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iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
282 posts

4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
I'll be in Big Sky for a conference in mid August. Any Suggestions on things to do, see, places to eat there? I'll be staying at the Summit resort and will have afternoons free.

Also, I plan to take the rest of the week to see what I can in Yellowstone. I'll only have 4 days, so for those of you that have been, what do you suggest I do/see in order to maximize my time?
So far in my limited research I've got this:

Day 1: Drive down from Big Sky (leave around noon) through west entrance. See what I can on the way to Old Faithful Lodge Cabins. Stay in OFLC.

Day 2: First full day. Yellowstone in a Day Tour. I figured I would do this to hit the highlights and figure out what I'd like to see more in depth on Day 3. Return to OFLC and stay.

Day 3:??? I figured we would travel counter-clockwise up around the Lake, Tower- Roosevelt area and end up in Mammoth Hot Springs. Stay in Mammoth Cabins.

Day 4: Morning Wildlife Tour. Return to Mammoth before lunch and head out of the North entrance towards Bozeman to catch a flight next morning.

I'd love to have more flexibility on lodging inside the park, but places book up fast and I just found out about the conference yesterday. I plan to check back daily to see what other options open up (this worked well for me in Yosemite.)


cgrand
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re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
see if you can get a cabin at canyon village.
its centrally located and a lot more pleasant (mammoth is a SHITSHOW)


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8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
3894 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Day 1-Drive up to Gibbon Falls when you get in then hit Grand Prismatic and the Geyser Basin on the way to the hotel.

Day 2- Up early and head east towards Yellowstone Lake and hit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone before the crowds. South and North side of it. You can do this before noon. Then head north and east through Lamar Valley to an early dinner in Silver Gate then back to the lodge.

Day 3- Head south through Tetons, lunch in Jackson then back through up to Mammoth taking the east side of the park following the river.

Day 4- Norris Geyser Basin first then Mammoth Hot Springs on way out to Bozeman. The drive up to the interstate from the park is pretty nice.

This will get you hooked.


ETA- stop at all the pullouts and side roads, they are all worth it.
This post was edited on 2/28 at 4:04 pm


cgrand
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re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

hit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone before the crowds. South and North side of it. You can do this before noon.

this here...also the south rim hike is so, so much better than the parking areas as far as seeing the canyon. you can hike from the parking area at uncle tom's trailhead to artist point & back, along the rim


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10003 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Are you by yourself Op? If so you will be able to knock out the hot springs and what not quick most likely. For wildlife you are much better off spending as many evenings and mornings between the Mammouth area and the Lamar valley.

Gardiner, Montana isn’t that far from Mammouth I’d consider staying there, Mammouth, or canyon village personally.


iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
282 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Wife will be with me.

Canyon’s cheapest accommodations for the times I’m there are $360/night, I’d rather avoid that if possible. Mammoth has a cabin available (hotel is being remodeled and is closed) for my 3rd night, but not the first 2. I chose old faithful for my first 2 nights since the Yellowstone in a day tour leaves from either there, Gardner, or mammoth. If I keep the Yellowstone in a day I really need to stay in the same place the night before the tour and the night I return from the tour due to the departure and return times of tour. I could find something in Gardner I’m sure but I’d rather stay in the park if affordable.

Anyone done the Yellowstone in a day tour? Ideally I’d prefer to explore the park on my own, but since my time is limited I thought this would be the best way to hit the high points.


Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
6395 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Drink at Beehive Basin Brewery.

Lone Peak Brewery is your other option. The beer isn’t as good, but they do have decent food.

Go to Riverhouse for BBQ.

I’d also check out By Word of Mouth, and the the Thai restaurant in the Meadow.

If you want real local culture, get a beer at the Broken Spoke or Milkies.

-

I like Grand Teton National Park more than Yellowstone. It’s close by and you could easily add it to your trip.




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31
Itismemc
Jacksonville St. Fan
LA
Member since Nov 2008
4053 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Eat at Bucks T4 on your way out of big sky...

That area in general is one of the greatest on planet earth. If you’re into dinosaurs the collection in the Bozeman museum is amazing.


Motorboat
LSU Fan
At the camp
Member since Oct 2007
19159 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

Eat at Bucks T4 on your way out of big sky...


what the other little bar in West Yellowstone where you can cook your own steak? I always hit that for a to go drink.


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10003 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

I could find something in Gardner I’m sure but I’d rather stay in the park if affordable.


Everywhere there is pretty slammed during the summer. I'd book something ASAP with a cancellation policy and then look into improving.

Gardiner and West Yellowstone are great. The Bear and Wolf Center in West Yellowstone is worth a visit, but that's about all that is there. They hide food and release a new bear or 2 every every 45 minutes so they are active all day long. Wolves are a different story they may just sleep.

You are best off staying on the move. Nothing wrong with staying in the same place two nights at all, but you will be back tracking.

Its a ton of driving 40 mph back and forth. It wouldn't be a terrible plan to stay 2 nights in Old Faithful, 1 night in Canyon, 2 nights in Mammouth or just 1 night in Mammouth and your last night out of the park returning to the Airport.

The areas around Yellowstone are mostly National Forest or otherwise Public ground also. So there's a ton of really cool spots to get away and enjoy the western scenery that are not inside of Yellowstone.


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cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
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re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

Anyone done the Yellowstone in a day tour? Ideally I’d prefer to explore the park on my own, but since my time is limited I thought this would be the best way to hit the high points.


you have enough time to see the good shite yourself if you are willing to get up early and go hard...its worth it. personally i break out in hives at the sight of a tour bus, but YMMV


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8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
3894 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

Anyone done the Yellowstone in a day tour?


I'd rather be raped by an angry bear.

quote:

I’d prefer to explore the park on my own,


You should. Get up early and go, four days is a good bit of time there. Stay in the park so you don't waste time getting into the park each morning. If you are wondering if you should go see something the answer is yes.


kfaulk03
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2007
1358 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Around big sky nice hike to lava lake.
LINK

I’d try and balance off logistics of getting to Yellowstone and the cool stuff nearby (as in not necessarily best solution to be in car all day everyday)


iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
282 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm not a fan of being on a tour bus either and plan to cancel. A room opened up at Old Faithful Inn, so I plan to stay there the first night, Roosevelt, Canyon, or Lake the second night, and keep my cabin in Mammoth for the third night.

I'll definitely check out the hikes and restaurant recommendations.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10003 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
I’ve been to Yellowstone 3 times. Imo 2 days is adequate with a fairly busy/ rushed schedule to see all the main things. So with 3-4 you should have plenty of time to relax and be adventurous. So I wouldn’t stress/ worry.

If you can bring a cooler of beer and food into the park. All they have is convenience type stores and national park ran restaurants.

The northern areas have the valleys, that’s where the wolves and bears are seen most frequently.

My biggest piece of advice is the rivers. That’s where the true beauty is. Amazing really. So focus your time around them as much as possible.


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iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
282 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

Eat at Bucks T4 on your way out of big sky...


Ate here tonight. Very good. Thanks for the suggestion

Hitting riverhouse tomorrow evening. Got good recommendations from the waitress at Bucks


Diesel88
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2018
199 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

TA- stop at all the pullouts and side roads, they are all worth it.


This.

If you are planning on driving the entire park in 1 day to "get a feel" think again. You need to break up the park into segments and have a well defined plan. Expect traffic. Lots of it. Asian tourists like to stop their cars in the middle of the road and take pictures causing traffic jams. Herds of hundreds of bison frequently walk down the roads. Traffic is a certainty. Pull off the main road and take every side road you can.

Lamar Valley is by far the best part of Yellowstone to explore. There are several hikes in the area that are very rewarding. Also check out the boiling river, fish lake, firehole canyon, elephant's back, the overlook hike just south of grand prismatic, Hayden Valley.


Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
6395 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Riverhouse is great.


iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
282 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
quote:

Riverhouse is great


Pulled up, place is jammed. Walk up to door and get wanded by secret service. Walk inside and Mike Pence is sitting in the corner.
Food was good, service was terrible. Maybe it was an off night.


KLSU
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2003
7633 posts

re: 4 Days in Big Sky, 4 Days in Yellowstone
Im thinking of making this trip at the end of May is the weather usually tolerable by then?

We looking to fly into Salt Lake City and drive to Jackson Hole. Stay there a few days then head to Yellowstone for a few days then back to to Salt Lake. 7 day vacation.

Any other place I need to see like in Idaho on the way back?


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