We just got back from an amazing trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We got so much good information from this site I thought I would pay it back with some key highlights and things we learned. This may get a little long but I’ll try to keep it to the highpoints and things that’ll help others. 1: Get up early, We were up at 5am and on the road by 6am. That meant we were traveling the long distances around the park with almost no traffic, saw lots of morning heards of elk, bison, and pronghorn, and we saw most of the sights with little to no crowds. Crowds started around 11 ish and we were so thankful to avoid the swarms of people as we usually wrapped up at 1 and headed back to camp to relax by 3ish. 2: We used the Gypsy app throughout our vacation and is was a HUGE help. For $8 the app uses GPS (no cell reception needed) to tell you about interesting drives, attractions and nature/history/science facts throughout both parks. Our family loved it and we saw so much more because we had it. I highly recommend it. 3: In Yellowstone we stayed at Bridge Bay. It was pretty well centralized, but not perfect. Early drives made it better. Try to get in loop G or H. The others were either tent sites or in a wide open field with absolutely no separation between sites. 4: Before we entered the park on our drive up we went to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center at the West entrance. It is a preserve with mostly zoo-like exhibits. Find feeding times and go then, otherwise it isn’t worth the money. 5: On day one we did the drive from Mud Caldron, through Norris to Gardner in one day with lots of scenic drives and pullout along the way. Day two was all of the Grand Canyon stops then the Beartooth highway and through Cody for the 5 Museums at the Buffalo Bill Center. Day three was all of the Geyser basins. A fourth day might have given us a bit more leisurely pace but the holiday meant we had to move on if we were to find a FCFS site in the Tetons. 6: Food rules are very unclear for pop ups in the park. Being on a 2 week trip with 4 people, we had a LOT of food. We asked for clarification from the attendant at the check in building. He told us to not leave our food in the pop-up or in the cab of our pickup (the bears could get into either). There was only one small (2x2x4) bear box for 5-6 sites, so the attendant told us to leave our food in the bed of the truck or on the ground. Then the Rangers took our food while we were out and issued us an $80 citation. The rangers had no better suggestion for me except put it in the truck and hope my neighbor’s food was more easily accessible. I’m still working on appealing that. 7: In the Tetons, we stayed at Signal Mountain. It was great. It wasn’t too busy (Colter was) and it wasn’t too remote (Gros Ventre, Atherton Creek, Lizard Creek were all really remote). 8: Jenny Lake was ridiculously busy by 9am. We rented a Kayak on Jackson Lake at the Signal Mountain lodge and had the little corner of the lake to ourselves for 2 hours. 9: We hiked the North Jenny lake trail and up to inspiration point. The North portion of the loop is 1.7mi and was hot and muggy without tree cover (fire damage). The summit trail was 1 mile of switchbacks. It was a bit of a challenge but my 11 y/o and I did it no problem. We also saw a moose just off the trail on the way back. 10: The Jackson Rodeo was fun (we saw it on July 4th) and hanging it out in Jackson was pretty fun too. The 6pm shootout was fun for the kids but avoid that intersection from 5:45-6:30 or you are stuck for a while. 11: We river rafted on the Snake river with Luis and Clark Rafting. It was a fun trip and even my skittish 14 y/o daughter said it wasn’t as bad as she had worried about. 12: We bought the tram pass at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort. It was a fun place to spend about 2-3 hours walking around but could get expensive if you want to do all of the tourist stuff. Buy the passes online and save some money with a 7 day window of time to use the passes. 13: We decided to leave a bit early and hang out in Park City for 2 nights and 1 full day. We spent more than we usually do at the Olympic park to do their adventure package for my son and I. We had a blast. Historic Main street was a fun evening of walking and stopping in shops. Typical tourist stuff but it was a cool setting. 14: If leaving the parks and heading south (we were returning to Phoenix) go via the 89 and 80 south and join the 15 at Provo. It’s easier on the brakes than joining the 15 further north at Mcammon. A fellow camper from Salt Lake gave me that advice. We loved our vacation and we had a great time. Hopefully these little pointers help someone else have as good a time as we did. It is a beautiful area of the country and we spent a good amount of time just enjoying the views, scenery and time together. Oh, and it wasn’t 120 like it was in Phx.