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Thread started 16 Feb 2017 (Thursday) 18:00
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Yellowstone / Grand Tetons Trip

 
johnohio
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Feb 16, 2017 18:00 |  #1

My wife and I (early 60s) are making our first trip to Yellowstone; leaving right after Labor Day. The main purpose is to explore the park and photographing wildlife. We're lucky that we have flexibility in when we go and how long we are there for. Planning to drive from northern Ohio and have estimated 3 days driving there and 3 days driving back. We are thinking 7-10 days between the two parks and have looked into staying in the park but already there is limited availability and it's very expensive. We know we want to visit Lamar and Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing. Possibly driving Bear Tooth Highway for scenic and wildlife. Of course, some of the classic Yellowstone spots like Old Faithful etc. Please help us figure out where to go and how long to stay (inside or outside the park). Camping is probably not an option this trip. Motel/lodge/cabin is preferred. Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!

John




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johnohio
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Feb 18, 2017 22:10 |  #2

Anybody :-)Help

john




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Tom ­ Reichner
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Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
Feb 18, 2017 22:13 |  #3

johnohio wrote in post #18275902 (external link)
My wife and I (early 60s) are making our first trip to Yellowstone; leaving right after Labor Day. The main purpose is to explore the park and photographing wildlife. We're lucky that we have flexibility in when we go and how long we are there for. Planning to drive from northern Ohio and have estimated 3 days driving there and 3 days driving back. We are thinking 7-10 days between the two parks and have looked into staying in the park but already there is limited availability and it's very expensive. We know we want to visit Lamar and Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing. Possibly driving Bear Tooth Highway for scenic and wildlife. Of course, some of the classic Yellowstone spots like Old Faithful etc. Please help us figure out where to go and how long to stay (inside or outside the park). Camping is probably not an option this trip. Motel/lodge/cabin is preferred.

Hello, John!

I see you are leaving right after Labor Day.......that's pretty good timing. In fact, that timing is excellent for early Moose, Pronghorn, and Elk rutting action, and also excellent for Pika activity. Depending on conditions, it could also be the peak time for bears in the Dunraven area.

I think it is wise to stay outside the park. I like staying in Jackson when working the Tetons, and in Gardiner when working Yellowstone. Reasonable lodging can be had in both communities.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "peace of mind", NOT "piece of mind".

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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post has been last edited 9 months ago by Tom Reichner. 2 edits done in total.
Feb 18, 2017 22:14 |  #4

johnohio wrote in post #18277974 (external link)
Anybody :-)Help

john

If this thread were moved out of the "Urban Travel" area and into the "Wildlife Talk" or "Nature and Landscapes Talk" areas, I think you would be getting more replies.

To accomplish this, you can click on "REPORT" and report this thread as being posted in the wrong forum. Then a moderator will take care of it for you.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "peace of mind", NOT "piece of mind".

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johnohio
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Feb 18, 2017 22:21 |  #5

Thanks for responding, Tom! We are really starting at zero here so any and all information is appreciated. We'll do as you suggested about moving this post over to Wildlife. Thanks again!

John




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WiscTim
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northeast Wisconsin, USA
Feb 18, 2017 22:38 |  #6

John,

You might want to repost this in the either the Wildlife Talk or the Nature and Landscapes Talk section of the forum. There are a number of photographers who post on POTN with wonderful photos from these parks. I am surprised you haven't received an answer yet. (note: I see there have been 4 posts since I started typing this, and Tom already recommended the above)

I traveled 3 weeks in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in September 2002. I spent 5 days in the back country, but the other 2 weeks just driving around and hitting the highlights. You may find that 7-10 days are not enough, depending upon how much you want to see and what you want to do.

For the Tetons you can probably stay in Jackson Hole and drive into the park each day. Yellowstone is very large, however, and if you stay outside the park you could spend several hours each day driving to the spots you want to see. I camped for most of my stay, although stayed at a small hotel in Gardiner the last three nights when night-time temperatures dropped into the low 20's.

Check out some of the less-familiar areas of the park if you haven't already. There are more impressive geysers than Old Faithful, although less dependable. The mineral formations at Mammoth Hot Springs and the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring are worth visiting. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is spectacular.

Tim




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johnohio
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Feb 18, 2017 22:45 as a reply to WiscTim's post |  #7

Hi Tim - Thanks for responding. Thanks, too, for sharing information about your trip. We have requested that this be moved to Wildlife Talk, as suggested by Tom. Hopefully we will get a few more responses.

We've been studying guidebooks and tour books to help plan our trip. We know we want to visit Lamar and Hayden Valley. Are there any areas outside the park that you would suggest we try for wildlife?

We really do appreciate any and all information.

Thanks again.

John




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monty28428
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Feb 18, 2017 22:47 |  #8

West Yellowstone and Cody are also good places to stay.




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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post has been edited 9 months ago by Tom Reichner.
Feb 18, 2017 22:54 |  #9

johnohio wrote in post #18277999 (external link)
We've been studying guidebooks and tour books to help plan our trip. We know we want to visit Lamar and Hayden Valley. Are there any areas outside the park that you would suggest we try for wildlife?

Well, you already mentioned the Beartooth in your OP.......that is an excellent idea! The Beartooth really is, like, the pinnacle of natural grandeur. And in September you have the possibility of some storm activity up there, which makes things beautiful in an otherworldly way. Unfortunately, the Beartooth isn't really going to present you with too many wildlife opportunities, at least not like the parks themselves will. You can get some fun action with Chipmunks and Golden-mantled Ground squirrels around the overlooks and other attractions, but if you encounter Mountain Goats on the Beartooth, they will probably be fairly cautious and not come close to the roads.

There may be a little bit of wildlife in the town of Gardiner - some mule deer in people's yards, as well as cottontail rabbits.

Another place that can sometimes have wildlife outside the park is the Elk Refuge north of Jackson......but there won't be much wildlife there in September - it's more of a wintering ground.

You may find a few pronghorn in the area around Ennis, and a few Bighorns in the area around Big Sky.


But these outside-the-park wildlife opportunities are really not very reliable, or very good even if you do find wildlife there. The wildlife opportunities you want really are those inside the parks (at least in September).

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "peace of mind", NOT "piece of mind".

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cbadie
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Peoria, AZ
Feb 18, 2017 22:56 |  #10

We stayed a few days in the park (yes, overpriced for what you get but convenient especially for photography), and then a few days in Jackson (places to eat, close enough to the tetons). Will probably do it the same way when (not if) we go again.


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WiscTim
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Post has been edited 9 months ago by WiscTim.
Feb 18, 2017 22:59 |  #11

johnohio wrote in post #18277999 (external link)
...
We've been studying guidebooks and tour books to help plan our trip. We know we want to visit Lamar and Hayden Valley. Are there any areas outside the park that you would suggest we try for wildlife?
...

John,

I will let the more serious wildlife photographers answer that question. When I went it was my first try at wildlife. You will see a lot of wildlife just by driving through the park. If you see a lot of cars pulled off on the side of the road, there likely is a photogenic critter nearby. My best elk photographs were in the middle of one of the villages (although the buildings detract somewhat from the image ;-)a).

Tim




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johnohio
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Feb 19, 2017 21:29 |  #12

monty28428 wrote in post #18278000 (external link)
West Yellowstone and Cody are also good places to stay.

Monty - We are unsure how to divide our time in each location. We've considered staying at Silver Gate/Cooke City, Gardiner, West Yellowstone. We would stay just outside the park in one of these communities/towns and commute for the day, coming back after sunset. Thanks for your recommendations!

John




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johnohio
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Feb 19, 2017 21:32 |  #13

cbadie wrote in post #18278007 (external link)
We stayed a few days in the park (yes, overpriced for what you get but convenient especially for photography), and then a few days in Jackson (places to eat, close enough to the tetons). Will probably do it the same way when (not if) we go again.

Chadie - Thanks for responding. Jackson is also one of the places we have considered staying. Would love to stay in the park for the convenience of being close but normally we are out of our room before sunrise and not back till after dark; hard to justify the lodging cost but we haven't totally ruled it out. Thanks.

John




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johnohio
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Feb 19, 2017 21:36 |  #14

WiscTim wrote in post #18278009 (external link)
John,

I will let the more serious wildlife photographers answer that question. When I went it was my first try at wildlife. You will see a lot of wildlife just by driving through the park. If you see a lot of cars pulled off on the side of the road, there likely is a photogenic critter nearby. My best elk photographs were in the middle of one of the villages (although the buildings detract somewhat from the image ;-)a).

Tim

Tim - We've been to the Smokeys a few times so I know what you mean by the cars pulled off by the side of the road (bear jam). We won't be doing a lot of hiking, possibly easier, shorter hikes. You mentioned about your best elk photos; we were driving through Cherokee, NC last fall and saw 6-8 elk tearing about the fall display (corn stalks, pumpkins) in front of one of the shops. We were shocked but it was funny :)

Thanks.
John




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johnohio
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Feb 19, 2017 21:37 |  #15

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18278004 (external link)
Well, you already mentioned the Beartooth in your OP.......that is an excellent idea! The Beartooth really is, like, the pinnacle of natural grandeur. And in September you have the possibility of some storm activity up there, which makes things beautiful in an otherworldly way. Unfortunately, the Beartooth isn't really going to present you with too many wildlife opportunities, at least not like the parks themselves will. You can get some fun action with Chipmunks and Golden-mantled Ground squirrels around the overlooks and other attractions, but if you encounter Mountain Goats on the Beartooth, they will probably be fairly cautious and not come close to the roads.

There may be a little bit of wildlife in the town of Gardiner - some mule deer in people's yards, as well as cottontail rabbits.

Another place that can sometimes have wildlife outside the park is the Elk Refuge north of Jackson......but there won't be much wildlife there in September - it's more of a wintering ground.

You may find a few pronghorn in the area around Ennis, and a few Bighorns in the area around Big Sky.

But these outside-the-park wildlife opportunities are really not very reliable, or very good even if you do find wildlife there. The wildlife opportunities you want really are those inside the parks (at least in September).

.

Tom - In your experience, is the park still crowded in September? We've heard some things start closing after Labor Day.

Thanks again for all your info. We really appreciate it.

John




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