Yellowstone/Jackson Hole family trip

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by WaterLinds, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. WaterLinds

    WaterLinds DIS Veteran

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    My dad gave my about to be 8 year old an amazing Christmas/birthday gift for this year—a trip! We went through several possible destinations and in the end he picked Yellowstone, with a few nights in Jackson Hole. And he picked me to come along with him, yay! So it will be the 8 year old, me, plus my dad and stepmom.

    I’ve never been to Yellowstone or to Wyoming at all, so I’m doing a lot of reading and am really excited. But I’d love to round out that research with tips and ideas from my favourite travel planners!

    My dad and stepmom have booked a package with Xanterra, the “total Yellowstone package”—https://www.yellowstonenationalpark...ads/2019/03/Summer-2019-Total-Yellowstone.pdf. It’s a little hard to tell from some of the descriptions exactly what sights/hikes/etc you’re doing but it certainly seems to hit a lot of the highlights. Has anyone done any of these packages before?

    If there’s any can’t miss experiences that aren’t included in the tour we may hang around the park on the checkout day, or we may depart right away for more time in the Tetons.

    We haven’t scheduled anything for our Jackson days yet, so I’d love suggestions. We’re staying at the Rustic Inn and they offer activity packages so we may book a float/rafting trip through them, possibly go riding, hike nearby trails, and also enjoy some pool/spa time. Any dining recommendations?

    What else should I know?
     
  2. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba Mouseketeer since birth!

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    It sounds like that tour really hits all the high spots. I haven't done an organized tour but took 2 teens there last summer. Just be sure an 8-year-old gets plenty of time to just pick up rocks, run around, and ask a million questions.

    If you are leaving from the Old Faithful area the last morning I would head south into Grand Teton. I'd try to pick some activities you won't get to do in Yellowstone, like the float trip. The pool/air will be quite cool in the summer unless it is indoors.

    I found the Trip Advisor boards to be very helpful in answering questions about both national parks. Kind of like the DIS.

    PHXscuba
     
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  4. eco-muse

    eco-muse ...

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    I've been to Yellowstone a couple times, but never did a package deal like that. It does seem to mention most of the highlights, though I didn't see any mention of the Grand Prismatic Spring (unless that's being included with the Old Faithful area).
    There are A LOT of hiking trails, so they might be worth looking into more.
    Wildlife can be seen anywhere in the park (especially Bison--just wait until you get stuck in a Bison-jam ;) ), but Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley are some of the best places (and those are already covered).
    Beyond that, just use common sense, follow the rules, and the rangers will answer a ton of questions (if you have any while there).
     
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  5. hodad

    hodad DIS Veteran

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  6. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

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    I think Old Faithful is about halfway between Jackson Hole and Cody. It may not be workable for you at all, but if you get a chance, Cody is definitely worth a visit-- the problem would be that it is the opposite direction from where you plan to wind up (Jackson Hole). Our Yellowstone trip was based around a wedding in Cody, so we flew into Jackson Hole and worked our way from there through the Tetons and Yellowstone to Cody and then flew home from Billings. We loved Cody. They have an Old Trail Town (where you can see original cabins including one used by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid); The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (a museum where you can see things like clothes and memorabilia of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley); A nightly rodeo; trolley tours; and horseback riding.
     
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  7. WaterLinds

    WaterLinds DIS Veteran

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    Thanks all!

    It is hard to be sure exactly what the tour includes in some areas, I’m guessing they stop at Grand Prismatic because it would be an odd thing to skip but...hard to know until we do it! I’ve done some searching and haven’t found a lot of details elsewhere, although I haven’t finished reading the tripadvisor posts on it so maybe there are answers there! A project for this week.

    I don’t think we’ll make it to Cody. We had considered some itineraries that went that way, but my son wasn’t particularly interested in the Rodeo/Wild West stuff, so we opted to focus on the parks. Maybe on another trip!

    We will check out Dornan’s! Other suggestions for food in the Jackson Hole area would be great. I’ll do some trip advisor research on that topic, too.
     

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