Planning Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier without a Clue

Back to Yellowstone 2006
Moose Falls

We were considering a trip to Alaska during 2006.  We did a lot of research on small boat cruises and spending time in Denali.  The cost was frightening.  If we had a sudden wind-fall, maybe.  No sudden, unexpected income and no lottery hit so we had to re-consider.  I stumbled onto a web site and saw pictures of Glacier National Park.

That prompted a lot more research.  This looked like a worthy destination.  Phenomenal scenery and wildlife.  We dropped all talk of Alaska and started making plans.  As it turned out, the trip kept growing.  Our 8 or 9 day trip expanded to a full 2 weeks.  There's so many things to see and we don't know when we'll get to go again.

I was fairly ignorant about the Western states, so I started with maps.  We were going to fly into Jackson Hole, WY just for the scenery.  The first thing I discovered was that I had to drive through Yellowstone to get to Glacier.  If couldn't figure out a way to do that without staying a while so we made plans to spend 3 nights in the park.  If it sounds like we really didn't know what we were getting into, that's about right.

In October, 2005, I made reservations for 3 nights at the Old Faithful Inn.  It's a little more up-scale I wanted (we prefer cabins and tents) but it was kind of central in the park.  I initially wanted to explore the Northern part on one day and the Southern part the next.  I later figured out that was a good way to see nothing.  I got some guidance from the folks on the Yellowstone Chat forum.  Many experts there.  The nice folks in the Yellowstone Discussion Forum are also very helpful.  I'm a little concerned that we may have over-committed ourselves but we'll see.  If you don't have a plan, you might not get anything done.  You don't have to follow it.  I also finally made reservations at the Old Faithful Inn for dinner.  Its our 30th anniversary so we needed to do it right.

Its almost embarrassing to admit but I didn't know we had to drive through Grand Teton National Park to get to Yellowstone.  Since we get to Jackson Hole at 11:30AM, we plan to spend the afternoon looking around Grand Teton.  No real time to hike though.

When you think about it, there's something wrong when you blunder into a place as magnificent as Yellowstone National Park.