Trip to Yellowstone with the family

NC2CO

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I used to live/work in Colorado and Wyoming was part of my territory. I traveled in/around Yellowstone several times/year. However, it's been a few years now and we are planning a family trip out there this summer. My question....I am contemplating either staying around Cody/Wapiti and driving down to the east entrance to get in/out of the park OR staying in Jackson Hole and starting from there each morning. I am leaning towards Jackson but I also remember several neat things/great views coming in from the Cody side/east entrance as well.

Looking for any thoughts/opinions!

Thanks
 

VAspeedgoat

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I'm not a Jackson fan. To me it attracts a different type of person thats more into starbucks than starry skies. I'd do Cody, there are some places that aren't terribly expensive like Carter mountain inn, and big bear motel ( not the grizzly bear motel ). The east entrance is the closest but the northeast entrance is prettier even though its slightly longer. Sunrise in the sunlight basin is beautiful. You can also go out the beartooth highway farther into montana for some views. Plus when you come in through the northeast entrance you're already in the best part of the park for views, fishing and wildlife viewing.

Maybe some will disagree but thats my take. Plus the Irma has an all you can eat prime rib buffet.....they always lose money on me!
 

hardwoods

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Personally i would stay in the park. We have stayed in the camping cabins at Roosevelt a few times and really enjoyed it. It was close to Lamar valley which we liked for early morning wildlife viewing for grizzlies and wolves. Really boils down to what you want to do daily and amenities you are looking for. While the drive to the park from Cody is beautiful its also long, close to an hour. No matter where you decide book early. Inside the park fills up fast. Have a great trip!
 

Cav1

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Another vote for Cody (and Buffalo Bill Museum) or possibly the northeast gate (Silver Gate, Cooke City, Beartooth Highway). As a friend of mine from Cody put it several years ago, "The billionaires have forced all the millionaires out of Jackson and into the slums of Cody." If it's been awhile since you stayed, you might be shocked at the gateway community hotel prices these days and you'll probably need reservations well in advance anywhere even close to the park. Same goes for lodging in the park, but even more so. It's still worth one night in the park if you can find an opening.
 
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We stayed in Gardiner 2 summers ago with our Motorhome and I noticed lots of lodging. I don't know the cost but we made it into Lamar Valley everyday easily. We are looking into a return trip and very well might stay there again.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Truthfully, if you can get a reservation west yellowstone is the best bet, it's at the park entrance.
It just depends on if staying in Wyoming is a priority or not.

To follow up, another post said it, cody is an hour drive to the east entrance and 1.5 to the northeast entrance. I'd bet jackson has got to be an hour also but its through glacier and the parkway so flip a coin. Gardiner is a nice town also.
 

406LIFE

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Id vote Cody over Jackson for sure.
West Yellowstine is also nice.
However, if you can and never done it, Old Faithful Lodge is worth the exeperience once
 

Ben Lamb

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Cooke City or Gardiner. It's 50 miles from Cody to the east entrance. I love Cody, but it's a long day for park visits. Cooke City/Silvergate has decent accommodations (check out VRBO's in the area as well), a couple of food options & most importantly, gets you into the Park almost immediately - and in a high-wildlife area (Lamar Valley).

Gardiner is similar, but with a lot more people and more dinner/entertainment options.
 

LCH

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I thought about doing Yellowstone with the family next fall break, but due to the distance chose to do the Black Hills as a starter trip for them.

As far as Yellowstone, I'd want to do as little driving as possible to/from the park once I arrived. A 30+ hour ride there, 2-3 hours daily commute to/from the park, and a 30+ hour ride home can be very tiring even for the adults.

Have you considered camping in the park? I've researched some of the options, and think a summer camping trip would be my choice. If we go during cooler weather some year, the primitive cabins also look to be an affordable way to stay.
 

MTGomer

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When we go to Yellowstone we camp on FS land outside the park. You can be almost entirely alone and under 20 mins of the entrances.
 

LCH

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When we go to Yellowstone we camp on FS land outside the park. You can be almost entirely alone and under 20 mins of the entrances.
That's a great idea also. One thing I'll add is that the sports complex in Cody offers shower only rates. When I was there, you could get your own private bathroom/shower as long as you needed it for $2 after 6 PM.
 

Southern Elk

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I'm fortunate to only live a little over an hour from the park. I like West Yellowstone and Gardiner. I haven't visited Cody, but I wouldn't stay in Jackson for some of the reasons mentioned above.
 

PrairieHunter

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Yellowstone is a neat place to visit but not in the middle of summer as it's just a zoo. Waiting in traffic, waiting in lines to eat, pee, pay, etc... I'd rather go to some of the less popular places in the summer that deal with all that.

If you really want a special experience go stay at the Old Faithful Lodge during the winter. The park is empty and amazing how much more enjoyable it is without thousands of tourists everywhere stinking the place up. Old faithful is best viewed at below zero temps in the winter in the middle of the night so you have it all to yourself.
 

JosephBrown

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We did it a couple of years ago, that's where the fish in my avatar was caught. We stayed in Cody for a number of reasons: we didn't go to Yellowstone everyday and went to the Bighorn's one day, Montana another, and Yellowstone the rest of the days. If you are wanting to do completely Yellowstone I would stay closer to the park imo
 

NC2CO

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Thank you all for the the replies/advice. I wish there were like buttons on here!! I think we'll have to pay more attention to the northeast entrance. That sounds like a worthwhile investment.
 

idnative1948

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Another vote for Cody, plus tons of things to do and see. We thought JH was a shmidt show, full of tourists. Next year we are just doing a full ten days in the Tetons.

JMHO
 

ol_spark

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My wife and I have been there at least a half dozen times. We like to alternate between Gardiner and Cooke City/Silvergate. Lately we’ve stayed away from Jackson and West Yellowstone for reasons already mentioned. Usually leave through Cody and stop there for a day as well. We’re from PA. and realize that anywhere you go in the west takes a lot of driving time. Not only to get there but to view things after you are there. Be sure to take binoculars and/or spotting scope with you for a better viewing experience. Hike up Mt. Washburn and see the sheep usually all over the trail. Put your glass to work on the surrounding mountains at Cooke City to watch the goats.
 
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hardwoods

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Cooke City is a cool little town. If at all possible check out Beartooth Pass. We were out there last summer and brought a couple friends to Yellowstone for the first time and Beartooth Pass was their highlight of their trip. Yellowstone was nice but like mentioned there is alot of people in the summer.
 
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