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  1. Default Grand Tetons >>> Yellowstone >>> Glacier National

    Two families first time renting RVs (6 kids ranging from 9-14). We will be flying in to Salt Lake City the 1st of June. 4 Nights at Grand Tetons, 4 Nights at Yellowstone, and 4 Nights at Glacier National. What are the must do things for each location? What should we avoid? We have already booked campgrounds at GT and YS. We will also have a van for commuting at each location. Thank you for your expertise.

    Larry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,202

    Default

    Kudos to you for getting your camping reservations at two of the parks already. I hope you left driving time between them. SLC to Grand Teton is a little lesson than 300 miles, but by the time you collect your RV, you'll be arriving quite late. Yellowstone to Glacier NP is also a day's drive, so allow time for it, because it's 425 miles and you may have to traverse part of the parks to get there.

    As for "must do", that is completely dependent on what you like to do. If you're hikers, all three parks have some marvelous short hikes or even full day hikes to do. Two of the parks (GT & Y) offer outdoor activities like kayaking/canoeing. Of course, it will take every bit of the 3 days to see Yellowstone, but you'll have plenty of time for other activities at Grand Teton.

    It's going to be a toss-up, whether Going to the Sun Road (the highlight of Glacier National Park) will be open by the time of your trip. Normally it isn't open until around the end of June. It gets a huge amount of snowfall, and they start trying to clear it in April. However, sometimes it isn't even open until July 1st. We were up there around the 25th of June one year, and it had just opened a week before.

    IF the road is open, then I suggest you all get in your van EARLY in the morning and be on the road heading for Logan Pass by 8 am. It gets crowded up there if you go too late. We erred and took off late, and were not able to find parking at a lot of the lots for our large pick-up. Your experience with a large van could be the same. We had to traverse GttS Road twice, instead of crossing it once and returning to the east side of the park on US-2, because we couldn't even get into Logan Pass Visitor Center parking lot. So, best advice: GO EARLY if the park's road is open.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,581

    Default

    I'm guessing your plans for a trip earlier this summer must have fallen through?

    Where do you have your camping reservations at this point? Because of the size of Yellowstone especially, that likely will play a big factor in how you should explore the park.

    In regards to Glacier, I'd be very surprised if Going to the Sun Road is open by the time you arrive. It's usually not open until mid-June at the earliest (You've got to go back to 2005 to find the last time it opened before June 19), and if you're starting your trip on June 1, that means it very likely won't be an option.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,376

    Default

    All the parks have a lot to keep you entertained and amazed during your stay. You will get a lot of info as you arrive at each park and it's always good to talk to the Rangers as they are always happy to share their favourite areas of the park and what walks etc will best suit your group. Before going you will find all the info you need on the nps.gov web pages for each park. Booking campgrounds in different parts of Yellowstone is a good idea, it's huge and the going is slow. The same for Glacier NP, book one campground on the east side and one on the west and enjoy each area. Pack layered clothing as you can see a big variation in weather.

  5. Default

    Be aware that you will likely experience sub freezing temperatures in Yellowstone and Glacier. Check with your RV rental company if the unit will be winterized; I imagine it would be. If so, all water tanks would be empty and you would not have access to the toilets in the RVs. That would be important in picking a campsite. Not only would you need one with toilets, no boondocking, but you’d need electric hookups to run the furnace at night.

    If the unit isn’t winterized but you suffer damage from burst water pipes, you’ll be responsible for any damage.

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