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YellowStone and Grand Tetons
Old 05-19-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
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YellowStone and Grand Tetons

Will be spending 9 days total in the 2 parks. Have been there before but the kids haven't. We could probably do all the highlights in 5 days, so what are some of the "off the beaten trail" things might be advisable to do?

Rent a boat to go out on Yellowstone lake? Hike a canyon trail near the falls?
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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horseback riding... oh wait, that's on a beaten trail
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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Rafting down the Snake river was lots of fun when our DS was younger.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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ascend the grand. pricey if you don't have the expertise yourself, but well worth it. exum guides can help you get to the top.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:34 AM   #5
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9 days total in both parks just covers the highlights! We spent 10 days last year in Yellowstone alone (all nights in the park) and I think that was barely enough for the key stuff. Stay in different areas of the park if you can, so you dont spend all the time driving. Mammoth Springs area had some ranger led history hike as well as evening history slide show at the hotel, which were very interesting to us. Trails near Old Faithful area and Mammoth Springs area are more unique. Canyon and Lake areas are great, but I think you can find similar scenery elsewhere.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:17 AM   #6
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I don't know how old your kids are, but there is a minimum age limit for horseback riding in Yellowstone.

Depending on how comfortable you are with putting your kids on a horse, there is an outfit right outside the park in Gardiner, MT that has lower age limits.

Hell's A-Roarin Outfitters | Yellowstone Horse Rides in Gardiner, Montana | Yellowstone Packtrips and Activities | Hell's A-Roarin' Outfitters

The scenery up in the mountains was unbelievable.

We did this a few years ago and loved it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
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Depending on everyone's physical shape you might hike beyond Inspiration Point and get into Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton NP. Not many continue past the point and my biggest regret from last year's trip is we couldn't go far into the canyon due to not packing much food & water. I think we actually enjoyed Grand Teton more than Yellowstone. The mountains looming in front of us was just breathtaking and we had much more close-up grizzly encounters than Yellowstone. I'd also recommend a trip up the Beartooth Hwy .
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:48 AM   #8
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Depending on everyone's physical shape you might hike beyond Inspiration Point and get into Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton NP. Not many continue past the point and my biggest regret from last year's trip is we couldn't go far into the canyon due to not packing much food & water. I think we actually enjoyed Grand Teton more than Yellowstone. The mountains looming in front of us was just breathtaking and we had much more close-up grizzly encounters than Yellowstone. I'd also recommend a trip up the Beartooth Hwy .

Great idea which I would recommend. Last year we did exactly this and followed the circular route beyond Inspiration Point back to the car park.

Another thing you might consider is to go to Teton Village, ride the Gondola to the top and hike one of the various trails at the top near or in the snow line. Some folks actually hiked the trail back down, but that is tough on our old joints so we rode the gondola back down.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the reply's. The kids are 15. I have looked up some horse back riding and will try to arrange that for them. We have booked a raft ride on the Snake so have that covered. I like the idea of doing more hikes so will research some of those. Also Ranger led hikes or presentations sound like a good idea.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:58 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the reply's. The kids are 15. I have looked up some horse back riding and will try to arrange that for them. We have booked a raft ride on the Snake so have that covered. I like the idea of doing more hikes so will research some of those. Also Ranger led hikes or presentations sound like a good idea.
We also did a raft ride on the Snake while we were there - at sunset - and saw plenty of game on the banks including a black bear with 2 cubs.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:06 AM   #11
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Hike around Jenny Lake, beautiful scenary.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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On the northern loop between Mammoth and Tower there is a one way dirt road called the Blacktail Plateau Drive. It gets you off the main road and we always see bear. Bring some binoculars.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #13
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If you like biking there are great paved bike trails from Teton village all the way up to at least Jenny lake. The terrain is fairly flat so it's nice ride. I think they have bike rentals at Teton village.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #14
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I really appreciate the advise and recommendations. Will try to include some horseback riding (for the girls) and take some of the off the way drives and trails. I bought some new binoculars to help with wild life viewing and with the new Samsung Galaxy IV phones should be able to take some nice pictures. One of the girls has a standard Nikon so we can fall back on her for some spectacular photos. I'll revisit this post and put some up!

But keep the good info coming!!
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Hit the other Side of the Grand.....
Old 05-25-2013, 05:12 AM   #15
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Hit the other Side of the Grand.....

Drive the pass over to Idaho and go through Driggs, ID back into Wyoming. Check out the Darby wind and ice caves...great little hike.... then take a serious hike up Table mountain for the best alternative/opposite/close-up view of the Grand. This is off the beaten path.

In Yellowstone, see if you can kayak Yellowstone Lake to Grassy Isle for some overnight camping. Sit on the lake edge watching the water rush by and the eagles swoop in.
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Yellowstone Wolves
Old 05-25-2013, 05:16 AM   #16
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Yellowstone Wolves

Get Up really early (4-5AM early) and go join Rick McIntyre who is usually along the road to Tower or out to Lamar Valley. Watch the wolves signal for their meet-up and head out for the day's hunt - cold but worth the view.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:11 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the reply's. The kids are 15. I have looked up some horse back riding and will try to arrange that for them. We have booked a raft ride on the Snake so have that covered. I like the idea of doing more hikes so will research some of those. Also Ranger led hikes or presentations sound like a good idea.
I always enjoy Ranger led stuff. Even when I doubt I'll like it, they are always fun.

I don't know what you or your kid's hiking ability is, but a fairly easy hike is to take the gravel road to the top of Mt. Washburn, and check out the view from the shack up there. There are other trails there that are more challenging too. But if in doubt, the road trail is pretty easy. The kids get to say they hiked higher than 10,000 ft, and everyone gets to see buena vistas. The only caveat is it can get crowded. It is fairly popular. It all depends on experience on elevation hikes. I found this to be one of the more accessible in the country. If you've done that before, then this is probably not a good use of time.

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Hike around Jenny Lake, beautiful scenary.
Yes. Very easy, but pure beauty. And we ran into multiple forms of wildlife, including a hare that scared the crap out of us. The thing was huge! Others ahead of us saw bears. We just got treated to their scat.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:23 PM   #18
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I have a lot of Jackson Hole suggestions as I once was planning a wedding here and made one heck of a wedding website.

Jackson and nearby:
Alpine Slide down Snow King Resort
Bar-T-5 Covered Wagon Cookout
Visit Granite Hot Springs over by Hoback Junction
Take the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort tram to the top
Classic 8 mile white water trip down the Snake River called the Daily Section

GTNP ideas:
Rent kayaks on Jackson Lake
Day hikes
Hike around lakes
Mange's Cabin (not shown on park map!)
Lucas-Fabian Homestead (not shown on park map!)
Eat pizza/drink beer on the rooftop of Dornans
Scenic Snake River flat water trip through GTNP
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:25 PM   #19
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We are thinking of Yellowstone/Grand Tetons as well in the not-so-distant future. Any suggestions of where to stay? Without breaking the bank?
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #20
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We are thinking of Yellowstone/Grand Tetons as well in the not-so-distant future. Any suggestions of where to stay? Without breaking the bank?
DH went on a m/c trip to Yellowstone a couple of years ago. The least expensive thing to do is take a tent. When he got tired of that, he went to Cooke City, MT. They had numerous choices of hotels and inns.

We just got back from a trek to Yellowstone a few days ago.

We wanted to stay at the Old Faithful Inn, but everything was booked up. So we decided to throw the tent in the car, make no reservations and just go. Going thru TX, NM, CO...we had no problems finding a hotel. We did find Best Westerns were consistently nice. Prices ranged from $86 to $145 night.

When we got to the Grand Teton National Park, we came upon a nice looking lodge. (We had passed a few smaller lodges along the way) We inquired on the rates....a room with two queens sized beds was $250 and a room with a king sized bed was $280 per night. ...the scenery was not that lovely, so we moved on.

When we got to Yellowstone (Old Faithful Inn), we took a chance and inquired about any vacancies. They had none. As we were turning around to leave, a room became available. We got this room for $103. It sure wasn't fancy, but we didn't care...we were elated to be able to stay there.

btw, I'm not sure about all the lodges and inns around there, but we stayed at a couple of hotels (including the Old Faithful Inn) that did not have air conditioning in the room. Fortunately we didn't need it.

Another btw...I imagine it would be a good idea to make reservations now since most kids are out of school.
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