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2008-01-28 2:24 PM

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Master
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Calgary, Alberta
Subject: Montana - Yellowstone

We're looking to travel down (through Montana) to see Old Faithful this summer.  Have a tent trailer so will be camping it along the way.  Can anyone offer some suggestions on places to see - things to do?  Anyone got any campsites they'd recommend?



2008-01-28 3:01 PM
in reply to: #1180175

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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

I wen there few years ago...it was great!

Check this link...plenty of good info...

http://www.nps.gov/yell/

If you have time, also check the Grand Tetons and Glacier National Park...great places!

 If you have one, bring a good spotting scope, they are great to see the wolfs and other animals from afar.

Have great time there! 

 

 

 

2008-01-28 3:09 PM
in reply to: #1180175

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Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

Oh, you can have an AMAZING drive down from Calgary! I'd recommend coming down along the eastern edge of Glacier. Maybe spend a day or two there as well. Many Glacier is really neat and less well-traveled than the St. Mary's Lake area because Going-to-the-Sun Road goes through there. If you only have a day or part of a day there, I'd recommend taking the ferry that goes across Swiftcurrent and Lake Josephine. From there you can hike up to Grinnell Glacier, which is just an awesome hike.

The Rocky Mountain Front is my favorite part of the State. Head south on 89, then take 287. I love the campsite at the end of the road on the North Fork of the Teton River. You can stop at the Forest Service office in Choteau for directions. It would be 45 min-1hr off the highway.

Keep an eye out for the Hutterite Colony a few miles south of Augusta and stop by and buy some eggs from them.

My little city of Helena is a fantastic spot to stop and spend some money see the sites.  The Historical Museum is great and the little tour train (which yes, we make fun of) is actually really cool. Mount Helena is a good little hike. The Gates of the Mountains boat ride is awesome. If you do decide to come through Helena, PM me and I'll tell you more specific things to do.

All the stuff I've done near Bozeman is WAY off the beaten path, so I can't help you much there.

2008-01-28 3:14 PM
in reply to: #1180274

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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
Oh, and if you're bringing your bike, riding east along Yellowstone Lake from the West Thumb is a good road (but bring a few spare tubes). Here's a map .


Edited by kimj81 2008-01-28 3:14 PM
2008-01-28 3:46 PM
in reply to: #1180175

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Calgary, Alberta
Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

Thanks Kim!  Was hoping you'd see this post.

Re the hikes you've mentioned - what's the length and difficulty level of these hikes?  Are they along marked trails?  My kids (8 and 6 years of age) have done some hikes up here but I like to know in advance what the route is like.

2008-01-28 3:53 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
 While we are planning a Ystone /Teton trip this summer I have to second Kim's suggestion about Glacier. It is a truly spectacular place and if you like to hike you really should plan to spend a few days there. There are lots of long hikes available that aren't loop trails, but point to point hikes in excess of 15 miles.


2008-01-28 4:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
Here are a few shots from our trip a few years ago. The sky is really hazy due to some pretty heavy forest fires to the east of the park.



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2008-01-28 4:08 PM
in reply to: #1180350

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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

Hmm, 6 and 8... well, not having any kids, I'm never sure of what they can do at what ages. From the ferry I mentioned, you can also hike up to another lake. That's a lot flatter hike. The one Grinnell Glacier hike is a lot of climbing. Another good hike from Many Glacier is up toward Swiftcurrent Pass. There are some lakes and waterfalls along the way. It doesn't really start climbing until you're 4-5 miles in.

Mount Helena is easy peasy. I think it would be a good climb for a kid. Lots of feeling of accomplishment with minimal "oh my god, I'm so tired. this sucks".   The NF Teton campground has multiple hikes around with no specific destination, so you can just turn around whenever.

Grinnell Glacier Trail (that would be the other lake you can hike to down there):

 

Swiftcurrent Pass Trail: 

 

I'll post some pics of the NF of the Teton tonight.  

2008-01-28 4:39 PM
in reply to: #1180175

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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
Are you looking for ideas in Yellowstone or are you all set there? You can only dry camp in Yellowstone with a tent trailer, as Fishing Bridge has hookups but is hard side only due to those pesky grizzly bears. If you need creature comforts your stuck in West Yellowstone or Gardiner.

We stayed in Canyon village campground and really liked it as it worked out well for getting around the park, plus you have flush toilets in the camping loops and hot showers and laundry at the front of the park. So it wasn't to hard to deal with overall, but we did had a few nights in the 20's and that was the week of fathers day in 2004, not to mention snow. We had a quiet Honda generator to charge the battery every couple of days and plenty of propane.

There's plenty of easy family hikes and I purchased a book from Amazon among others. Yellowstone is real nice once you hike a trail a few hundred meters from the parking area, as most folks don't venture far, but that's where you'll find piece and quiet.

If you hit the Tetons, we used Colter Bay RV park, the park with hookups ran by Xanterra or something like that. It was right off Jackson Lake which was real low then, but a nice spot overall, compared to private CG's which we don't care for, plus I had easy access to trail runs, though the wife thought I was nuts. The scariest thing was worrying about spooking up a cow elk or moose with a calf.

The kids enjoyed the Jenny Lake boat ride and hike on the other side, where there's plenty of folks and not so easy to get away from folks, but still beautiful.

It's such a great trip, my kids still talk about it. Enjoy!





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2008-01-28 5:09 PM
in reply to: #1180175

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Calgary, Alberta
Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

Thanks for all the tips and beautiful pics!  Nothing about our trip is set in stone.  Probably looking at a 2 week journey.  Don't mind not having power/sewer for a few nights especially if it means nice sites (meaning treed with some seclusion).

Keep your suggestions / links coming!

Steve

2008-01-28 10:48 PM
in reply to: #1180175

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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
Hi Steve,
I live in Grand Teton NP and can provide you with some info. Where to camp and visit depend on if you are more into senery or wildlife. If you would like to see bears and wolves, head to the lamar valley in northeast yellowstone in the late spring early summer. If you are there early in the morning you will have a good chance of seeing both. Last year in mid May, I had a coyote, wolf, and grizzly bear all in the same binocular view. Much of the scenery in yellowstone is spectacular but for my money, you can't beat views of the tetons.

If you are into forested campgrounds, I would recommend the sites around yellowstone lake. If you make it down into grand teton NP, I recommend a visit to string lake which is a great place to swim with kids as long as you aren't there too early in the season when it is still pretty chilly.

I'm more familiar with the trails in grand teton and jackson area than in yellowstone but I would recommend string lake to inspiration point/hidden falls area for a relatively flat, though well traveled trail that is kid friendly. I live in the southeast corner of the park and the loop drive along antelope flats road to kelly and along the Gros Ventre (pronounced Grow Vent) river is a great place to see Bison, Pronghorn, Moose (along the river) and other wildlife.

Don't hesitate to ask or send me a PM if you have any further question.

Edited by picoides 2008-01-28 10:49 PM




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2008-01-29 1:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
Thanks all for the info, and thanks calgaryrunner for asking... my brother is getting married in Missoula in September, and the wife and I are exploring ways to extend the trip into a vacation for us.  I've been to both Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Glacier before but it's been some time... and she's never been.
2008-01-29 3:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

I am in Livingston which is just 50 miles north of the North Entrance (Gardiner) of Yellowstone National Park.

Fun things here (between time in Glacier and Yellowstone) would be...

Museam (sp!) of the Rockies (Bozeman-only 23 miles away on the Interstate) AWESOME dinasaur exhibit.

Chico Hot Springs-fun for the whole family...20 miles south of Livingston thru the beautiful Paradise Valley. Right on the way to Yellowstone.

Hike Pine Creek Falls...also in the Paradise Valley. Great hike for a 6 and 8 year old...only about a mile up to a spectacular waterfall. If they are doing great....you can keep going.

Raft on the Yellowstone River...(the largest free flowing river left in the US) lots of outfitters for a pretty fun day trip...if you are really game, do Yankee Jim Canyon. Yikes!

If you need more info....let me know. We have been here in Livingston for 14 years.

Have fun!

2008-01-29 4:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
I'm impressed - this thread is getting almost as many replies as those about trips to Disney!
2008-01-30 1:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
I would take a trip out west over Disney any day of the week!
2008-01-30 2:03 PM
in reply to: #1180365

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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

mdg2003 - 2008-01-28 3:53 PM  While we are planning a Ystone /Teton trip this summer I have to second Kim's suggestion about Glacier. It is a truly spectacular place and if you like to hike you really should plan to spend a few days there. There are lots of long hikes available that aren't loop trails, but point to point hikes in excess of 15 miles.

hey mdg... are you riding with a group or tour ride?  We are thinking of maybe doing the Montana/Wyoming/Idaho trip with Cycle America.  We are trying to decide between this and Alaska ride.

Who are you riding with?, and when are you going?



2008-01-30 11:13 PM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
pigfinn - 2008-01-30 2:03 PM

mdg2003 - 2008-01-28 3:53 PM  While we are planning a Ystone /Teton trip this summer I have to second Kim's suggestion about Glacier. It is a truly spectacular place and if you like to hike you really should plan to spend a few days there. There are lots of long hikes available that aren't loop trails, but point to point hikes in excess of 15 miles.

hey mdg... are you riding with a group or tour ride?  We are thinking of maybe doing the Montana/Wyoming/Idaho trip with Cycle America.  We are trying to decide between this and Alaska ride.

Who are you riding with?, and when are you going?

Wife and kids in a rental car on this one! I looked up CA before responding here. Have you ever done a tour with them before? They seem pretty reasonably priced for sag support, breakfast and lunch every day. We did a Bicycle Adventures trip a few years ago in the San Juan Islands. The support, food and lodging was all first class, but I can't justify spending that kind of money again for a bike ride. Let me know how CA does if you could. We are always looking for trip ideas and the price is not too bad.
2008-01-31 4:57 AM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
JoshKaptur - 2008-01-30 2:40 PM

I would take a trip out west over Disney any day of the week!


x2

My kids still talk about how awesome our trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons was, and how they would like to go back, more then any other trip we've taken them on.
2008-01-31 7:17 AM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone

mdg2003 - 2008-01-30 11:13 PM Wife and kids in a rental car on this one! I looked up CA before responding here. Have you ever done a tour with them before? They seem pretty reasonably priced for sag support, breakfast and lunch every day. We did a Bicycle Adventures trip a few years ago in the San Juan Islands. The support, food and lodging was all first class, but I can't justify spending that kind of money again for a bike ride. Let me know how CA does if you could. We are always looking for trip ideas and the price is not too bad.

I have not done a tour ride with Cycle America, but my boyfriend has, and he says they are great.  He has also done tours with PacTour and also compliments them on a great job.  In fact, my boyfriend has already done the Montana/Wyoming/Idaho ride a few years back, but is willing to go back (with me this time), and says he will still enjoy it because it's such a great trip   He says they really pamper you

I agree... the prices on some of the bike trips are $$$.  Alaska is $3,000... that's alot of money to bike, LOL!! 

CA national park tour schedule is supposed to come up today... we are waiting to see it before we decide which tour we are going to do, it's hard to decide!

2008-01-31 9:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
 Cool. Be sure to take photos and give us full summary of the tour when you get back!
2008-02-01 12:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Montana - Yellowstone
I would recommend hiking to Crypt lake from Waterton Park into Glacier. This is a super-cool hanging valley but you need to take a ferry ride to the starting point of the hike. The trail is also narrow & very high above the valley floor in places. The Going to the Sun road is also spectaular. The road was closed July 4th the year I was out there because of snow & avalanche danger. I also would go down to see the Tetons, saw tons of wildlife in that area wolfs & coyotes around elk kill with ranger to explain how to tell them apart. I would also either exit or enter the park through Cooke City & drive the Beartooth Highway into Red Lodge, MT. If you have time from Red Lodge go camp up in the East Rosebud Creek Valley then get up the next morning to hike up to Elk Lake super-duper beautiful & not as many people as Yellowstone but right next to it.

I spent 3 weeks in Glacier/Waterton and felt I barely scratched the surface. 10 days at one time in Yellowstone and the same thing. Still need to keep going back. The scenery and wildlife viewing are unreal.


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