Yellowstone trip beginning of June

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hoops777
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Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by hoops777 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:05 pm

So I guess we will fly into Salt Lake. We want to spend a couple days in Yellowstone and a couple days in Jackson Hole and seeing Grand Teton.
My research shows a really scenic route from SLC. Any suggestions on the best overall route to accomplish this ? Anything else fairly close by worth seeing?
I made a 2 night reservation by the south entrance of Yellowstone followed by a 2 night in Jackson Hole so far.
Thanks
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

tedgeorge
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by tedgeorge » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:43 pm

Yellowstone is massive. Look at a map and start planning. For instance, you are 22 miles from the south entrance to the start of the loop. From the south entrance and depending on traffic, you could spend two hours just driving to the north side. Getting in and out of the park can be slow to so get up early. It would be great if you could find a place in the park to save travel time but I know they all book up far in advance.

I assume you are flying in and out of SLC. I might consider driving up to West Yellowstone from SLC and going in that entrance and maybe do the top loops and then head to the south entrance. Then you could go back and pick up Old Faithful. And then down to Jackson Hole. The Tetons are beautiful and Jackson Hole is a cool town to kick around in.

We stayed outside of West Yellowstone when we went and by the end of day 2, we were pretty burned out of driving and really hated the people who stopped for only one bison!

Eyeski
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Eyeski » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:14 pm

I live in SLC and have driven to Jackson many, many times visiting my brother while he lived there. I would take I-80 to Evanston then head north on 89 to Cokeville, Afton and Alpine before heading up the canyon to Jackson. This route is faster and slightly more scenic than taking I-15 all the way to Idaho Falls.

Jackson is not cheap, so be prepared to spend some $.

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hoops777
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by hoops777 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:22 pm

Eyeski wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:14 pm
I live in SLC and have driven to Jackson many, many times visiting my brother while he lived there. I would take I-80 to Evanston then head north on 89 to Cokeville, Afton and Alpine before heading up the canyon to Jackson. This route is faster and slightly more scenic than taking I-15 all the way to Idaho Falls.

Jackson is not cheap, so be prepared to spend some $.
Does this go along the snake river?
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

phxjcc
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by phxjcc » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:56 pm

tedgeorge wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:43 pm
Yellowstone is massive. Look at a map and start planning. For instance, you are 22 miles from the south entrance to the start of the loop. From the south entrance and depending on traffic, you could spend two hours just driving to the north side. Getting in and out of the park can be slow to so get up early. It would be great if you could find a place in the park to save travel time but I know they all book up far in advance.

I assume you are flying in and out of SLC. I might consider driving up to West Yellowstone from SLC and going in that entrance and maybe do the top loops and then head to the south entrance. Then you could go back and pick up Old Faithful. And then down to Jackson Hole. The Tetons are beautiful and Jackson Hole is a cool town to kick around in.

We stayed outside of West Yellowstone when we went and by the end of day 2, we were pretty burned out of driving and really hated the people who stopped for only one bison!
Two days in Yellowstone is not nearly enough.
If you stay in Old Faihfull it will take you a day to drive to Mammoth and do the loop of the lake, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Uncle Tom's, etc. The Lamar valley is the best for wildlife, especially wolves, but you won't have time.
Average driving speed while moving in the park is probably 35, but with Bear (et al) Jams you will be lucky to average 20 miles per hour.

If you want to see bear, do it in the Tetons.

The Tetons are a treasure, less crowded and more accessible if you like to walk/hike. Try and do the boat from Jenny Lake and hike up to the falls. Signal Mountain Lodge has good food, They also run Colter Bay Pizza, which is excellent and you can sit outside and eat by the lake. Dornan's is popular but I found it meh.

Get up 1 hour before sunrise, drive to the Mormon Barn and take pictures, you will thank me.

Get the book Yellowstone Treasures, written by the daughter of a former AFS official. The consensus BEST book/guide to YNP.
The best book for JH and GTNP is out of print. There is a great independent book store about 1 block off the square, go there for the best books.

ETA: goggle Best of the Tetons, Mike Jackson's web site.
He runs photography tours, and if you want to know the best spots and have little time a photo safari might be a good way to spend your time. CALL NOW! Because his spots fill up fast.

Last add: found the book....https://www.amazon.com/Roads-Through-Ti ... B00DXPZU7M

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Watty
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Watty » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:26 pm

phxjcc wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:56 pm
Two days in Yellowstone is not nearly enough.
+1

There is an old joke that has been told about several national parks;

Tourist goes up to a ranger and asks;

Tourist: If you only had one day to spend in Yellowstone what would you do?

Ranger: Cry.

Two days is not much better and you will be spend a lot of your time traveling.

Whatever your decide to do be sure to get your reservations ASAP, many places may already be booked up. This may be especially true since a lot of people are not doing international travel this year because of the Covid-19 virus.

This includes getting reservations for a rental car since they can be in short supply.
Yellowstone trip beginning of June
Be prepared for the weather, you could get into snow especially at the higher elevations.

Random Poster
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Random Poster » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:35 pm

From Salt Lake City, I'd be awfully tempted to drive north/northeast through Logan and stop at Utah State for its excellent (in terms of taste and value) ice cream. I'd then head in the same direction through Logan Canyon and up to Bear Lake, and then either continuing on 89 to Jackson or turning westward on 30 to connect to I-15 and spend the night in either Pocatello or Idaho Falls. From there I'd either go west on 26 to Alpine and then up to Jackson or go to up to Rexburg and hit 33 and go through Driggs and Victor* and then into Jackson. Seeing the Tetons from both sides has its value.

* A quick stop at the Emporium for a Huckleberry milkshake wouldn't be a bad idea, but I've got to admit that they seemed a bit pricey and a tad thin to me.

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hoops777
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by hoops777 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:43 pm

Thanks. I can still add a night so maybe we will.
So if we stay by whatever entrance and drive around the loop, I am confused by the time element and distance. If the first day we have been out say 8 hours do we just double back to the hotel and the next day go the opposite direction ? Sounds stupid but how do you best navigate the loop or are there other roads?
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

tedgeorge
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by tedgeorge » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:27 pm

Not a stupid question. I wasn’t prepared for it either. Go to the park site and find the brochure map. You will see the loop is a figure eight with the middle mainly being a cut through road. There are distances marked on the map. There are no other roads in the park.

Your best bet would be to stay somewhere in or near the middle if possible. At least being in the park anywhere will save you an hour of driving out of the park and back in.

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Emilyjane
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Emilyjane » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:43 pm

June is fun because of the baby animals. Can be snow at higher elevations (beartooth pass).
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance", Confucius

clip651
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by clip651 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:44 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:43 pm
Thanks. I can still add a night so maybe we will.
So if we stay by whatever entrance and drive around the loop, I am confused by the time element and distance. If the first day we have been out say 8 hours do we just double back to the hotel and the next day go the opposite direction ? Sounds stupid but how do you best navigate the loop or are there other roads?
One strategy is to spend each night in lodgings in a different part of the loop, within the park. In the morning, explore the area near your lodging while gradually making your way towards the next night's lodging over the course of the day.

Regardless of your strategy, keep in mind that the miles in each segment of the loop tell you nothing about travel time for the segment. Speed limits are low. You'll want to travel slowly to look around, and so will most other cars driving, and it's mostly one lane in each direction. There can be traffic jams (everyone stops their car to watch a bear, or whatever), and bison jams (herd of bison on the roadway, no one is going anywhere until they decide to move), etc. Also, if you actually want to see the park, you will want to pull into various parking lots and walk the boardwalks around the geyser basins and other features. If you want to enjoy what you're seeing, even a short 0.5 mile boardwalk stroll can take a while (ooh, aahh, take photos, etc). And if you wind up driving after dark, you need to go even slower - a moose or bear could step in front of your car at any time, and you don't want to be going even 30 mph when that happens. The roads are neither wide, nor lit. The wild areas are right up next to the roads, and wildlife aren't shy about crossing the roads, or walking down them at times.

If you like nature and natural wonders, add as many days and nights as you can. If your stay will be short, do some research ahead of time to figure out your "must sees" so that you can prioritize those. Get some guidebooks (or use the internet) and do some reading. One guidebook I used a few years back included a chapter on what to see if you only have one day in Yellowstone. I think the book suggested banging your head on the dashboard instead of crying (heck, do both, just don't take too long doing it!), but after that it gave you a short list and suggested efficient order to get it done.

But everything in Yellowstone is pretty amazing, so it's hard to go too wrong. Have a great time!

cj

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Random Musings » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:42 pm

.....
Last edited by Random Musings on Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Random Musings » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:12 pm

Been to Yellowstone three times, twice for four days and the last for three days - wish we could had one extra day, but didn't have the time. Since end of June, days are long and we were up early ( 5 am twice) and went to sundown. Hit the hotspots early if you can, although early June isn't like July or August, which are extremely busy months.
With two days, I would focus on the lower loop which has a great deal of the geyser basins, (West Thumb, Upper, Mid and Lower geyser basins, Norris Basin), plus the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Hayden Valley and Yellowstone Lake. Plenty of hiking opportunities - pack a lunch to optimize your sightseeing time. We also brought in our breakfast food to save time.

Even in later June, it was near freezing in the a.m, but very comfortable in the afternoon. Layer up. One of my favorite National Parks (Glacier is #1).

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by cableguy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:11 pm

Between Grand Tetons and Jackson there's a road called Antler Flats Road. Look it up. I think its slightly north of Jackson Airport. Get to that road. I promise you'll see bison, elk, moose, etc. Don't get out of the car! Bring a camera. Its a slight detour off the main road. I've done it a few times. Beautiful drive.....god's country. I actually had to stop my car and sit for 20+ minutes because 100+ bison were walking across the road.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Eyeski » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:31 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:22 pm
Eyeski wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:14 pm
I live in SLC and have driven to Jackson many, many times visiting my brother while he lived there. I would take I-80 to Evanston then head north on 89 to Cokeville, Afton and Alpine before heading up the canyon to Jackson. This route is faster and slightly more scenic than taking I-15 all the way to Idaho Falls.

Jackson is not cheap, so be prepared to spend some $.
Does this go along the snake river?
It does once you get to Alpine and head up the canyon.

fasteddie911
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by fasteddie911 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:54 am

We did this same exact trip a few years ago. We took I-15 to get there as quickly as possible, stayed in West Yellowstone, drove to Jackson, then took the scenic route back via 89 stopping at Bear Lake for a raspberry shake, then thru Logan. For Yellowstone, we only had 2 full days so we did the north loop and south loop (of the figure 8) on each day. Being in the middle we weren't spending much time doubling-back. Started each day early. It worked fine for us since we primarily just care about sightseeing but did a short hike here and there.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by gtd98765 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:40 am

Random Musings wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:12 pm

Even in later June, it was near freezing in the a.m, but very comfortable in the afternoon. Layer up. One of my favorite National Parks (Glacier is #1).

RM
+1
When we went in June we were not adequately prepared for the weather. It snowed on us for a while. We wound up with some very nice Yellowstone sweatshirts, though.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by TBillT » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:46 am

Yellowstone Lodge is great place, last time 10 yr ago we had room with Old Faithful out the window, just fabulous. And there are many Geysers and ponds in that area you can walk to. I am partial to Yellowstone as much to do there. We got rained out of the Snake River raft trip so we did not have as much weather luck there.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Quirkz » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:37 am

I think you're getting lots of good advice on travel, so here's my "hidden gem" tip:

After you see Old Faithful, spend an hour or two walking into the area behind it. The big geyser plus visitor's center gets all the attention there, but there are at least another 30 other thermal features right in that same area, and it's easy to overlook them. I totally missed it the first time, but on the second visit I went back there and in the span of 90 minutes caught 5-6 geysers plus half a dozen other surging mudpots, bubbling pools, and other things, one after the other in a near-constant display of activity. One would go, and then the next one just a bit downhill, then one 30 steps farther down the path, etc.

The park is huge, and if you're short on time it's natural to focus on the loop, and most of the attractions really are a very short walk from the road. So it's too easy at Old Faithful, between the geyser itself, the visitor's center, and the lodge, to assume that's it for that stop. It's really worth exploring a bit more there.

Also very glad you're including the Tetons. It is simply one of the best views on the planet. Keep an eye out for moose there. I've seen one off in the fields every times I've gone through the park.

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hoops777
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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by hoops777 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:28 pm

Thanks for all of the great information.
Any thoughts on switching the trip to right after Labor Day? Maybe the coronavirus will be settled down by then and I read September is a good time to go early in the month.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Random Poster » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:07 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:28 pm
Thanks for all of the great information.
Any thoughts on switching the trip to right after Labor Day? Maybe the coronavirus will be settled down by then and I read September is a good time to go early in the month.
September is a lovely time to visit the Tetons and Yellowstone. Accommodation should be easier to get and might be a bit cheaper too.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by almostretired1965 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:21 pm

Unfortunately, I'm not sure there is a "great" time to visit Yellowstone anymore. My first trip there in 2003, we spend a week at Tetons and 2 weeks at Yellowstone during the last 3 weeks of September and had a wonderful time. It was not deserted by any means, but nothing felt very crowded. We stopped there again in 2018 in the third week of September on a drive from VA to WA and it was night and day. Even on a weekday there were crowds everywhere on the loop road. We had trouble finding parking at minor attractions. You had to head for Lamar Valley to avoid the hordes of people.

It's a shame really, but that's progress I guess. I'm glad I had a chance to experience it when I did.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by phxjcc » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:28 pm
Thanks for all of the great information.
Any thoughts on switching the trip to right after Labor Day? Maybe the coronavirus will be settled down by then and I read September is a good time to go early in the month.
After Labor Day is better than June.

The week after Labor Day is a transition week when most Ranger Led Activities had concluded for the summer programs and the "leaf peeper" activities have not yet started. Also, the week after Labor is better because the Elk rut has started; fun to watch. Kind of like a Saturday night at the pick-up bar in a college town. :P

Also, if you call, you may be able to snag a hotel room for 20% less than peak season immediately after labor day.

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Re: Yellowstone trip beginning of June

Post by Random Musings » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:22 pm

phxjcc wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 pm
hoops777 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:28 pm
Thanks for all of the great information.
Any thoughts on switching the trip to right after Labor Day? Maybe the coronavirus will be settled down by then and I read September is a good time to go early in the month.
After Labor Day is better than June.

The week after Labor Day is a transition week when most Ranger Led Activities had concluded for the summer programs and the "leaf peeper" activities have not yet started. Also, the week after Labor is better because the Elk rut has started; fun to watch. Kind of like a Saturday night at the pick-up bar in a college town. :P

Also, if you call, you may be able to snag a hotel room for 20% less than peak season immediately after labor day.
We were there June 20 somethings two years ago. We visited.the major hot spots (old faithful, grand prismatic spring) early, wasn't that busy. Once we walked past Old Faithful, it was very peaceful as not many people walk too far away from their cars. When we saw OF erupt, we were in front row, perhaps three rows deep. Grand Prismatic Spring parking was busy, but spots were open. No traffic jams, no bison jams ( lots of little bison that time of year to see). Grand Canyon area, where we stayed, wasn't very crowded, although the rooms were all booked. Hiking trails, besides GPS, were quiet. Perhaps we were lucky in the timing as it was very rainy for weeks before we got there, and we ended up with three dry days, mostly sunny. It was hailing in the mountains on the east entrance side as we drove in, it looked dire, but it magically cleared up on the way down to the lake. With all the water and snow melt, the various waterfalls were outstanding.

With kids and school, June was our best choice. If we had the option, post Labor day would have been our choice. July and August I would avoid.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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