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Author Topic: Yellowstone and the RockyMountain  (Read 5904 times)
MDaniels80
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« on: May 28, 2008, 08:38:46 PM »
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Trying to plan a trip in Sept out west.  I am thinking of flying into Salt Lake and driving to WY- staying in Jackson Hole for about fivee days to see both Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks.  After five days or so driving down to CO and staying at Estes Park to get some shots there (been there last year around this time).  Three or four days there then flying home from Denver.  Havent booked anything yet but would like to soon.  More uncertain about the Yellowston Grnd Teton area- is Jackson Hole a convenient location or is it a bit far from Yellowstone.  I looked into staying inside the parks but prefer to stay in more of the resort towns.  ANy suggestions of where to shoot also in the first two parks would be appreciated.  Likely doing it on my own so I prob won't do to strenous of hikes- maybe couple ofhours on the heavily trafficed trails.  Wondering if I am cramming too much with the Rocky Mountain excursion as well, but really wanted to see it again in the fall.  Thanks for any suggestions and tips!
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 09:17:48 PM »
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Trying to plan a trip in Sept out west.  I am thinking of flying into Salt Lake and driving to WY- staying in Jackson Hole for about fivee days to see both Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks.  After five days or so driving down to CO and staying at Estes Park to get some shots there (been there last year around this time).  Three or four days there then flying home from Denver.  Havent booked anything yet but would like to soon.  More uncertain about the Yellowston Grnd Teton area- is Jackson Hole a convenient location or is it a bit far from Yellowstone.  I looked into staying inside the parks but prefer to stay in more of the resort towns.  ANy suggestions of where to shoot also in the first two parks would be appreciated.  Likely doing it on my own so I prob won't do to strenous of hikes- maybe couple ofhours on the heavily trafficed trails.  Wondering if I am cramming too much with the Rocky Mountain excursion as well, but really wanted to see it again in the fall.  Thanks for any suggestions and tips!
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"Wondering if I am cramming too much with the Rocky Mountain excursion as well, but really wanted to see it again in the fall. "

That depends on what you want to do.  If it is photography,  I would say it's too much.  I lived in Jackson Hole for four years , and the Tetons are still my favorite.  If you have 8-10 days and want to do "serious" photography...I would limit your time to those two parks.  Jackson is ok for day-trip sightseeing to Yellowstone but it is a 3-4 hour drive, one way, and the traffic is better in September but can still be a problem.

One suggestion is to fly into Idaho Falls then do a loop,  staying perhaps 3-4 days in West Yellowstone and then driving to Jackson and staying 3-4 days there..then back to Idaho Falls..you can also fly into Jackson but I suspect the airfare and car rentals will be more.

I am sure you will get a lot of suggestions.*g*

Steve
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DonWeston
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 06:51:47 AM »
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Totally agree with vSH, too far distances for doing all that in time frame, unless you do not mind only a night or two at most in each locale. Not enough time to get good weather, light etc. I did YNP and Grand Tetons Sept in '06. Was a wonderful trip, great photography etc, good resturants. We stayed outside of JH, in a Racquet Club resort, about 10 min from sky lifts etc. This was a cheaper alternative, I think then a 2 br condo unit was like $135/nite. Flying into JH, was great, a few minutes to GTs and 15-20 to resort. Like was said above, YNP is a good 3-4 hr drive at best depending on traffic. Even that time of year, JH seemed to have a fair bit of traffic, but not on the NYC type....enjoy, was a great trip...
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DonWeston
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 06:57:39 AM »
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Since this is a landscape forum, figured I would add a simple landscape also...
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MDaniels80
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 07:30:29 PM »
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Since this is a landscape forum, figured I would add a simple landscape also...
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Wow- didn't realize it was that far to Yellowstone from Jackson Hole.  For some reason I thought it was only a little over an hour away.  Now I am beginning to re-think my plans.  I am thinking possibly just going to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Although I was there about one year ago today, I had really wanted to return in the fall.  Maybe instead of GT and YSNP- go to RMNP but possibly drive down around Durango and southern area of CO for about 3 days and then spend the rest in the park.  Then I am thinking I will go to WY early June on next year and spend a week and half there...  Anyone recommend this- or is it really more worth it to go to WY now, instead of a year from now.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 08:19:50 PM »
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Totally agree with vSH, too far distances for doing all that in time frame, unless you do not mind only a night or two at most in each locale. Not enough time to get good weather, light etc. I did YNP and Grand Tetons Sept in '06. Was a wonderful trip, great photography etc, good resturants. We stayed outside of JH, in a Racquet Club resort, about 10 min from sky lifts etc. This was a cheaper alternative, I think then a 2 br condo unit was like $135/nite. Flying into JH, was great, a few minutes to GTs and 15-20 to resort. Like was said above, YNP is a good 3-4 hr drive at best depending on traffic. Even that time of year, JH seemed to have a fair bit of traffic, but not on the NYC type....enjoy, was a great trip...
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Is that your buffalo parked outside?
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 08:46:23 PM »
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Wow- didn't realize it was that far to Yellowstone from Jackson Hole.  For some reason I thought it was only a little over an hour away.  Now I am beginning to re-think my plans.  I am thinking possibly just going to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Although I was there about one year ago today, I had really wanted to return in the fall.  Maybe instead of GT and YSNP- go to RMNP but possibly drive down around Durango and southern area of CO for about 3 days and then spend the rest in the park.  Then I am thinking I will go to WY early June on next year and spend a week and half there...  Anyone recommend this- or is it really more worth it to go to WY now, instead of a year from now.
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Well it gets back to what you want to do.  If it is primarily driving, sightseeing and photography then I would do million dollar hwy, Durango and RMNP.  The area around the RMNP has been hit hard by Pinebark Beetles and whole mountain sides are brown.

If you want to do photography and sightseeing,  I would spend most of the time in Jackson Hole  and Teton NP.  You can photograph mornings and evenings and site see and scout locations during the day.  You can usually find Moose along the Gros Ventre road and in the Willow Ponds along the Moose Wilson road.   A day trip to Yellowstone would be worth while.  Plus there is plenty to do in Jackson and there are quite a few good restaurants.

Steve
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 08:58:15 PM »
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Interesting..from where I live, the Jackson Hole airport is the best value of the three options.

Steve
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Mort54
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2008, 12:22:40 PM »
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...staying in Jackson Hole for about fivee days to see both Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks.
If you are staying in Jackson Hole, and want to see Yellowstone, plan on spending a whole lot of time driving. Distances are deceptively longer than they appear on maps, espcially considering that the roads north from Jackson Hole to Yellowstone are all NP roads, with severely restricted speed limits. You'll end up taking photos in the middle of the day, given the distances involved. I've stayed at Jackson Lake lodge, in the nortern part of Grand Tetons NP, and traveling to Yellowstone even from that more northerly location is still a chore.
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MDaniels80
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 08:43:49 PM »
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Well changed my mind again.  Decided I will skip CO and just do GTNP and Yellowstone.  I think I will do about 5 days in Yellowstone and and 4 in Grand teton.  I think I will find lodging in Jackson Hole for the second half.  Anyone recommend a particular area for Yellowstone?  I would prefer to stay in one location.  Should I stay inside the park or outside.  Don't mind travelling a little further if I can get more for less outside.  
Also, I was planning on flying to Salt Lake because the airlines go direct there from NY.  Had a bad transfer experience, and would like to avoid transferring at all costs.  Don't mind driving four or five hours from there to the parks.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 10:50:42 PM »
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Well changed my mind again.  Decided I will skip CO and just do GTNP and Yellowstone.  I think I will do about 5 days in Yellowstone and and 4 in Grand teton.  I think I will find lodging in Jackson Hole for the second half.  Anyone recommend a particular area for Yellowstone?  I would prefer to stay in one location.  Should I stay inside the park or outside.  Don't mind travelling a little further if I can get more for less outside. 
Also, I was planning on flying to Salt Lake because the airlines go direct there from NY.  Had a bad transfer experience, and would like to avoid transferring at all costs.  Don't mind driving four or five hours from there to the parks.
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The lodge inside the park is usually booked many month ahead.  Outside the park, the closest is West Yellowstone MT.   The Drive to Jackson Wy, from Salt Lake is 7 hours, and that doesn't include the airport time.  The drive to West Yellowstone is ~8 hours.  If you are on a tight fixed schedule, the driving will eat up three days.  Flying into jackson and renting a car there will save a lot of time.

Steve
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Mort54
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2008, 12:25:30 PM »
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I think I will find lodging in Jackson Hole for the second half.  Anyone recommend a particular area for Yellowstone?  I would prefer to stay in one location.  Should I stay inside the park or outside.
There are severall lodges and hotels within Yellowstone Park - Old Faithful, Lake Hotel, Canyon Lodge, Roosevelt Lodge, and my favorite, Mammoth Hotel. Where you stay depends on what you'd most like to see. For thermal areas (geysers and such), it's hard to beat Old Faithful. For easy access to Lamar Valley and fantastic wildlife viewing, Mammoth is probably your best bet. For Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone viewing and hiking, Canyon Lodge is probably best.

As for outside the park, West Yellowstone is pretty much a tourist trap, tho it is nicely located for viewing the thermal areas. Gardiner, outside the nortwest entrance, is very affordable, but is a little off the beaten path. Silver Gate and Cooke City, outside the northeast entrance, are very nice. Cooke City is a nice old west sort of town. Personally, I prefer the wildlife viewing oportunities of Lamar Valley, so if I don't stay in Mammoth, I stay in Cooke City.
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