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TheEye
Aug 2, 2004


I'm going to Yellowstone this August! Should be awesome, and probably overly crowded. Greatly looking forward to 5 days of varied day hikes, geysers, and safe-distance wildlife encounters. Plus an extra 2 days at Grand Teton beforehand!

I'm just starting to research all best uses of our time there and where everything is, and I'm sure I'll have a bunch of questions for you guys who have been there before, but lodging is going rather quickly so I need to reserve first and figure out details later.

Given that we're not staying inside the park, do most people who stay multiple days split nights in different towns? The main options seem to be West Yellowstone, Gardiner, Cooke, and Cody. Just glancing at the map, it looks like West Yellowstone and Gardiner are the most promising places to stay to reduce driving. Does it make sense to, for example, stay in West Yellowstone 3 nights and Gardiner 2 nights? Maybe even extend it to three different towns and stay in Cooke for 1 night also? Or do people tend to pick a base town and head to the different areas of the park from there?

Thanks!

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joat mon
Oct 15, 2009

I am the master of my lamp;
I am the captain of my tub.


TheEye posted:

I'm going to Yellowstone this August! Should be awesome, and probably overly crowded. Greatly looking forward to 5 days of varied day hikes, geysers, and safe-distance wildlife encounters. Plus an extra 2 days at Grand Teton beforehand!

I'm just starting to research all best uses of our time there and where everything is, and I'm sure I'll have a bunch of questions for you guys who have been there before, but lodging is going rather quickly so I need to reserve first and figure out details later.

Given that we're not staying inside the park, do most people who stay multiple days split nights in different towns? The main options seem to be West Yellowstone, Gardiner, Cooke, and Cody. Just glancing at the map, it looks like West Yellowstone and Gardiner are the most promising places to stay to reduce driving. Does it make sense to, for example, stay in West Yellowstone 3 nights and Gardiner 2 nights? Maybe even extend it to three different towns and stay in Cooke for 1 night also? Or do people tend to pick a base town and head to the different areas of the park from there?

Thanks!

You're going to love it.
Are you not staying in the park because everything is full?
West Yellowstone for 3 and Gardiner for 2 sounds like the best compromise if you've got to stay outside the park. Maybe West Yellowstone for 3, Gardiner for 1 and Cody for 1.

TheEye
Aug 2, 2004


joat mon posted:

You're going to love it.
Are you not staying in the park because everything is full?
West Yellowstone for 3 and Gardiner for 2 sounds like the best compromise if you've got to stay outside the park. Maybe West Yellowstone for 3, Gardiner for 1 and Cody for 1.

Yeah, there's not much left inside the park, and the few remaining vacancies are a good deal above our preferred price range.

What's the benefit of staying in Cody? I don't see a whole lot around the east entrance. I was thinking maybe Cooke just because of Lamar Valley, but I'm not sure it's worth staying there over another night in Gardiner just for that.

joat mon
Oct 15, 2009

I am the master of my lamp;
I am the captain of my tub.


TheEye posted:

Yeah, there's not much left inside the park, and the few remaining vacancies are a good deal above our preferred price range.

What's the benefit of staying in Cody? I don't see a whole lot around the east entrance. I was thinking maybe Cooke just because of Lamar Valley, but I'm not sure it's worth staying there over another night in Gardiner just for that.

There isn't a lot of flashy stuff out the east entrance, just beautiful stuff. What are you shooting for? Hitting the big stuff on the side of the road, or going off the road for up to 4 or 5 mile hikes, or going backcounty?

Anarkii
Dec 30, 2008


TheEye posted:

I was thinking maybe Cooke just because of Lamar Valley, but I'm not sure it's worth staying there over another night in Gardiner just for that.

Depends on how badly you want to see wildlife. If wildlife is the main reason for visiting then stay in Cooke and be at Lamar valley before dawn and around dusk.

TheEye
Aug 2, 2004


joat mon posted:

There isn't a lot of flashy stuff out the east entrance, just beautiful stuff. What are you shooting for? Hitting the big stuff on the side of the road, or going off the road for up to 4 or 5 mile hikes, or going backcounty?

Mostly what I mentioned: the big stuff of course, day hikes, and wildlife. On park trips we usually do a bunch of shorter hikes that can be more easily interspersed between the main sights, and a few longer half to full day hikes. We don't backpack/camp out overnight, so that sets a certain distance limit depending on trail difficulty.


Anarkii posted:

Depends on how badly you want to see wildlife. If wildlife is the main reason for visiting then stay in Cooke and be at Lamar valley before dawn and around dusk.

Well, my wife will be very unhappy if we don't at least have a few good sightings. Perhaps this would be a good idea.

We're gonna finish booking accommodations within the next day, either way.

joat mon
Oct 15, 2009

I am the master of my lamp;
I am the captain of my tub.


Cody was the only out of park place we stayed, and mostly because we were coming from west thumb and the west thumb to old faithful road wasn't open yet.

We did a couple of short hikes on the way out,
Pelican Creek
http://imgur.com/45bBstd

And Storm Point
http://imgur.com/2WWxjXG
We met this guy:

https://youtu.be/UQy8SFOf2OA

And Sylvan Lake is right off the road
http://imgur.com/oPzq1dI

on the way up and out.


You pass through Shoshone national forest on the way out and the geography is different than Yellowstone, more Badland-y.

There's this house, too.

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TheEye
Aug 2, 2004


Nice photos! Snowshoe rabbits sure have huge feet.

We went through a rough schedule and decided to do 3 nights in West Yellowstone, 1 in Gardiner, and 1 in Cooke. We'll figure out the details later on, but that should give us some time in each major area.

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