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Old 11-18-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
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2012 Trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

Hi All,
I have read all of the past messages about visits to Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons.

My wife and I are planning a June 2012 trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone from Arizona. This will be our first trip there.
I'm considering staying at the Grizzly RV Campground outside the west entrance to Yellowstone.
If the final dates fit your schedule and you want to join us you are more than welcome to join us.
Camping is always more enjoyable with new friends, especially if they are FROG's.

Yellowstone Questions:

1. What would be the earliest time of the year to visit without any chance of new snow falls?

2. How many days would you feel is adaquate to see Yellowstone? I have heard 4 days to 7 days. What do you think?

3. What park sites are on your "A LIST" that must not be missed?

4. I have heard spending 8 to 10 hours a day in the park is resonable time. Does this sound right?

5. I've heard you need to get into the park early to avoid the traffic during peak season.

6. Is finding a place to eat a problem in the park or should we bring a cooler?


Grand Teton Questions:

1. What RV parks have you stayed visiting the Grand Tetons?

2. Is the drive thru the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone difficult with a 30ft long 5th with a 12 ft 6 inch roof height? Hills are not a problem but narrow roads with hairpin curves are.

3. Should we drive from Jackson Hole west into Idaho and then back in to the west entraance of Yellowstone?


ANY other information you may want to add that all will find helpful for their first visit.

Thank you all in advance.

John & DiAnne
Surprise Arizona
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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Hi John.......My sister and BIL have a 40' Class A and they already have reservations at Grizzley for the July 4th week in 2012. We have heard that they are very busy in July.
Have a great trip.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:33 PM   #3
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Yellowstone Questions:

1. What would be the earliest time of the year to visit without any chance of new snow falls? from what i've read, late June to even be able to get in

2. How many days would you feel is adaquate to see Yellowstone? I have heard 4 days to 7 days. What do you think? 7 days minimum, we were there a week and never even got up to the north end of the park. i'd recommend at least 10 days

3. What park sites are on your "A LIST" that must not be missed? the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, West Basin, South Basin, Old Faithful area, with the Grand Lodge

4. I have heard spending 8 to 10 hours a day in the park is resonable time. Does this sound right? yes, that's reasonable

5. I've heard you need to get into the park early to avoid the traffic during peak season. we went after Labor Day and it was still somewhat busy for my tastes. July can have nearly a million visitors. the problem with visiting non-peak times is that some events and campgrounds are closed. after Labor Day, the Chuckwagon ride was gone and some of the larger campgrounds closed.

6. Is finding a place to eat a problem in the park or should we bring a cooler? the park is so vast, you should bring a cooler


Grand Teton Questions:

1. What RV parks have you stayed visiting the Grand Tetons? we stayed at the Colter Bay CG, not their RV park. we felt it offered a much more private and natural setting. plus they had generator loops

2. Is the drive thru the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone difficult with a 30ft long 5th with a 12 ft 6 inch roof height? Hills are not a problem but narrow roads with hairpin curves are. the road from Jackson to YNP, doesn't go thru the Tetons, it parallels it. it's easily wide enough but it takes much longer to drive, than it looks on the map

3. Should we drive from Jackson Hole west into Idaho and then back in to the west entraance of Yellowstone? no, not worth it, just head north from Jackson to the South end of YNP. you might want to stay at Grant, it's huge and is next to Yellowstone Lake


ANY other information you may want to add that all will find helpful for their first visit. take as much time there as you can. people underestimate how big it is and how long it takes to drive around in it
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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Iggy....

Did the exact trip this past summer... Spent 13 days with that including visits to Jackson Hole, Tetons and Yellowstone.... Did this in a 30' MH pulling a 8' cargo trailer.... This was our 6th trip up there....

Would be more than happy to talk to you abt it if your interested.... Let me know - ernest917@hotmail.com.... I can send you my itinerary if your interested.... Has campgrounds, phone numbers, etc...

FYI: all campgrounds in Yellowstone fill up fast so I'd recommend you call and reserve sites in the ones that will take reservations - Moran Junction, Fishing Bridge, etc... Don't think you can drive in and find a place, because it won't happen... Best time to go is mid-July because the bug hatch is over and fishing is better as well...

There's a couple of campgrounds that are really great and I'd highly recommend them... Colter Bay is good but Flagg Ranch ( full hookups) is fantastic... Really gives you the feeling of being in the great outdoors...
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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We're going in mid July.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:42 PM   #6
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Best time to go.... Crowded but that's Yellowstone.... Just be prepared and dint let it bother you and you'll have z great time....
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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I ditto what bikendan said.

Went we visit Yellowstone we always go in late August, early September when most kids are back in school and the crowds are somewhat smaller. Even so, you still might find yourself driving around the parking lots looking for a place to park at the major sites.

Touring the park takes a lot of time so donít get in a rush. The park is HUGE and the speed limit ranges from 35 to 45 MPH, and in some cases as low as 25 MPH. The roads are two lane with very little shoulder. Winters are tough on the roads so I can almost guarantee there will be major road construction in some portion of the park. Animal jams cause traffic delays too. There are two types of animal jams, the first is caused by the sighting of a bear, wolf, or other unusual animal, and everyone stops to look and take pictures. The other type of animal jam is usually caused by buffalo. Large herds crossing the road will bring traffic to a stop until they all cross. The buffalo also like to walk down the middle of the blacktop and this can really back traffic up. Bring your patience with you when you visit, so relax, take your time, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Also keep in mind that the colder the air temperature the more steam the geysers and hot springs produce. On chilly mornings it can be almost impossible to see the water in the springs or the geysers.

It can snow every month of the year at Yellowstone, especially at the higher elevations, but from late June thru September it will melt very quickly during the day. Speaking of elevation, depending on what part of the park you are in, you will be anywhere from 6000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. Drink a lot of water to help avoid altitude sickness. When we go to the mountains I plan nothing for our first day so that my spouse can adjust to the thin air. She is very susceptible to altitude sickness.

We usually stay at Colter Bay RV park (the full hookup park) to see the Tetons and southern portion of Yellowstone and then move up to Grizzly RV park in West Yellowstone to visit the northern portion of the park. The commercial parks are very pricey but you have to remember that they have to make their profit during the very short tourist season.

I know this post sounds very negative but if you take your time and donít get in a rush you will have a memorable experience. I personally consider Yellowstone and the Tetons the most beautiful and unique place in the lower 48 states.

Although there are restaurants in the park, we always take a cooler and eat our lunch at one of the picnic areas.

A word of caution to anyone who reads this post and plans to visit Yellowstone, the animals are wild. The buffalo look docile but more people are injured by buffalo every year than any other animal in Yellowstone.

You said you read all the Yellowstone posts so Iím sure you saw some of my photos. Here are a few more.

DAISY GEYSER SHOWING HER STUFF.


MORNING GLORY POOL.


SOMETIMES BEING STOPPED IN CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC ISN'T A BAD THING.


DON'T DO THIS.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:04 AM   #8
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Campgrounds inside Yellowstone

I was just wondering we wanted to camp inside Yellowstone park what Campground do you know would be ok for a 30ft 5th wheel and truck?
I know they don't have any utilities except a dump station. I have a generator but they say it only could run til 8PM.

Grant Village is one to stop on the way into the park from Arizona.
The campgrounds can handle 40' total size
Bridge Bay
Fishing Bridge
Grant

Canyon can handle up to 30' it says
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:40 AM   #9
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Yellowstone Questions:

1. What would be the earliest time of the year to visit without any chance of new snow falls? As stated above, snow can and will fall every month, I have even seen snow in July and August, chances are minimal late June through August

2. How many days would you feel is adaquate to see Yellowstone? I have heard 4 days to 7 days. What do you think? Sounds about right, I have been there every year for the past 4 years and have yet to see the whole park,

3. What park sites are on your "A LIST" that must not be missed? I stay away from the area of Fishing Bridge, I just don't care for that area, everything else is a Must Do, but especially Old Faithfull, Lower Falls and upper Falls of the Yellowstone river tops my list.

4. I have heard spending 8 to 10 hours a day in the park is resonable time. Does this sound right? I've been there 4 years in a row for several days at a time and still don't call myself an expert of the park, there is so much to see and experience

5. I've heard you need to get into the park early to avoid the traffic during peak season. [COLOR="red"]This past year we went in early, on the road at 6am, in addition to less traffic, there is more opportunity to see the wildlife, particularily if you want to see bears, The animals tend to migrate north as the season progresses[COLOR="red"]

6. Is finding a place to eat a problem in the park or should we bring a cooler? I have always taken coolers, there are restaurants at the major attractions, crowded at snack time


Grand Teton Questions:

1. What RV parks have you stayed visiting the Grand Tetons? Colter Bay, the campground side, elect hookups, this is a very nice campground

2. Is the drive thru the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone difficult with a 30ft long 5th with a 12 ft 6 inch roof height? Hills are not a problem but narrow roads with hairpin curves are. No probloms, the speed limits are low and you are amongst many other TV/TT rigs, there are many tour buses that need more clearance and turning radius than we do, you will be fine

3. Should we drive from Jackson Hole west into Idaho and then back in to the west entraance of Yellowstone? No, the road out of Jackson Hole into Idaho (Hwy 22) is probably the steepest grade and sharpest turns in the region.


ANY other information you may want to add that all will find helpful for their first visit. Park passes are $25/week, or $50/Annual, the annual is good for 12 months from date of purchase, if you time it right you can use it again next year. Personally I like Yellowstone much better than Teton, Jackson Hole is very expensive, where West Yellowstone still has the feel of a mountain town, both are very touristy, but West Yellowstone is more relaxed.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
I was just wondering we wanted to camp inside Yellowstone park what Campground do you know would be ok for a 30ft 5th wheel and truck?
I know they don't have any utilities except a dump station. I have a generator but they say it only could run til 8PM.

Grant Village is one to stop on the way into the park from Arizona.
The campgrounds can handle 40' total size
Bridge Bay
Fishing Bridge
Grant

Canyon can handle up to 30' it says
i saw rigs your size in Madison and Grant. Bridge Bay has sites big enough i think.
Fishing Bridge DOES have utilities, including sewer. Xanterra's website no longer shows anything about electrical not being available. FB is the place for big rigs and the only CG in YNP with hookups of any kind.
i'd contact Xanterra about the current situation with the electric upgrades.
it's in a great location in the park, if you don't mind how close your neighbor is. for me, it ain't worth the hookups.
i would have liked to stay at Canyon but it was closed when we got there. also, not sure if your rig will fit there.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #11
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This thread will save me a lot of research! We're also considering a trip to Yellowstone & Teton next year as well.

Is it worth changing campgrounds within the park? We are going to try to get a site at Fishing Bridge because of hook ups but are fine with dry camping for a couple of days. We've got a 29' Class A & tow a jeep.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:28 AM   #12
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If you're towing a jeep you can use it to go around the park....

I strongly recommend that you take a full day and drive to Lamar Valley up in the northeastern part of the park.... A herd of abt 800 bison summer up there and there is also a huge wolf pack that stays there also... The drive to it is beautiful as well.... I took my grandsons (11 & 14) and they loved it... We're headed for Alaska for the fourth time next summer... Will be taking the boys there as well....
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
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This is the draft plan. What do you think?

At this moment I'm considering arriving Sunday June 17th and staying at the Grizzly for 3 nights.
2 days we will see as much on the west side of the park.

Wed June 20th we will move to Fishing Bridge full hookup 40' spave plus vehicle for 4 nights. We will leave Sun June 24th.
4 days to visit the rest of the park and leave heading to south entrance.


This is the 3rd week in June and a week before 4th of July so I think this will be a time that has a few less people maybe.
I figure the days in Grizzly we can also stockup on food and drink before moving into the park. Did I leave anything out?


If DW agrees I will make the reservations next week.
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #14
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This thread will save me a lot of research! We're also considering a trip to Yellowstone & Teton next year as well.

Is it worth changing campgrounds within the park? We are going to try to get a site at Fishing Bridge because of hook ups but are fine with dry camping for a couple of days. We've got a 29' Class A & tow a jeep.
Great! If you hear anything new let us know. Are you planning the trip for July/Aug?
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:20 PM   #15
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Some people really like Fishing Bridge, I personally do not, the camp spots are literally side by side, maybe 8-10 feet between trailers, campfires are not allowed.

Just thought I would offer my opinion.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:12 PM   #16
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Some people really like Fishing Bridge, I personally do not, the camp spots are literally side by side, maybe 8-10 feet between trailers, campfires are not allowed.
Just thought I would offer my opinion.

After my DW and I spoke about it I think we will stay at Grizzly for a few reasons.
1. Nicer
2. In town where we can eat if we want.
3. We get up early so we will get into the park early.
4. We might just take a tour bus and visit the north and south ends then do the rest ourselves.
5. Oh they have free wifi and cable TV at Grizzly.

I'm sure we will modify the plan a little between now and June 2012.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:51 AM   #17
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Be forewarned, the Old Faithful viewing area gets very crowded due to all the tour busses that bring sightseers in for each eruption. When you arrive go to the visitors center to see what the approximate time of the next eruption will be. If you have time before or after an eruption stop by the Old Faithful Inn just to look at the huge fireplace and 4 story lobby. The woodword is fantastic. BTW, there is an ice cream shop inside.

My two favorite geyser basins are West Thumb because of its location along Yellowstone Lake, and Midway for its Grand Prismatic pool and Excelsior Geyser pool.

Here are two links to websites that have a ton of information about Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park ~ The Total Yellowstone Page

Yellowstone Net -- Yellowstone National Park Lodging, Hotel, Wildlife Information and More

The entrance fee you pay is your admission for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP. Also, the entrance fee is per vehicle not per person. Old folks like me, who have the Golden Age or America the Beautiful pass get in for free which includes everyone in the vehicle. The pass also get you a 50% discount on camping, except at Fishing Bridge where no discounts are available. Fishing Bridge is the only RV park that has hookups.

Grant Village, Madison, Canyon, Bridge Bay, and Fishing Bridge have sites that can handle your size rig. When you call for reservations, I would recommend exaggerating the length of your setup so that they assign you a better (larger) site.

Donít forget to pack your camera and your binoculars.

ABYSS POOL AT WEST THUMB GEYSER BASIN.


GRAND CANYON OF YELLOWSTONE. LOWER FALLS IN THE BACKGROUND


SECOND FLOOR VERANDA OF THE YELLOWSTONE INN. A GREAT WAY TO VIEW AN ERUPTION.


WE TAKE A PHOTO ANYTIME WE CROSS THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:46 AM   #18
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Thanks Oakman (Bob) for your information and great pictures.
Just keep in mind even the worst day camping is sure better than a day at work. My DW and I always look at each trip as a new adventure and to meet others who also enjoy the same in life.


Thanks again Bob for sharing.

John
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
After my DW and I spoke about it I think we will stay at Grizzly for a few reasons.
1. Nicer
2. In town where we can eat if we want.
3. We get up early so we will get into the park early.
4. We might just take a tour bus and visit the north and south ends then do the rest ourselves.
5. Oh they have free wifi and cable TV at Grizzly.

I'm sure we will modify the plan a little between now and June 2012.

Iggy,
Under normal circumstances, it would take approximately one hour to drive from Grizzly RV park to Canyon Village or Old Faithful. However, a highway construction project has been ongoing between Madison Junction and Norris Junction for several years now, and I don't believe it has been completed. You'll have to check that, but if it's still going, you can expect delays of fifteen to forty five minutes, if that is your chosen route.
I've been to Fishing Bridge Campground but never stayed there so I can't speak to the CG experience, but I can tell you that it is the best location because it is central to everything you want to see.

We've been staying in a condo unit a few miles beyond Grizzly RV Park the past several years, and I can tell you for certain that the daily drive in and out of the park becomes a burden, especially if you get stuck on the road construction delay. We are trying to finalize our vacation plans for 2012 and will probably go back to Yellowstone because it is so wondrous and magnicifcent, but also because my youngest son will work in the park for one, final summer before getting on with his life. Seeing him is my primary purpose for going, but you couldn't ask for a better locale.

My advice on what to see.....everything and anything. You can't go wrong. You are in for such a great expereience. Have fun.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:31 PM   #20
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I stayed at Fishing Bridge this past Summer and hated it.... Wished I had stayed at Bay Bridge instead... Be warned - Fishing Bridge is like staying in a parking lot (MH's crammed side by side - abt 5' apart) and not all have electricity... No electricity = no heat at night due to no generator between 8pm and 8am. Thank goodness for warm sleeping bags. Got down to 34 at night...

Also stayed at Grant Village and Moran Junction. Our favorite CG was Flagg Ranch just outside South entrance between Yellowstone and Tetons... Full hookups and perfect location for going into both parks...
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