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Lodging for Visiting the Yellowstone Park

Justin

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I am looking into renting a place for 7-8 people (preferrably TS) for our vacation this summer to the Yellowstone Park area.

I have two areas for lodging: Bigsky, MT and Jackson Hole, WY. Which area is better? It seems they are both about 50-60 miles from the park entrance.

Also, is the end of June better than July to visit the park in terms of wild life viewing?

Thanks for your help.

Justin
 

PStreet1

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You will see wildlife no matter when you are in Yellowstone, and both locations you have mentioned are a fairly long drive. If I were you, I'd plan one or two nights in the park. The cabins are inexpensive (showers and toilets centrally located--rather like camp as a kid--and sinks in the cabins). They are spotlessly clean and somehow in Yellowstone, being in a campground seems appropriate. If you stayed in Jackson Hole, you'd have a beautiful drive up to Yellowstone along the Tetons and enter from the south. If you plan well, you could see the east side of the park in one day and arrive at Mammoth Hot Springs for an overnight (cafeteria located by the cabins). The next day you could see the west side of the park and return to the timeshare in Jackson Hole. If you drive in several days, you're going to wind up backtracking each time and, therefore, seeing less.

The traffic in the park is considerable and you will be stopping frequently for additional sights or for wildlife viewing, thus--for me--making driving in each day impractical. There are lots of really good web sites on the park, such things as "most impressive waterfalls," "10 best sights," "ranger talks," etc. as well as the official sites. If you use google and look for Yellowstone, you'll get lots of tips.

Pat
 

JACKC

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Island Park, Idaho?

Justin,
Staying at the Old Faithful Lodge or rustic cabins could be fun. We did it when I was a kid. As Pat says, animals can be seen anytime, but traffic is frustratingly slow during high tourist season. Best time is after labor day when tourists are mostly gone and wildlife is still abundant for viewing near public roads.

We own a timeshare at The Pines and happen to know the resort also offers rentals to the public for various lengths of stay. Their large luxury cabins sleep 8 (up to 10 with kids, as I recall). Island Park is about 25 miles and an easy drive from West Yellowstone.

www.pinesislandpark.com

Jack
 
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Clintshare

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Stay in the park

Try Grant Village in the park. It's reasonable, and you won't be spending time going driving to and from outlying lodging. Prior poster is correct about wildlife viewing. You WILL see wildlife. We went in late May af ew years ago... soon after the park opened in "full swing". We stayed 3 nights in Grant and found it about right timewise. We did 2 nights Jackson, one night in Grand Teton, 3 nights Yellowstone. You can see the whole Park, providing you are not a hiker. It is a fascinating place. We are going back and will try to spend more time within the park. I think you may find Old Faithful Lodge and Lake Yellowstone Lodge filled about now, so get on the Park Service website ASAP to see what is available... Jackson is nice enough... shops, museum, restautrants. And Grand Teton views on way to Yellowstone ain't too shabby either. Have fun. Wish I was going.
 

Egret1986

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Should we stay in Grand Teton for a night?

Clintshare,

This will be our first trip to the Northwest in July. We'll be spending a week in a timshare up at Glacier NP, then driving down to Yellowstone. We have a timeshare in Big Sky for a week. I have two nights reserved in Yellowstone, one at Mammoth Hot Springs and one at Lake Yellowstone. I'm considering making reservations this week for Grand Teton NP at Signal Mountain Lodge. In your opinion or whoever might have an opinion, would it be best to stay the night inside Grand Teton National Park as opposed to staying at Grant Village in Yellowstone and driving into GT for a day trip? While staying in Big Sky, we'll probably drive in one or two days to explore the areas near the west entrance of Yellowstone. It seems like it would probably be too far to drive to GT from Big Sky for a day trip.

Also, I haven't made any reservations inside Glacier. We're staying about 10 miles from the West entrance. Will we be able to see enough if we drive in two to three days or should I make a reservation for one night on the east side of the park? Thanks for any info or opinions. :)
 

Beverley

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We went to Yellowstone last summer during the last week of June and the first week of July. It was a wonderful time to go. I would not stay that far outside the park because it will be too exhausting to deal with the long drive in and then the traffic inside and still to have time to see all the wonderful sights. I would stay inside the park as suggested or, as we did, just outside the park in West Yellowstone. We were one half mile from the West entrance and this worked out beautifully. We stayed at the Club House Inn. The was clean and comfortable and reasonable. We did not take long hikes at the park, however, we did see all the major attractions and did so with our being rushed. This took 2 and a half days. We then traveled from West Yellowstone through the park outside the South entrance for a day trip to the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole will be too far to travel to the park everyday. However, Jackson Hole was a great place. I have heard good things about Big Sur/ Sky? also.

Have fun.

Beverley
 

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If you aren't hikers, driving along by the Tetons affords plenty of "gasping" time and there are lots of spots to pull off and photograph what you are gasping at. It won't take all that long to make the drive from Yellowstone to Jackson Hole. If you are hikers, that's a "whole 'nother story."

In regard to nights in Yellowstone, we found one night at Mammoth (entered very early in the day from Cody) and one night at Old Faithful worked quite well for us. We saw all major sights and backtracked only the little bit required by turning south at the east entrance, seeing the lake, and then going back north (and passing where we entered). Everything else was without backtracking. We did 4 ranger led hikes/talks in addition to the spots where we stopped on our own and used the guide book.
 

eal

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Glacier NP

Egret1986,
We own at Glacier Wilderness Resort and while it is a short dirve from Apgar and the south end of the park you can certainly enjoy all the sights without spending a night away from your condo. It sounds like you have a great trip lined up.
 

Egret1986

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Thanks for the info!

eal said:
Egret1986,
We own at Glacier Wilderness Resort and while it is a short dirve from Apgar and the south end of the park you can certainly enjoy all the sights without spending a night away from your condo. It sounds like you have a great trip lined up.

We're really looking forward to it. This past summer was a two-week trip to the Southwest and it was incredible! My family is really looking forward to this wonderful trip. :)
 

Clintshare

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Stay in GT... maybe

"This will be our first trip to the Northwest in July. We'll be spending a week in a timshare up at Glacier NP, then driving down to Yellowstone. We have a timeshare in Big Sky for a week. I have two nights reserved in Yellowstone, one at Mammoth Hot Springs and one at Lake Yellowstone. I'm considering making reservations this week for Grand Teton NP at Signal Mountain Lodge. In your opinion or whoever might have an opinion, would it be best to stay the night inside Grand Teton National Park"

GT is nice, but you can see views while driving by. Once you've finished with Yellowstone and choose to head to Jackson, I'd stop in GT and have lunch, or perhaps book a float trip( or whitewater raft. Various classes available) on the Snake(?) River. See Gros Ventre Slide (?) 1/2 hour off the main drag from GT to Jackson. See also the Wildlife Museum across from the Elk Preserve. Then mosey (some Western lingo) around Jackson.

I've not been North of Mammoth, or East out by Cody. There isn't much in West Yellowstone, though there is a TS there. I think you'll do fine staying in Mammoth and Lake Yellowstone lodge. Be sure to head to Hayden Valley( I think that's the name) just before dusk. Bison roam the road with the cars. Absolutely breathtaking!

I'm looking at picture of my wife and I another tourist graciously snapped with our camera at Artist Point with Yellowstone Falls in the background. I'm ready to go back. Have fun!
 

Egret1986

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I can't wait to go to where the buffalo roam

Clintshare said:
Be sure to head to Hayden Valley( I think that's the name) just before dusk. Bison roam the road with the cars. Absolutely breathtaking!

I'm looking at picture of my wife and I another tourist graciously snapped with our camera at Artist Point with Yellowstone Falls in the background. I'm ready to go back. Have fun!

That sounds great! I love breathtaking! This is going to be great! Yippi yippi yi yi ky ay!

Thanks! :D
 

TerriJ

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We were in Yellowstone last September. Several times the cars had to stop and wait for the buffalo/bison walking down the road. It was a great sight to see and we really enjoyed it. I definitely want to return.
 

marinersfan

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Justin said:
I am looking into renting a place for 7-8 people (preferrably TS) for our vacation this summer to the Yellowstone Park area.

I have two areas for lodging: Bigsky, MT and Jackson Hole, WY. Which area is better? It seems they are both about 50-60 miles from the park entrance.

Also, is the end of June better than July to visit the park in terms of wild life viewing?

Thanks for your help.

Justin
We spent Thanksgiving week at the Lake Condos in Big Sky and I'd have to say that both Big Sky and Jackson have there advantages and you can't go wrong with either, but if you're looking for a TS to stay in and want to visit the park I would look into Island Park Village Resort or The Pines (as mentioned in an earlier post). Both are located in Island Park, Idaho. IPV is going to be the closest TS to the West entrance to the park. Big Sky resort and Jackson will both be long drives to really enjoy the park. IPV, at 22 miles one way is plenty of driving for me. JMHO.

The end of July will be better weather (warmer), but either month will be great for wild life viewing. The Island Park area has great wild life also.
 

xzhan02

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Will be staying at Island park in July. Do you think it's a good idea to stay one night at the park, a relatively remote part, to save some driving. If so, where would be the best (clean and not too expensive) among Mammoth, lake, or canyon ? Old faithful seems to be relatively close to west entrance. Roosevelt is already sold out so I 'd better reserve now if we want to do that.
 

marinersfan

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xzhan02 said:
Will be staying at Island park in July. Do you think it's a good idea to stay one night at the park, a relatively remote part, to save some driving. If so, where would be the best (clean and not too expensive) among Mammoth, lake, or canyon ? Old faithful seems to be relatively close to west entrance. Roosevelt is already sold out so I 'd better reserve now if we want to do that.
To get the full feeling of the park I would recommend at least an overnight stay, and I would suggest Canyon Village. Don't recall cost, don't expect plush accomodations, but centrally located and a beautiful area to visit.
 

jules54

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We visited Yellowstone in 2005 the last week of July and stayed at Island Park Village thanks to anyother tugger(you know who you are :D ) It was so perfect. Even at that time of the year it rain almost every day and snowed on us in the park once. We trailered our Motorcycle and rode the 22 miles to west entrance of the park 4 days out of 7. The unit we stayed in was large and had two bedroom and two bathrooms occ. was 6 I think, but it could have easily slept more close family or friends. Right on a golf course and had good amenties. We visited everything in the park most things more then once. We also drove our truck into the park 1 day. The remaining 2 days we toured Idaho, and parts on Montana. Don't miss quake lake I think that impressed hubby more than yellowstone park.
As far as staying in the park, everything seemed really crowded around all the lodging. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything and felt I saved alot of money with the timeshare.
The widlife in the park is great. Although those buffalo rams are pretty scary for myself when I am on the back of a motorcycle. I guess I felt like easy picking for the buffalo.
 

Clintshare

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Grant Village is pretty inexpensive

xzhan02 said:
Will be staying at Island park in July. Do you think it's a good idea to stay one night at the park, a relatively remote part, to save some driving. If so, where would be the best (clean and not too expensive) among Mammoth, lake, or canyon ? Old faithful seems to be relatively close to west entrance. Roosevelt is already sold out so I 'd better reserve now if we want to do that.

I agree with other posters.. You must spend an overnight or two inside the Park. We chose Grant Village... mainly on availability ... and price too.. We planned too late to get Old Faithful Lodge or Lake Yellowstone Lodge. Grant Village is multi story, kinda spartan... but clean and comfortable.

Enjoy!
 

PStreet1

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We entered very early from the easy at Cody, turned left to "do" the lake, then turned around and headed back toward Mammoth (the short drive to the east entrance was our only backtracking). We got to Mammoth about dusk. The next day we headed down toward Old Faithful. Both days we stopped many, many times, did ranger led talks, stapped pictures, walked to falls, etc. Lots of traffic, so I was very glad we had decided to spend the two nights in the park. We stayed in cabins at Mammoth and Old Faithful--reminiscent of camping when a child: spotlessly clean cabins, good beds, sink in the room, showers and toilets a step or two away. It was a good experience.
 

Clintshare

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PStreet1 said:
We entered very early from the easy at Cody, turned left to "do" the lake, then turned around and headed back toward Mammoth (the short drive to the east entrance was our only backtracking). We got to Mammoth about dusk. The next day we headed down toward Old Faithful. Both days we stopped many, many times, did ranger led talks, stapped pictures, walked to falls, etc. Lots of traffic, so I was very glad we had decided to spend the two nights in the park. We stayed in cabins at Mammoth and Old Faithful--reminiscent of camping when a child: spotlessly clean cabins, good beds, sink in the room, showers and toilets a step or two away. It was a good experience.

Pstreet1, What time of the year did you go? We went probably a week after opening... say mid May-- and encountered little traffic. We plan on repeating the visit but would like to avoid the traffic you experienced. Thanks
 

PStreet1

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We were there in July, but the traffic didn't affect us much (except that we didn't want to backtrack) because we would have been driving slowly gawking in all directions and stopping frequently anyway.
 
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