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Old 04-23-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
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Calif to Yellowstone?

We are planning a trip from California to Yellowstone. Leaving Salt Lake City which roads should we take the 89 or 189? We would like to see Teton and then YS. Is one route smoother (not as steep) than the other from Teton to YS?
Any tips on what to see in the area? Teton will be a day or 2 and YS maybe 3 days.
Is there a preferred route?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:28 PM   #2
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A easy route from Salt Lake City to Grand Teton Nat'l Park Is I-15 north to Idaho Falls, ID then 26 east to Alpine, WY then north through Jackson. When you leave the Tetons just continue north.

When you're on ID26 you might look on a map and consider taking 31 into Victor and 22 into Jackson. I wouldn't advise it. 22 is a very steep, curvy highway.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
A easy route from Salt Lake City to Grand Teton Nat'l Park Is I-15 north to Idaho Falls, ID then 26 east to Alpine, WY then north through Jackson. When you leave the Tetons just continue north.

When you're on ID26 you might look on a map and consider taking 31 into Victor and 22 into Jackson. I wouldn't advise it. 22 is a very steep, curvy highway.
X2. This is a much better route.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:52 PM   #5
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We were traveling the other way from Yellowstone to Salt Lake City we exited via the West Yellowstone exit down RT20 to Idaho Falls and then I-15 to Salt Lake City. We stayed at Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone and did the upper loop one day the lower loop the next and then the Grand Tetons a third day. However it would be better as you suggest GT 2 Days and YS 3 days. All depends on where you are staying as it wasn't that much of a drive from YS to GT. As far as seeing things in the parks - the roads are looped so pull into as many of the pull outs and site parking lots as you can making the loop. They may be similar but they are all different. Look for side unpaved roads which you see a lot of wildlife in the day time. If your into hiking then plan for some trails. Check with the park rangers they have a lot of recommendations and information available.

When traveling from SLC to YS (if you go that way first) plan for a couple of hours at Promontory Utah for the Golden Spike National Historic Site and in Blackfoot Idaho is the Idaho Potato Museum which is good for an hour stop.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:41 PM   #6
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Each national park and monument in the U.S. has a wonderful web site with lots of good information on things to do and see, road information, campground information, etc. Check them out. Here is Yellowstone's and Grand Teton National Park.

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/index.htm

https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:29 PM   #7
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Basic information about YNP and GTNP.

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or less for 1/4 mile or more, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 mph radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! I don't mean to scare you but to inform you of reality. (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line.)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking. And again I don't mean to scare you but rather to inform you, after all there was 4.1 million visitors in 2015 (record number)

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid June to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until shortly before 10 PM.

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within 1/2 mile of you with the same colors. It can save a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YSNP yes, drink lots of water!HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Old Faithful etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas have only pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line at the lower Geyser Basin 20 or more feet long. So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area!

Sun- At YSNPs altitude the sun is intense (uv) have and apply sun screen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear sun glasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have a hour and 10-20 minutes wait for the next one. Tour the O/F geyser basin while waiting for the next eruption. Old Faithful INN is a must see (meals are "OK" also)

We have lived about 110 miles (4739' elevation) from W. Yellowstone, MT for 51 years, go there 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all of it yet!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle contest twice". We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

Bar J Chuckwagon
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:08 PM   #8
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X2 on the route 31/22, Jackson, WY/Victor, ID it is 10%up/down for 5 miles each way. Beautiful route in your car, I see all types of RVs on it (some with smoking brakes) Then there is also Pine Creek pass between Victor, ID and Swan Valley, ID. Not as bad but why?

Take route 26 to Alpine, WY then along the Snake River (Watch for river rafters) to Hoback Junction and Jackson.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:21 PM   #9
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We did it. NEVER owned or pulled a 5th wheel before. We towed the 5er to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Had a blast. Thank you all for the advice and suggestions.
I never thought vacation would wear one out. LOL.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:18 PM   #10
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We did it. NEVER owned or pulled a 5th wheel before. We towed the 5er to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Had a blast. Thank you all for the advice and suggestions.
I never thought vacation would wear one out. LOL.
Thanks for returning and letting us know how you did....wish more folks would do this. Glad everything went well for you and that you enjoyed the parks. Now you're a 'pro'!
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