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  1. #1

    Default Salt Lake City to Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone

    Would like to fly into Salt Lake City in mid May 2022 and tour Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier.
    We are retired and time is not an issue. We wish to sight see leisurely, no hiking camping etc.
    How many days should we plan for this trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,126

    Default Time is What We Measure with a Clock

    If time is not an issue, then I'd probably be thinking in terms of two to three weeks. Just driving more or less directly up to Glacier and back to SLC will use up four days, but you'll want to make some detours I'm sure. Then just two days at each of the places you list (you could easily spend more) would be another six days. So you're already at two weeks. To take it easier on the road, see more sights, and spend longer at those you do visit, a third week would probably come in handy.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,694

    Default

    At Yellowstone, you'd probably want to allot at least 3 days, if not 4. The place is HUGE. We took 3 days on our previous trip and wished we'd allotted 4, as we missed an entire geyser field plus the road out to the east.

    Grand Teton is a one-day unless you want to hike, canoe, or do another outdoor activity. Then add more time.

    Glacier - allow at least 2 days, 3 would be even better. Unless your timing is perfect, and both weather and plowing cooperate, you may or may not be able to drive the entirety of Going to the Sun Road, the only east-west access inside the park within park boundaries.There is a link on this page that leads to a PDF with the past open-close dates for the road. If you are able to drive it, start early, as by 9:00 am the road gets jammed and you may not get into the Logan Pass Visitor Center Parking Lot when you finally make it up the pass.

    As for places to stay, that would depend on your budget. Staying in the park at one of their hotels is always fun (but expensive). West Yellowstone is one place for YNP. Jackson is okay for GTNP, but also expensive. There are places outside of GNP on both sides of the park.


    Donna

  4. #4

    Default Glacier

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    At Yellowstone, you'd probably want to allot at least 3 days, if not 4. The place is HUGE. We took 3 days on our previous trip and wished we'd allotted 4, as we missed an entire geyser field plus the road out to the east.

    Grand Teton is a one-day unless you want to hike, canoe, or do another outdoor activity. Then add more time.

    Glacier - allow at least 2 days, 3 would be even better. Unless your timing is perfect, and both weather and plowing cooperate, you may or may not be able to drive the entirety of Going to the Sun Road, the only east-west access inside the park within park boundaries.There is a link on this page that leads to a PDF with the past open-close dates for the road. If you are able to drive it, start early, as by 9:00 am the road gets jammed and you may not get into the Logan Pass Visitor Center Parking Lot when you finally make it up the pass.

    As for places to stay, that would depend on your budget. Staying in the park at one of their hotels is always fun (but expensive). West Yellowstone is one place for YNP. Jackson is okay for GTNP, but also expensive. There are places outside of GNP on both sides of the park.

    Donna, we will definitely miss out on Going to the Sun Road, in May. I am assuming the Park will be great anyway.
    What do you thin?
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-22-2021 at 01:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,683

    Default

    If time is not an issue take as long as you want, or what your budget will allow. I agree that a couple of weeks would be a starting point for a leisurely trip allowing for a day at each end of your trip for your flights and you could easily spend a week in Yellowstone and the Tetons including a visit to Mormon row. Late May would give you a better chance of the Goig to the sun road in Glacier being open and the Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone, which is a rather grand entry to the park ! Shoshone Falls, Craters of the Moon, the National Bison range, Great Falls and even Flaming Gorge Res are other places in the area you could detour to and create a nice loop.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    812

    Default

    Going to take a small exception to Donna's post. National Park hotels (with a few exceptions like The Ahwanee in Yosemite, Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Tetons, and Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley) are not all THAT expensive. Not cheap, but can be had in the $150-$200/night range.

    What they are is HARD TO GET INTO! I cannot emphasize this enough... you are travelling in the start of peak season, and if you want to stay inside a park lodge you need to book soon. Even for 2022, you need to book soon!

    When my wife and I did Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier in 2012, I started planning and booking a year to 14 months ahead, so I could get into Jenny Lake Lodge, Old Faithful Inn, and Many Glacier hotel (three nights each).

    Other than that issue (which you may not care about if you don't like staying in park lodges), May is early for Glacier. As noted, Going-to-the-Sun road is a major thing to do, and may not be open. (Note: they have instituted a reservation system for that road it appears).

    Many Glacier Hotel doesn't seem to open until June, which may indicate how iced-in the park may be that early.

    You have a lot of time, but you should research early and see if you can line up the places you want to be early. Get cancellable reservations (most of the ones I got were 2-3 days fully cancelable, Jenny Lake was 45 days).

    I would have been mid-60s at that point (wife is younger); we did some moderate hiking, a lot of car touring, and a fun float trip (no white water) down the Snake River in GT.
    Photo was taken from the balcony of our room at Many Glacier Hotel. SwiftcurrentSundown.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,683

    Default

    Going to take a small exception to Donna's post. National Park hotels (with a few exceptions like The Ahwanee in Yosemite, Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Tetons, and Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley) are not all THAT expensive. Not cheap, but can be had in the $150-$200/night range.
    Just to add, you would also have the option to stay in a small cabin like those found at Rising sun Motel and cabins by St Marys lake in Glacier NP and Canyon lodge and cabins in Yellowstone. Perhaps not luxurious but clean and cosy and you can't beat being there and avoiding the drive into the park each day.

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