and took Bear Tooth Highway into the NE entrance of YS. Cooke City was fun to walk around - and there we saw our first (of about a couple thousand) buffalo.

Ate lunch at Roosevelt (taco salad was good). We spent first two nights at Canyon Lodge and last night in Grant Village. We did a good deal of walking around Old Faithful geyser area and Mammoth Hot Springs area. Old Faithful Inn was good to sit in and relax. The coffee shop on second floor has unlimited refills for each day.

Those two days of walking made me feel better about all the days I spent sitting in the car.

We enjoyed our meal at the Grant Village Dining Room on our last night.

Canyon Lodge was nice, but not within walking distance of dining. Room was superior to Grant Village. Once we got accustomed to no television and very spotty cell phone coverage, we enjoyed the peacefulness that provided. At Canyon, we sat outside in the evenings and looked at the sky. DH was putting peanuts on the sidewalk and watching some sort of little mouse eat them. I am still threatening to turn him in for feeding an animal when signs everywhere warned against it. I never saw this mouse; DH claims it was super cute.

We drive through a bit Tetons on our way home.

It was one our best trips ever. Friends had warned us that the trip out (Kansas, Wyoming) would be boring. Since it was new to us, we found it amazing.

If you stay in Cheyenne, the Little America was a very nice property for $61 on Hotwire (3* with 95% guest satisfaction). This was on the way home. Room, food, lounge were all above par.

We saw lots of wildlife and color and heard a myriad of bubbling sounds with heat. You will have a wonderful experience.
This is great !
Makes me want to hop in the car and go right away.

I love your summary, because you provided the details that appeal to me, so that I have an idea of what to expect, where to stay or eat.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:06 PM   #22
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Bear Tooth Pass could be snowed in for the season in September.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:24 AM   #23
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Well, I live in the area. DW and I stayed at Lake Village. It is fairly easy
access to most of the major hot spots to see/visit. Kind of central location
in the park. There is some infrastructure there like a store and restaurant
and rv appurtenances. If you have a Gov ID, you can contact the
concession contractor and ask for an employee cabin. We got ours at
an unbelievable rate. They are some what primitive, but keeps the bears
off of you. And last but not least

You really need to reserve a table and spot at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Dining room. try to get a time near Sunset it will blow you away and the
staff really all try to earn their tip money! What a grand experience.
http://www.yellowstonenationalparklo...l-dining-room/
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:06 AM   #24
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Back from my trip.

As 1vertical just noted, in YNP we did stay in guest/park_employee housing and it was not primitive at all. Price was $25 per night per bedroom and we could do all our own cooking in a modern kitchen. We made breakfasts and dinners, but for lunches we simply snacked in the car or out on the trail..

We did hikes in GTNP including the Jenny Lake, Inspiration Point, that Moose loop, and many others. Grand Tetons is about hiking and not so much wildlife viewing, but we saw bears, moose, elk, bison, pronghorn, mule deer, and birds.

YNP is more about a driving safari for wildlife viewing and geysers. Contrary to what was previously posted, the distance from the Lake Village area to Old Faithful is only 38 miles and takes less than an hour (we drove it 5 times). We drove on almost all the open main roads including the entire Grand Loop. We visited all the Visitor Centers and Information Centers and went in/out both the Northeast entrance and the South Entrance. We did not go to the East nor the West Entrances. We were near the North Entrance when we visited the Mammoth Hot Springs area (VC has free WiFi), but did not pass through though we were told the Arch was open.

We saw bison, elk, bears, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mule deer, a wolf viewing pack, birds, and Homo sapiens.

We learned that less than 5% of YNP visitors really get out of their cars and hike. About 95% will drive from spot to spot and just look from the car window or get out to view an overlook.

Here is my BIG TIP though: When driving to view wildlife there is always something better around the next turn or over the next hill. At first, we would see a herd of bison say a quarter mile off the road. Lots of cars would stop and people would get out to take photos. But we would drive a half mile and another group of bison would be in the road, so within 5 yards of your car. So our method was to be discriminating on stops for photo ops and to drive through "animal jams" where the animals were 100 yards or more away from the road. For closer animals, we would often drive through and loop back, then reverse direction. That way, we went past close-up wildlife up to three times. We had plenty of time to do this because we started early each day and lived in a central location.

As for geyser viewing, I think most park visitors miss most of the spectacular geysers because they don't run on schedule like Old Faithful and require walking or more driving to get to them. The park rangers sometimes know when some geysers will go off from what has happened in the past week, but they can only estimate within an hour or two. We saw geysers go off that some park employees had not seen themselves in over 8 years of working in the park. Patience, time, and luck play a part in all this.

I will post some photos later today.









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Old 09-21-2016, 10:11 AM   #25
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I love it when there is a trip report at the end of a thread that asks for advice.

How many days did you spend at Yellowstone?
Is the accommodation you used in Yellowstone available to the public? The previous poster said something about government id.

Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:46 AM   #26
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We spent 2 nights in Jackson south of GTNP, 3 nights in Colter Bay in GTNP, and 5 nights (5 full days) in Yellowstone. We had round-trip airfare into Jackson, WY with FF miles.

The accommodation in YNP that we used is not available to the public and not mentioned at trip advisor.com nor anywhere on the web.



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Old 09-21-2016, 12:18 PM   #27
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We were there last year in the beginning of June when it was not as busy as later on. It still was plenty busy. We did a lot of hiking and walking. You are right that many of the geysers/pools, etc required a lot of walking but we love to walk. We never saw wolves which was disappointing. We saw enough Bison to sink a battleship. We had one charge our motorhome and had to come to a complete stop. Once we stopped it lost interest. WE spent 4 night in YS and 2 in GT and could have stayed longer there was so much to see and do in YS. 2 days in GT was perfect. Enjoyed the pics!
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:49 PM   #28
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Re wolves: We did not see wolves, but came across a stand of folks following a wolf pack at a far far distance with viewing scopes. They said the wolves had gone "off scope" about 10 minutes before we arrived on the viewing party. To the naked eye, the wolves would have been small moving black dots far away. At least one of the wolves had a radio collar, so park biologists can track them.

In YNP, wolf management is a sore point between the government and locals. The annual elk harvest by hunters is over 180,000 in 11 western states:
Elk Harvest Comparison of Western States

In contrast, wolves in YNP probably kill less than 3,000 elk a year and probably some young cattle as well:

Gray Wolves Impact Elk

While we were in YNP a car hit and killed a bull elk.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:34 PM   #29
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When we were there a man was gored because he got too close to a Bison while trying to take his photo. People are so stupid.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:15 AM   #30
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We recently camped in Yellowstone (tent) and did a couple of hikes and also did the Inspiration Point hike. I think I'm a jinx because the people in front of us saw a moose, and the people behind us saw a bear. We didn't even see a single bison at YNP, which my sister said must be a record because they are everywhere. The only pronghorn we saw were when we were driving through Wyoming to Colorado.

We did get to see the elk and hear them bugling at RMNP, one of my favorite things to do when we lived in Colorado. i could spend hours watching them.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:25 PM   #31
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We saw Bison by the thousand. They were literally everywhere. when we were at Old Faithful a few walked right up to some people. The rangers came and got everyone away from them. I can't believe you did not see any.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:18 AM   #32
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We learned that less than 5% of YNP visitors really get out of their cars and hike. About 95% will drive from spot to spot and just look from the car window or get out to view an overlook.

As for geyser viewing, I think most park visitors miss most of the spectacular geysers because they don't run on schedule like Old Faithful and require walking or more driving to get to.
I think it is a shame and a loss when people won't go beyond the car. You are so close but you miss so much.

Also see a couple photos from post #4 in this thread.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:36 PM   #33
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We love to walk/hike so did a lot of that which was fun. I did not realize how close we were to Glacier park so we didn't go there. That was a mistake.
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:54 PM   #34
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I think it is a shame and a loss when people won't go beyond the car. You are so close but you miss so much.
Yes, but that just means go to these parks before you are disabled. At least folks who are disabled can still see from the car a lot of wildlife and geysers.

I saw numerous folks with canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen bottles. It was not that they didn't want to go beyond their vehicle, but that it was exceedingly difficult for them to do so.

PS: My Morning Glory photo is filled with Chinese tourists. I'll have to go again. Great pic!
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