Yellowstone and Grand Teton tips

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by JoshMacdonald, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    I'll probably be doing my standard drive through Yellowstone a day or two after Labor day, but it is non-stop to either Wapiti or Rex Hale in Shoshone NF to visit with friends in Cody. And then back through a couple days later.
     
  2. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Just got back from an almost identical trip. Though we stayed at Colter Bay for 7 days and drove in to Yellowstone for the day. It was a great trip...

    Colter Bay Campgound just required all food in the TV. To me it seemed like everyone was more worried about you meeting bears on the trail. "Do you have bear spray?"
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  3. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    That's where I have always had a face-to-face; hiking; and bear spray allowed me to continue to be a dirty old man. In the camp they have never bothered me other than having a bowel movement right outside my door one night. But have seen them in campgrounds and have heard them bothering other people.
     
  4. Dread_Pirate_Bailey

    Dread_Pirate_Bailey Member

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    I always stay at Lizard Creek campground in the Tetons, and they now have bear boxes at each site. I'm usually alone, or with just one other person, so I don't have a ton of food with me, but there is lots of space in the bear box to hold the coolers, camp stove, dishes, anything that might smell good to a bear.

    I think Lizard Creek is the best campground in the Tetons/Yellowstone area, since the sites are not too close together, it's right on the lake, and sunrises/sunsets are beautiful. I like being away from the crowds, for the most part.

    Next time you go, and do the hike to Inspiration Point on Jenny Lake, keep going past Inspiration Point. A few miles further on, you get a great view of a hanging valley. It's not something most people see, since they stop at Inspiration Point, and also because they don't get excited about formations caused by glaciation. Science nerds, like me, love seeing these kinds of things.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We've camped at Lizard twice over the years, and it is one of our favorite campgrounds. Apparently others think so too, every morning we had people stopping by to see if we were leaving.
    We're heading that direction at the end of the week. In the past, we've camped in Grand Teton NP and day-toured to Yellowstone. This time we'll be camping at Grant, and trying to see areas in Yellowstone that I've missed.
    I hope food storage regs are clearer there than in the info I've been able to find online. We now have a truck with a hard tonneau cover over the back. Our cooler, which is for drinks, is bear-rated, and we hope we can leave it in the covered bed of the truck - I'm not sure it would fit through the back door of the cab, and I know it won't fit in the front (bucket) seat. Except for a few snacks in the backseat, the rest of our food is now in the TT, the cooler probably won't fit through that door either.
    When we began to plan this trip, we had no idea the eclipse would get so much publicity and interest, so I'm starting to think it may not be a wonderful experience. If our friends are able to get a campsite in Gros Ventre in Grand Teton NP (FCFS, directly in totality), we'll spend the day with them. If not, we may just stay in our campsite and see 95-99%. (Our friend has had it on his bucket list since he was about 8, and started mentioning meeting us for the eclipse a good 5 years ago.)
     
  6. Dread_Pirate_Bailey

    Dread_Pirate_Bailey Member

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    I want 100% totality, so I'm driving a few hours south to Kentucky, past Bowling Green, so that I can get it. I'm only going to get 95% here, and NOPE! We have a mandatory training at work on August 21st, for a new-to-us Court case tracking system, and I told my boss I won't be there that day. She knows what a nerdy geeky dork I am, so I get to skip the training, and they'll give me a crash course the next day.

    I will be doing a lunchtime workshop at work the week before to help my co-workers learn how to make pinhole projectors so they can see the eclipse safely. I'm sure they'll get a break from the training to go outside to see it.
     
  7. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    I hope for you guys driving to Jackson to see the eclipse that it clears up cause it is smokier than hades in Jackson due to fires in Southeastern Idaho.
     
  8. Ohiocamper13

    Ohiocamper13 Member

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    Wow. Sounds like a great trip. I hope to make it there one day. The fine was crazy! Where are you supposed to keep it? We always just lock ours in the car when in bear habitats. Some of the GSMNP campgrounds also supply bear boxes in some of the remote campgrounds but same thing 1 box for 4-5 sites. They need to improve that.
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if the smoke had headed that way. Early next week, we'll be in the Winds, DH has a backpack planned, then we head over to Yellowstone. If it's really smokey, my asthma may be a bigger issue than whether or not the eclipse is visible.
     
  10. Garland

    Garland New Member

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    Almonte ON
    Where have people looked at as back-up sites should the weather not cooperate near Grand Teton? I'm prepared to get up at 4AM to drive 250 miles east or west if necessary.
     
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We haven't looked - we'll either meet up with our friends, if they have a campsite nearer totality (such as Gros Ventre), or be somewhere in Yellowstone, even in our campsite if it has a good sky view and the crowds are crazy. I don't know what our friends have as a back-up, they haven't said anything about one. We'll be in contact with them in the next few days, since they're already on the road and we don't leave until the end of the week.
    As much as I'd like a really great view, the sheer size of the crowds is beginning to intimidate me, especially with traffic. Some friends at church are going to visit family in Idaho Falls for the eclipse (well, that's secondary, grandkid's birthday seems to be primary). She said people are being told to fill their gas tanks in SLC or someplace, since the supply in the tanks is expected to be exceeded by the people arriving for the eclipse.
     
  12. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    A lot of the smoke from the Powerlne fire, SW of Pocatello, is drifting west, northwest and over into the Jackson Hole valley. Currently at 46K acres and even though I live quite a ways from it, the air here is heavy, and yesterday it was full of ashes. Dogs only got about a half mile walk yesterday due to the ashes in the air. Today it was clear of ashes so we got our normal 6 miles in.

    Hopefully, it will be out in two weeks, but another will most likely pop up.
    http://idahostatejournal.com/news/l...cle_44712a8f-ba23-5395-b696-cd61ffac0928.html

    One good place to look is the weather cams at (there are quite a few)
    https://www.seejh.com/webcams/jacksonhole/jackson/golf-tennis

    Also, it is estimated 40k people, minimum, will be in Jackson area to see the eclipse, I can only imagine how many wildfires will be started.:( (The state of WY has one estimate that during the eclipse, the population of the entire state could double for a day.)

    Driggs ID is expecting 40K too. Idaho Falls, Rexburg a heck of a lot more. I'm guessing it will take a week to pick up the litter.o_O

    And people want to know why I'm headed north away from the this cluster? :D

    Good luck.
     
    kitphantom likes this.
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We'll keep an eye on it. If I go that far to have to hide in the TT it won't be as much fun. The distance that ash can travel is amazing - when the Wallow Fire was burning in AZ, we had ash here in Albuquerque. (The local pharmacies ran out of the extra meds people with lung issues needed, according to my pulmonologist - he said he just told patients to stay inside. I'll be paying close attention so that if I need to increase my meds, I can do it in a timely manner.)
    I'm sort of a mind to skip the whole thing, except DH has a long backpack planned for the Winds, and it would be nice to get together with our friends. (They live in AZ, so we only see them a couple of times a year.) We have already planned to restock and dump tanks before getting to Jackson, if possible. We still want to go to the wildlife art museum at some point, but we'll see how the crowds are.
     
  14. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    Ash can travel a long distance. Last year having dinner in the Wapiti campground (between Cody and Yellowstone) we had ash falling on from the Berry fire in the Tetons. Didn't taste bad on the chicken.:D
     
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    Well, we made the visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton NPs much simpler for this year - we decided to put it off until next year. Too little concrete info on the crowds beyond "huge" plus a number of other things, including not being as ready as we could be, work for DH, and an irritated back for me. The thing I'll miss most is meeting up with our friends, so I guess we made a good choice.
    So, it's tentatively our trip for next year. We shortened this trip by a week, found a site at one of our favorite campgrounds in Colorado, and both feel better about it. We won't have totality of the eclipse, but it probably won't be crowded either. Fewer hours on the road will help my back, I have a long solo trip in the fall so it needs to be better by then.
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  16. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    That's a shame. But missing the thousands of people is probably the best for sanity
    I moved from Moab due to the number of tourists seemed to be doubling every year and driving me crazy. One reason why I'm scooting out of town and headed somewhere. Was considering Cody but might put that off to my normal Sept Cody trip, and might head up into the Beaverhead mountains (sub range in the Bitterroot range) and hide from mankind.:D
    .
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  17. NWYuma2004

    NWYuma2004 Member

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    Oregon
    Canyon is awesome. We stayed there in 2012 and loved the proximity to everything. Drive times seem lower from that location. Would stay there again for sure!
     
  18. Norman Rance

    Norman Rance Member

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    Alb New Mexico
     
  19. Norman Rance

    Norman Rance Member

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    Mar 14, 2017
    Alb New Mexico
    we brought a work tool box for a pull trailer and placed it under a tree away or in back of our site in madison juction camp ground the rangers told me it was a great idea
     
  20. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We have camped in Bridge Bay (2008) and Grant (2010) and never had a bear problems. As for food storage, we always kept our cooler in the back of the SUV. Nothing was left at the site or inside the pup. The SUV back and side windows are heavily tinted (factory) but we will still throw a dark blanket on top of the cooler at night. We are going back to Yellowstone next year with friends. Not sure which CG we will go to yet.
     

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