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Timbers at Island Park

LMD

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I forgot to cancel this before the deadline and now am trying to see if I can make it work for the first week of August.
Looks like this is a good base for Yellowstone? Flights to the nearby airports are really expensive from the East Coast but Salt Lake City is pretty inexpensive. Is this a bad drive? Looks like apx 4 hours or so?

Thanks!
Lisa
 

klpca

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It's a bit of a drive but doable - we did it last year. It is about 30 min to the west entrance. Do you already have a car rental? For us, that was the biggest headache. We did a combined Glacier NP/Yellowstone trip and had to fly into Spokane and out of Bozeman to find the sweet spot for air fares & car rental. Even after I had booked everything, I kept checking back to see if I could change to either a round trip out of either Kalispell or Bozeman to save some $$, but eventually there were *no* cars available at either location. For me, the long drive to/from the airport wouldn't be that big of a deal so if it saves you a lot of money, SLC is a fine option.
 
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Passepartout

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I forgot to cancel this before the deadline and now am trying to see if I can make it work for the first week of August.
Looks like this is a good base for Yellowstone? Flights to the nearby airports are really expensive from the East Coast but Salt Lake City is pretty inexpensive. Is this a bad drive? Looks like apx 4 hours or so?

Thanks!
Lisa
SLC is probably the best option. It is about 4 hours. Almost all freeway. Yellowstone will be crowded and parking at the big attractions- and wherever wildlife is spotted- is an unending challenge. Timbers condos don't have a/c, but evenings cool off quickly for sleeping.

We have a fixed week there in late July that we use every year., and there is lots to do without dealing with the crowds inside the Park. We usually go in for 2 days, one around the south loop to Old Faithful/Yellowstone Lake, then go in again the next day to do the north side with Norris basin, the canyon and maybe up to Mammoth hot Springs. You, coming from a longer distance will want to go in more than we, who live 4 hours away and have been going into Yellowstone for years/decades.

Plan on going in early to avoid at least SOME of the crowds & tour buses.

Jim
 
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Passepartout

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@LMD if you need any more tips or haven't been there before, just ask. There is so much more in the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area than the tourist highlights that you can target what you want to see/do, or spend waaay more time than you want looking out the car windows at more traffic.
 
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LMD

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@LMD if you need any more tips or haven't been there before, just ask. There is so much more in the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area than the tourist highlights that you can target what you want to see/do, or spend waaay more time than you want looking out the car windows at more traffic.
Thank you! I will take any recommendations you have. My husband and I went to Yellowstone in Sept 2008 using Jackson Hole as our base. We drove and drove and drove….did not really do any hiking because we were in the car trying to cover the entire park ….LOL. This time we will have our 11 year old daughter with us. We love hiking, outdoor activities. Want her to see the highlights of course. I did end up booking tickets into Salt Lake. Direct flight and car rental was less expensive. We will have one extra night and I was going to book one night in the park… I will take recommendations on that too. Thanks again for your help! I am getting excited about the trip already!
 

Passepartout

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Thank you! I will take any recommendations you have. My husband and I went to Yellowstone in Sept 2008 using Jackson Hole as our base. We drove and drove and drove….did not really do any hiking because we were in the car trying to cover the entire park ….LOL. This time we will have our 11 year old daughter with us. We love hiking, outdoor activities. Want her to see the highlights of course. I did end up booking tickets into Salt Lake. Direct flight and car rental was less expensive. We will have one extra night and I was going to book one night in the park… I will take recommendations on that too. Thanks again for your help! I am getting excited about the trip already!
OK. Stop in Idaho Falls for some groceries, but don't overload. There is a large c-store very close (across the street) from the resort that will have necessities. The better stores are in West. We rented our week out last year, so newest stuff is, well, new. We like the restaurant across the highway, Connie's. In West Yellowstone (West- to the locals), we stop just in town- before the turn- and get box lunches on the way into the Park- cheaper and better than what you can get in the Park- especially if you want to hike. Definitely get the daily sheet from the booth going into the Park, and if possible, take EVERY Ranger Walk you can.

If you are into theater, BE SURE to get tickets for Yellowstone Theater in Island Park- Have the Prime Rib if you like. It really doesn't matter. It's kinda slapstick an a heckuva lot of fun. But know that best seat tix are doled out by how early you book, and it DOES sell out. www.yellowsoneplayhouse.com It's maybe 8-10 miles from the resort.

Outside the Park, continue out Big Spring road from the resort. the whole Henry's Fork of the Snake emerges from the ground whole! at that place and the trout (that you (and the 11-year-old) can feed. See the Johnny Sack Cabin there- it's open with tours. He built it over a hundred years ago, and it's scaled to him- he was small. Well worth a visit. Also in Island Park is the Harriman State Park. It is where the Averell Harriman family retreated. They owned Union Pacific Railroad, and guests ate off UP first class dishes. My dad was a caretaker there in the depression. Likely the best fly fishing anywhere.

Consider booking a horseback 'Dutch Oven' Dinner. There are outfitters in IP and West, You'll eat well, be entertained by real-live cowboys and never forget it.

There is an Asian restaurant near the resort, and another decent Mexican place one road West of the resort across the river from the Marriott rafts/canoes/ etc, can be rented ride included to the put-in point. It's a great mild adventure.

Jim
 
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@LMD I have been following this post today and want to throw in my 2 cents.

I used to live in Idaho Falls and originally from NYC. (Yeah I know.. How did that happen). Well it's a long story but a good one and I have no regrets.

My DW did not fully relocate and we maintained 2 domiciles East and in IF. So I would mostly bounce back and forth between JFK and IF. There were times DW would come out and visit in the Spring, Summer, Fall.

Anyway my point is yes, I would sometimes get a very good direct flight to SLC. The connecting Flight to Idaho Falls where you may have looked to continue to Island Park would almost double the fare. So what would I do?

Early on I would take https://saltlakeexpress.com/
1685758019386.png



1685758065217.png


From your comments it looks like there are 3 of you so I don't recommend you do this. My only point is for renting a car it is cheaper from the IF airport.

I am considering this again for a visit and some unfinished personal items left in storage in IF. Fly to SLC take the bus to IDA (Airport in IF) and rent the car locally at my destination.

Either way the drive up I15 thru Utah is fabulous with very scenic mountain terrain. I would expect that there will be the usual summer road construction along the way on I15. Be prepared to slow down to a single lane and have to cross over and share the interstate with opposing traffic sharing either side of the freeway as they repair the road in the summer weather.

As @Passepartout mentioned in Idaho Falls you can shop at Winco, 2 Super Walmarts plus my beloved Costco that was opened in 2020.

IF has a quaint downtown area as well. with a nice greenway on the Snake River. A few years back I stayed at the Marriott Springfield Suites not to far from Timber in Island Park. You will find the drive back to Yellowstone easier from Island Park vs Jackson.
 
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We are also going to Yellowstone & Timbers at Island Park for the first time this summer. (We acquired a timeshare from a generous Tugger.) So we've been thinking about the same questions.
 
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Passepartout

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We are also going to Yellowstone & Timbers at Island Park for the first time this summer. (We acquired a timeshare from a generous Tugger.) So we've been thinking about the same questions.
Same answers apply. We like fishing from Last Chance. There are half and full day guides. We like the Boondocks restaurant. Nothing fancy but it'll keep you going. Be sure to take the 'old road' from or to IP from Ashton. A couple of great waterfalls with parking and developed walks.
 

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Thanks for the ranger walks suggestion - we love ranger walks!
 

chellej

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We lived in Rigby Id for 10 years then owned at Timbers of Island Park for about 20 years.

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 Johhny Sacks 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

We usually take a day and drive to Jackson
 

LMD

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OK. Stop in Idaho Falls for some groceries, but don't overload. There is a large c-store very close (across the street) from the resort that will have necessities. The better stores are in West. We rented our week out last year, so newest stuff is, well, new. We like the restaurant across the highway, Connie's. In West Yellowstone (West- to the locals), we stop just in town- before the turn- and get box lunches on the way into the Park- cheaper and better than what you can get in the Park- especially if you want to hike. Definitely get the daily sheet from the booth going into the Park, and if possible, take EVERY Ranger Walk you can.

If you are into theater, BE SURE to get tickets for Yellowstone Theater in Island Park- Have the Prime Rib if you like. It really doesn't matter. It's kinda slapstick an a heckuva lot of fun. But know that best seat tix are doled out by how early you book, and it DOES sell out. www.yellowsoneplayhouse.com It's maybe 8-10 miles from the resort.

Outside the Park, continue out Big Spring road from the resort. the whole Henry's Fork of the Snake emerges from the ground whole! at that place and the trout (that you (and the 11-year-old) can feed. See the Johnny Sack Cabin there- it's open with tours. He built it over a hundred years ago, and it's scaled to him- he was small. Well worth a visit. Also in Island Park is the Harriman State Park. It is where the Averell Harriman family retreated. They owned Union Pacific Railroad, and guests ate off UP first class dishes. My dad was a caretaker there in the depression. Likely the best fly fishing anywhere.

Consider booking a horseback 'Dutch Oven' Dinner. There are outfitters in IP and West, You'll eat well, be entertained by real-live cowboys and never forget it.

There is an Asian restaurant near the resort, and another decent Mexican place one road West of the resort across the river from the Marriott rafts/canoes/ etc, can be rented ride included to the put-in point. It's a great mild adventure.

Jim
Thank you so much! Going to look into everything you mentioned!
 

LMD

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We have been here since Saturday. Great base for Yellowstone if you don’t mind driving.
We are going to stay in the park our last night before heading back home.
 

Passepartout

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We have been here since Saturday. Great base for Yellowstone if you don’t mind driving.
We are going to stay in the park our last night before heading back home.
Glad you're enjoying it. We were there until LAST Saturday. We went into the park very early one morning and went N. to Roosevelt & Lamar Valley. Saw hundreds of bison, dozens of elk, coyotes, bald eagles, my Wisconsin-raised wife saw her first badger(!) and a bear- close up. The new store across from Timbers was a pleasant surprise & live music at Cafe Sabor. We usually float the Henry's Fork, but passed on it this year- DW's balance and strength is waning.

Safe Travels!

Jim
 

LMD

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Glad you're enjoying it. We were there until LAST Saturday. We went into the park very early one morning and went N. to Roosevelt & Lamar Valley. Saw hundreds of bison, dozens of elk, coyotes, bald eagles, my Wisconsin-raised wife saw her first badger(!) and a bear- close up. The new store across from Timbers was a pleasant surprise & live music at Cafe Sabor. We usually float the Henry's Fork, but passed on it this year- DW's balance and strength is waning.

Safe Travels!

Jim
We saw our first grizzly the day before yesterday from the roadside over by Yellowstone Lake and apparently just missed 4 others by 5 or so minutes in the same area. Hoping for more sightings today!
So far we have seen bison , elk, a moose outside of the park, coyote, deer, antelope and a grizzly! Here is a pic I took with my iPhone in Lamar Valley
 

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DeniseM

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Passepartout

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What kind of store is it?
It's a smallish supermarket. Much bigger than a C-store. Has produce, baked stuff, etc. You could make due with not stopping before arrival. Prices were clearly higher than your hometown market, but not atrocious. -note- it had the highest gas price in IP. Gas in West was 60¢ less.
Search: Sam Patch Groceries & Sundries
 

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Thank you! Do you know the name of the store?
 

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Thank you! Do you know the name of the store?
Sam Patch. I added it to my earlier post. And fwiw, Connie's restaurant across the highway is good and casual. And we had a good meal at Lakeside. Maybe 8-10 miles away on IP Reservoir & has ebikes and water toys to rent.
 

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THANK YOU!!!
 

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On the way from Island Park to West Yellowstone, find and eat breakfast at the Running Bear Pancake House. Excellent family diner kind of place. They'll pack you a box lunch to take with you into the Park. We eat there every time we visit Yellowstone. https://runningbearph.com/

Dave
 
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On the way from Island Park to West Yellowstone, find and eat breakfast at the Running Bear Pancake House. Excellent family diner kind of placw. They'll pack you a box lunch to take with you into the Park. We eat there every time we visit Yellowstone. https://runningbearph.com/
I second the Running Bear Pancake House.
 

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We also went to the following back in 2010 (not sure how they are now)

Ernie S Bakery & Deli - West Yellowstone MT - Good for pastries, sandwiches. Got these great tasting Maple bar pastries.

Three Bear Restaurant - West Yellowstone MT - Good place for steaks.

Outpost Restaurant - West Yellowstone MT - Good home cooked type meals.
 

Passepartout

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THANK YOU!!!
Be sure to get your tickets to YellowstonePlayhouse(.com) dinner & show. $40.95 pp prime rib. They are sold out for weeks.It really doesn't matter what show you see, I guarantee a GREAT time.
Seats are assigned by the order that tickets are reserved. The earlier you book, the closer you sit to the stage.
 
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