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Yellowstone park suggestions for May 17th

Discussion in 'US - Western States Timesharing' started by cowboy, May 1, 2019.

  1. cowboy

    cowboy Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are going to be traveling to Island Park Village and Yellowstone Park and to Jackson Hole Wyoming starting on May 15th and would like some advice on what to do to see all the good sights. Also would like information on road conditions and good places to eat. Thanks.
     
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  2. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    My advice would be to get a good guidebook, like Moon's "Yellowstone & Grand Teton, including Jackson Hole," which also has maps for each region. Also: Download Yellowstone NP's app to your cell phone or tablet for geyser eruption times.
    .
     
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  3. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks for this advice and to the OP for starting this thread.

    We are headed there for the first time in June, so appreciate the advice and will look into it.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
  4. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    May 15th is pretty early for Yellowstone. Your choices may be influenced by what's open, rather than what's recommended. Here's a list of lodges and their opening dates this year: https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/stay/plan/opening-and-closing-dates/ It looks like Canyon Lodge will be the only lodge that won't be open when you arrive, but will open a few days later.

    Be prepared for cold temperatures. There will be snow around, but that will keep wildlife down low- where the main roads are. You will be well ahead of the crowds of Summer. Fortunately the thermal features don't shut down for Winter. Stay on the boardwalks. Watch for Bison-pies. :)

    It's 22 miles to the entrance from Island Park Village (now Timbers Condominiums). If you want to picnic in the Park, box lunches are available at several places in West Yellowstone. You should absolutely plan a meal in Old Faithful Lodge- You'll never forget it. There is a good- though rustic- restaurant near the resort entrance- and some limited groceries across the road- at c-store prices. There are a couple of smallish well stocked supermarkets in West Yellowstone. Be sure to continue past the resort entrance to Big Spring. The Henry's Fork of the Snake river surfaces there, whole! There are gigantic trout, muskrats, the occasional moose often seen there. I doubt the Johnnie Sack cabin there will be open yet. We also like eating at the Boondocks restaurant in Island Park. It will be on the flyer you'll get at IPV.

    If you are over 62, be sure someone brings a National Park Pass. It will get the whole carload in to both parks. One great perk of being a senior!

    Enjoy!

    Jim

    P.S. There is Wi-Fi at IPV, but mobile phone service is nearly non-existent inside the parks. You might find some slow analog service near the park lodges but don't count on it.
     
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  5. chellej

    chellej TUG Member

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    We enjoy the area around island park as much as the park itself. Some things besides yellowstone:

    Quake Lake
    The grizzly discovery center/imax in west yellowstone
    Big Springs - you can rent canoes at Macks Inn and they will drop you at big springs and you float back down - very easy float - also visit the cabin
    Upper and Lower Mesa Falls
    Warm River - you can feed hundreds of fish at the bridge also good flyfishing area
    Sawtelle Peak - amazing views and will often still have snow in July.
    Harriman State park - you can tour the old ranch and also see trumpetor swans

    Inside the park the cowboy cookout which leaves from roosevelt is great fun - you can go by wagon or horseback
    My favorite area of the park is the canyon area - artists point among other lookouts.
     
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  6. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Roosevelt Lodge doesn't open until May 31, so that's probably out.

    Grants Village and Roosevelt Lodge (in addition to Canyon) won't be open May 15. I worked at Roosevelt Lodge one summer while I was in college.
     
  7. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We have been to both parks in May. The Boy Scout elk antler auction is Memorial Day weekend in Jackson. The Boy Scouts have sole authority to pick up the shed antlers from the elk reserve. They are the most wealthy Scout district. Ice may or may not be off Jenny lake. I remember topping for a picnic in Yellowstone, and finding 6' of snow on the picnic tables. We tailgated.
     
  8. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Watch for radar cops on the road from Island Park to West Yellowstone. They love to give tourists speeding tickets.

    Eat breakfast at the Running Bear Pancake House in West Yellowstone. Great family atmosphere, and good food. They’ll pack you those box lunches Jim mentioned. www.runningbearph.com

    Have fun! We’ll be back to Yellowstone in September.

    Dave
     
  9. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The voice of experience? I remember another TUGger commenting that her DH had been ticketed for over 90 near Idaho Falls in a rental car. I came back with 'What??? A legal 80 isn't fast enough in an unknown vehicle on unknown roads???'
     
  10. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Not me, but I saw the cop giving somebody a ticket nearly every morning we drove from IPV to West. It became a running joke of “Who gets today’s ticket?” :)

    Dave
     
  11. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Visit Earthquake Lake about 20 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. Start at the Visitor Center at the West End. Some pretty neat information on a large earthquake from the late 1950's. Tilted one lake and created a new lake.
     
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  12. jlp879

    jlp879 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    My daughter's summer job is in Jackson Hole. She just arrived there; she said it's cold, windy and it snowed 6 " last night.
     
  13. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Winter doesn't give up easy in those mountains. I live about 4 hours West and 4,000 feet lower. Much nicer here.
     
  14. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    In Island Park, ID, it's currently 37 deg.F.
    Expect a low of 24 deg.F... per Alexa.
    ... For a Florida-guy... that's cold.

    At least I'm not going until the 5/31.

    .
     
  15. schenriq

    schenriq TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Agreed. That was a very scenic yet somber drive by Earthquake Lake (for us) last August. My wife made me promise, if ever we go out camping, not to pitch a tent by the foot of any hill/mountain/etc. upon seeing that scene outside the Visitor Center.

    Earlier posts too are spot on. I will also suggest bringing the longest/fastest camera lens that you can get a hold of and a pair of binoculars. Wildlife might be closer this time of year but you just never know what you'd spot in the distance esp. late/early in the day.
     
  16. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    +1 for binoculars and a good camera. We saw wolves hunting vermin on the far end of Gibbon Meadow one year, about the first week of June. Traffic was stopped along the roadside, and a Ranger truck was in the mix. We stopped as well, and asked what everyone was looking at. The Ranger handed me his binoculars and pointed across the meadow. A black wolf (Ranger said it was an Alpha female) was digging and diving headfirst into holes in the ground, and trying to catch something. Prairie dogs, maybe? Not sure. But she was having a good time. A couple of pack mates were nearby, watching her go at it. It was great watching them. But they were waaaaay across the meadow.

    I haven't gone to Yellowstone without binoculars since. :)

    Dave
     
  17. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Make a reservation for dinner at the Old Faithful Inn a head of time. Take a tour beforehand.
     
  18. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Unlikely to need ressies in May, but good advice on tours- In fact, go over the daily schedule you receive at the Park entrance (you have about 20 minutes between West and Madison Junction) and plan to attend as many Ranger Walks as you can. They are informative and entertaining and will show you things you just couldn't find on your own.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  19. Firepath

    Firepath TUG Member

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    Yes, bring warm clothes! We went a few years back, the week before Memorial Day. There was still snow on the ground and the lake was still frozen. But it was gorgeous and not at all crowded. The calm before the storm. Enjoy your trip!
     
  20. Laurie

    Laurie TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Yup! I can attest to that. :)
     
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  21. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Sorry I missed your post before now. I hope you had a great trip.

    I was in Yellowstone 5/20-5/25. Yes it was chilly . . . I stayed in cabins in Mammoth and Old Faithful.
     

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