Yellowstone / Grand Tetons travel advice

J

Jon54

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Germantown, TN
My wife and I will be there mid September as well. I have lost count how many times we have been but each time is like our first time, so much to see and do. September is also prime time for the elk rut, so make sure you hit up Mammoth Hot Springs.
I wouldn't buy a GPS. A paper map will get you everywhere you need to go, the road system is easy to navigate.
Also, I've been snowed in twice at YNP in September. The weather is usually beautiful but those early fall snows can surprise you so pack accordingly.
"Pro" tips;
  • If you want to do something, get up early and go. Parking and crowds are insane. Rank what you want to do and get up early so you can arrive at your number one pick, consider anything else just a bonus.
  • Print a map off, mark where your staying and plan your destinations around that. It can take hours to travel from one spot to the next. YNP is huge and the bear/bison jams can pro long your travel time. Fortunately, being stuck in Yellowstone traffic is the best place in the world to be stuck.
  • Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks. That time of year the park amenities start to close, so eating can be a problem. Pick nick lunch is a must if you want to get in as much as you can. Plan your dinners as well.
As for more travel advice...you driving out? Flying and renting car, etc?
We fly into Jackson WY and getting a rental car there. I booked an 8 hour wildlife photography tour last night, That will be our first day there and hope it gives me bearings. The guide, beside being a photographer, is a wildlife biologist.
 
B

BSK

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Been hiking in the Tetons in mid-September twice, and honestly had no problem with phone GPS, even up in the mountains. Don't know about phone GPS at Yellowstone.

Spend part of a day walking around Jackson Hole, south of the Tetons. A tad expensive as it's become the playground of the rich and famous (like Aspen and Vale, Colorado), but still a fun little town to see. Great micro-breweries as well!

And yes, snow can be a problem in the area by mid-September.
 
AT Hiker

AT Hiker

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We fly into Jackson WY and getting a rental car there. I booked an 8 hour wildlife photography tour last night, That will be our first day there and hope it gives me bearings. The guide, beside being a photographer, is a wildlife biologist.
Gros Ventre and Jenny Lake should have some Moose hanging around that time of year.
 
H

Hduke86

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Soddy Daisy, yes it's a real place
Gros Ventre and Jenny Lake should have some Moose hanging around that time of year.
Sure do love Jenny Lake, also another pro tip. WATCH YOUR SPEED, don’t ask me how I know how much a speeding ticket is for going 6 over the posted speed. I’ll give you a hint ITS NOT CHEAP. Dealing with the ranger was a ton of fun on a federal speeding ticket lol
 
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slinger

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Hillville, Medina and Lost Creek
Lots of good advice here. I will second the senic float trip down the snake River. My family really enjoyed that and our guide let my son steer the boat for about a mile or two. I will add that if you go out of the north east entrance i believe to yellowstone you can drive down the beartooth highway and see even more awesome views.
 
B

BMan

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Middle TN
If you like to fish take a day and do a float down the Snake…. You really can’t appreciate what the early explorers did until you get in a river and look up.

Enjoy your time there!

Where was the float trip out of?
 
S

sneakybow

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Tennessee
We fly into Jackson WY and getting a rental car there. I booked an 8 hour wildlife photography tour last night, That will be our first day there and hope it gives me bearings. The guide, beside being a photographer, is a wildlife biologist.
Who did you book with? I know one of the photography guides that works in Yellowstone
 
AT Hiker

AT Hiker

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I highly suggest this book as well. It’s full of morbid tales of tragic events that have happened within the park. It paints a picture of how wild that place truly is. Written by a YNP Historian.
Want to know how hot those Hot Springs are? What it will do to your skin in a matter of seconds? People so distraught over grizzly attacks they petition for fences to go up around camp grounds.
For every “warning” sign you see in the Park, a true story, or two, is behind it.
 
S

sneakybow

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Yeah, only have to read the story once about the guy getting boiled alive jumping in after his dog jumped in the springs. There's been multiple incidents involving bison already this year. Cliff Notes version... don't try to pet bison. It's a bad idea lol.
 
E

eightpointer

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Harrison TN
We actually just got back. Jackson Airport is closed and is about to open if its not opened back this week. We rented a place in Victor Idaho and drove from there to Jackson, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, etc..Our biggest issue was snow. Twice couldn't use Teton Pass. You gotta eat at Jackson Drug in Jackson and Running Bear Pancake House in West Yellowstone. Be sure you've got a rental vehicle already reserved.
 
david k.

david k.

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Rossville, TN
Smart play to book lodging at different spots....I tell people to do that anytime someone asks...that will absolutely minimize windshield time for you and give you more time to enjoy the beauty of the park.
 
M

mark1j

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Dec 16, 2018
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At Yellowstone I enjoyed the northern part of the park. The wolf sanctuary in west Yellowstone was neat. Also recommend the Cody museum and the rodeo.
The weather is wild. 90 degrees during the day snow at night when I was there.
The Tetons were pretty and worth seeing but if I did it again I would spend more time in Yellowstone and less in Tetons, like 2 nights max in Tetons.
 
Dbllunger

Dbllunger

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X2 on the Gypsy app. I recommend it for any national park it's available for. GPS based, so it's not dependent on cell reception.

The Gypsy app is absolutely incredible in Yellowstone. Use it and you won't regret it.
 
AT Hiker

AT Hiker

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Play stupid games...
Fortunately this stupid game didn't get this 9 year old hurt, if she did get hurt the stupid game the family played should be held responsible.
The stupidity of the average tourist never ceases to amaze me.
Stupid is a understatement for some of these people.
 

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