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Yellowstone #6939
03/02/07 12:54 PM
03/02/07 12:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
D
Don Carter Offline OP
Wanderer
Don Carter  Offline OP
Wanderer
D

Joined: Oct 2005
I hate to admit it but I have never been to Yellowstone or the Tetons but that is going to change this year. I have two months off this fall and I plan to make the best of it but I would appreciate some help. I know this varies from year to year but when is the best time for color? I am planning to be there around the 15th of September and stay for 3 weeks.

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Don

Re: Yellowstone [Re: Don Carter] #6940
03/02/07 05:00 PM
03/02/07 05:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
"I know this varies from year to year but when is the best time for color? I am planning to be there around the 15th of September and stay for 3 weeks."

Hi Don,

Congrats on your upcoming trip. Yellowstone is one of my favorite places on earth. As to your question about when is best to go Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park for folliage, the answer is it really depends. I think that any time from late September to Mid October is excellent.

Yellowstone, being higher up typically goes a few days prior to Grand Teton. When the folliage goes, it goes very quickly. When the leaves really start to turn, my experience has been that you have about a week (sometimes less) to get your photographs.

I prefer the Tetons for folliage and Yellowstone for wildlife. The elk are generally prolific by the West Gate. If you are interested in a greater variety of colors, you might want to ride to the other side of the Tetons. There are lots of reds mixed with the yellows.

Have you determined where you are going to stay? I can definitely recommend a few affordable places if you are interested.

Cheers
James

Last edited by James Morrissey; 03/03/07 12:30 AM.
Re: Yellowstone [Re: James Morrissey] #6941
03/03/07 11:00 AM
03/03/07 11:00 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
The Tetons have several classic places to photograph. Some of these include:

Mormon Row
Schwabacher's Landing
Snake River Overlook

There are also a great number of places that you can go to do hiking. Jenny Lake, for example is a great place to day hike. There are also many trail heads between Grand Teton and Jackson (such as the Death Canyon Trail Head). It has been my experience that moose are more abundant around the Tetons than in Yellowstone (though they are abundant in the Park as well).

To me, when you talk about Yellowstone, you mean 'wildlife' though there are great landscape opportunities as well. For example, the hotpools are a treat, particularly on a nice overcast day so the colors get nice and saturated. I find the Lake Region, off by Sylvan Pass, to be very beautiful. Going up towards Mammoth also yields many opportunities.

James

PS As I write this, I keep thinking of all the many places there are to photograph. There are almost too many, which is why after over 10 trips to Yellowstone that I am still enchanted with the place.

Re: Yellowstone [Re: James Morrissey] #6942
03/03/07 11:05 AM
03/03/07 11:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
austin
wapiti Offline
Tracker
wapiti  Offline
Tracker

Joined: Jan 2007
austin
Don,
I have been to Y/GT many times during the fall. It has been my experience that the Aspen along Oxbow Bend hit peak a few days either side of 10/1. Of course, this has many variables as you said.
You will definitely hit the elk rut, which of itself is worth the trip.
There is a book by Joseph Lang, Photographer's Guide to Yellowstone and the Tetons which will pay dividends. I'm sure that it is available at Amazon.
Check this out.http://wyofoto.com/Teton_Photo_Map.htm
Regardless, you can't miss with a fall trip to these two wonderful parks.


Bill in Austin
Re: Yellowstone [Re: James Morrissey] #6943
03/03/07 02:59 PM
03/03/07 02:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
D
Don Carter Offline OP
Wanderer
Don Carter  Offline OP
Wanderer
D

Joined: Oct 2005
James,

I am definitely looking for places to stay and I would be greatful for any suggestions.

Don

Re: Yellowstone [Re: Don Carter] #6944
03/03/07 10:45 PM
03/03/07 10:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Don,

Have you figured out where you are staying yet (not the hotels, but the locations)? Depending on what you are looking for, there are a lot of great places.

I typically stay at a place called "The Buckrail Lodge" in Jackson Hole. It is very affordable and in the heart of Jackson. There are no phones in the rooms, but I always found that to be one of the nice things about the place. The rooms are spacious, they have wireless internet and jacuzzi. The woman who owns/operates the place is Janet Colonel. A wonderful human being, by my lights. It has been my place of choice when staying in Jackson for nearly 10 years.

If you are looking for something more upscale, there is a nice B&B that my wife and I stayed at a couple of years ago called the Grand Victorian. The proprietors are Tom and Nancy. The rooms are very nice, and one of the owners (Tom) makes the nicest pastries. I could get very fat there.

In the Park itself, I prefer Mammoth Hotsprings and Grant Village to stay in. As you move later in the year, only Mammoth and Old Faithful are open. I have never had a positive experience in Old Faithful - the last time they totally glammed our reservations, and honestly, they were so unhelpful that I will never stay there again. Mammoth, while looking like an old hospital out of the 20s is nice, and very close to the action. Two years ago, I woke up to the sound of wolves. It was magnificent. Last time we were there in September, we heard mountain lions (though we could not see them).

If you are looking to stay towards the West Gate, I have a new favorite place. It is called the Hibernation Station. I would NEVER stay at this place as based on the outside look of the grounds. In my opinion, the outside decor borders on really gauche. However, do not let this dissuade you. The rooms are magnificent. I mean this - absolutely magnificent. The prices are also very affordable. For 119 per night (I am not sure if these were 'off season' rates), my wife and I stayed in a deluxe suite. It had cathedral ceilings, a huge bed, fire place, etc. When we left Old Faithful Lodge in a huff, we stayed there. For significantly less money than we were going to pay for a room at Old Faithful, we got a significant upgrade. There are other places in West Gate that are more affordable, however, I would not hesitate to go there again - and again - and again. How is that for a plug?

Last edited by James Morrissey; 03/03/07 11:15 PM.
Re: Yellowstone [Re: James Morrissey] #6945
03/05/07 02:41 PM
03/05/07 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
USA
K
Krey Offline
Wanderer
Krey  Offline
Wanderer
K

Joined: Aug 2005
USA
Mammoth ,Roosevelt Lodge or even Cooke City would definitely be worth a few nights stay as a base for exploring the Lamar Valley , Tower and Canyon areas of the park .Besides the Hot Springs and scenery there's lots of consistent wildlife on the Northeast side as well . We always joke the animals have union jobs .And if you have time make sure to drive the Beartooth .


Pbase.com/krey
Re: Yellowstone [Re: Krey] #6946
03/05/07 09:24 PM
03/05/07 09:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
D
Don Carter Offline OP
Wanderer
Don Carter  Offline OP
Wanderer
D

Joined: Oct 2005
Thanks to everyone for all the advice.

Don

Re: Yellowstone [Re: Don Carter] #6947
03/06/07 08:34 AM
03/06/07 08:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Tennessee, USA
RichardR Offline
Journeyman
RichardR  Offline
Journeyman

Joined: Sep 2005
Tennessee, USA
I second the recommendation for the Mammoth Hotel. It's old but comfortable and the surroundings are unique, with the old Fort Yellowstone buildings and nearby terraced hot springs. It's also a mecca for herds of elk that sometimes surround the hotel! Riding stables are there, too. I also liked it for access to the Lamar Valley, a great area for wildlife, Tower Falls, and Mt. Washburn. We also spent a night at Grant Village but I liked Mammoth best.

One of the terraces at Mammoth:



Mama and her calf trotting across the grounds of Ft. Yellowstone at dusk.



After a Summer shower in Lamar Valley:



Hope you have a great trip.

Dick:)


Every day is a good day.
Re: Yellowstone [Re: RichardR] #6948
03/22/07 10:06 AM
03/22/07 10:06 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Helena, MT
D
Don Edwards Offline
Venturer
Don Edwards  Offline
Venturer
D

Joined: Mar 2007
Helena, MT
I've been to Yellowstone three times now, and will keep going back as often as i can. In fact we'll be stopping for a couple of days the end of May on our way to the North Cascades.
As you're driving through the park, if you see a lot of cars pulled over that usually means - BEAR, so keep your eyes open. Lamar Valley is a good place to search for wolves as well. Look and listen for any reports of a fresh kill or carcuss, that will be a place to be for bear or wolves as well.
Elk like to hang out by the hotel in Mammoth. Buffalo are every where so don't be surprised if you get stuck in the middle of a "buffalo jam". My wife and I were surrounded by 75 of them one day last year.
I agree with the other members here, Yellowstone for wildlife and the Tetons for landscapes. Though there are some good places to get lanscape pictures in Yellowstone as well. Be sure to get a park map, and talk to the rangers. My stepson is a ranger there and we always talk to them to find out where the wildlife are hanging out at.
Have fun and enjoy the trip

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