Yellowstone family trip planning

wsp_scott

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May 16, 2016
Messages
842
Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far, especially about the mosquitos. We have shifted to the middle of July and everything is booked.

3 (maybe 4 nights) at Colter Bay GTNP (going rafting one morning)
1 night Old Faithful Inn
1 night Grant Village
3 nights Canyon Lodge
- told you my wife didn't mind spending money :)

and then a couple nights in Custer State Park on the return home

I'm getting "nervous" about the crowds in Grand Teton. It looks like all the day hiking tourists (me on this trip) get squeezed into the Jenny Lake area or Colter Bay area. I know there are going to be people but I'd like to avoid feeling like I'm in a line at Disney World. Any suggestions for less crowded day hikes? String Lake and Leigh Lake sound interesting as does Two Ocean Lake, any thoughts?

I might get a day hike by myself in GTNP, Hermitage Point would be right out the door, but I suspect there is something better with a big climb to views, maybe Paintbrush Canyon? Any suggestions for a long day maybe in the Teton Wilderness? The Huckleberry Mountain Lookout looks like it would avoid crowds and provide views, comments?
 

Rockskipper

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Jun 11, 2017
Messages
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Jack Turner has two books out about that area: Travels in the Greater Yellowstone and Teewinot. Both are really good reads and the second one covers some hikes that he did, though they were multi day packs. Both will add immensely to your enjoyment of the area. He is now the head of Exxum but used to be a guide up the Grand.

As for spending money on the big lodges, I think everyone should stay in them at least once. Next time see if you can book the Yellowstone lodge. They’re part of the experience, Then next trip you can get away from the crowds by backpacking.
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,394
Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far, especially about the mosquitos. We have shifted to the middle of July and everything is booked.

3 (maybe 4 nights) at Colter Bay GTNP (going rafting one morning)
1 night Old Faithful Inn
1 night Grant Village
3 nights Canyon Lodge
- told you my wife didn't mind spending money :)

and then a couple nights in Custer State Park on the return home

I'm getting "nervous" about the crowds in Grand Teton. It looks like all the day hiking tourists (me on this trip) get squeezed into the Jenny Lake area or Colter Bay area. I know there are going to be people but I'd like to avoid feeling like I'm in a line at Disney World. Any suggestions for less crowded day hikes? String Lake and Leigh Lake sound interesting as does Two Ocean Lake, any thoughts?

I might get a day hike by myself in GTNP, Hermitage Point would be right out the door, but I suspect there is something better with a big climb to views, maybe Paintbrush Canyon? Any suggestions for a long day maybe in the Teton Wilderness? The Huckleberry Mountain Lookout looks like it would avoid crowds and provide views, comments?
I was going to recommend the Teton Wilderness even before I read your last paragraph. Way less people, more wildlife. Hiking in the Brooks Lake area would be a really good way to spend a day. Jewel Lakes would be a fun destination, or you could try summitting the Pinnacle Buttes if you want to gain more elevation.

I am pretty sure @scatman has been to the Huckleberry Mountain Lookout, so he could weigh in on that as a day hike.

Another interesting one more on the western side would be trying to summit Whetstone Mountain. You probably wouldn't see a soul most of the way, but maybe a grizzly bear or two. That's where Scatman and I saw a grizzly in fall 2019. You also would probably have to plot the route because I'd bet not a lot of people have gone to the summit. Haha. I just thought it looked like a cool, pretty straightforward one from down below when we walked alongside it. And the views have to be very good from up there.
 

scatman

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Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,692
Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far, especially about the mosquitos. We have shifted to the middle of July and everything is booked.

3 (maybe 4 nights) at Colter Bay GTNP (going rafting one morning)
1 night Old Faithful Inn
1 night Grant Village
3 nights Canyon Lodge
- told you my wife didn't mind spending money :)

and then a couple nights in Custer State Park on the return home

I'm getting "nervous" about the crowds in Grand Teton. It looks like all the day hiking tourists (me on this trip) get squeezed into the Jenny Lake area or Colter Bay area. I know there are going to be people but I'd like to avoid feeling like I'm in a line at Disney World. Any suggestions for less crowded day hikes? String Lake and Leigh Lake sound interesting as does Two Ocean Lake, any thoughts?

I might get a day hike by myself in GTNP, Hermitage Point would be right out the door, but I suspect there is something better with a big climb to views, maybe Paintbrush Canyon? Any suggestions for a long day maybe in the Teton Wilderness? The Huckleberry Mountain Lookout looks like it would avoid crowds and provide views, comments?

@Jackson's Huckleberry Mountain Lookout is a good suggestion. I'd attempt it from the Sheffield Creek side as it is only about 11 miles roundtrip. You will have a good climb of over 2000 feet heading up the ridge though. The Arizona Creek approach is around 22 miles roundtrip, but this route is an excellent opportunity to see grizzlies.
 

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