It’s not often that you can visit multiple national parks in the span of a week, which is why the August 8-13 trip to Montana and Wyoming national parks will be exceptional. You will fly into Jackson Hole, Wyoming (Delta has some good rates) which is part of the beauty of the trip as you’ll enjoy views of Grand Teton National Park on your flight in. Please make sure your flight arrives before 2 p.m. Some may want to arrive the night before and book a night in Jackson Hole to feel refreshed and ready to go the next day. Let me know if this is something you are interested in!
Once I pick you up from the airport (by 2 pm), we will drive 1 hour north through along Route 89 and the Snake River through Grand Teton National Park to Jackson Lake
where we will stop at the Ranch House at Colter Bay Village for a lunch/dinner described as “American Comfort Food with a BBQ Twist”. Afterwards you’ll have time to visit the Colter Bay Visitors Center and see 35 never before seen Indian artifacts from the David T. Vernon collection. We should depart Colter Bay Village around 5 p.m. to make it to Canyon Lodge before it gets dark. Following the John D. Rockefeller Parkway through Grand Teton and then
directly into Yellowstone National Park, we will head north 2.5 hours past Lewis Lake and views of Mt. Sheridan. We will continue on past Yellowstone Lake and arrive at our Yellowstone Lodging for 3 nights at the Canyon Lodge & Cabins which sits just south of Observation Peak, Dunraven Peak and Mt. Washburn. This lodge was just named one of New York Times’ 5 Hotels for the Eco-Conscious Traveler.
The lodge is located on the east side of the park near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. It just completed a renovation and each room includes 2 queen beds, activity tables and chairs, hospitality cabinet with coffee brewer and refrigerator, carpeted floor, phone and bathroom with tub/shower combo. To encourage us to disconnect and enjoy the park, there are no TV’s or A/C available in any park lodging. If you get hungry, you can treat yourself to some ice cream at The Ice Creamery at Canyon Lodge which is open until 9 p.m.
Our first full day in Yellowstone begins with breakfast at the Canyon Lodge and then off to a private group
tour activity with Yellowstone Forever. To be determined by the registrants of the trip, we may find ourselves wildlife watching on the northern range, exploring the natural history and geology of Yellowstone Lake and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, visiting Geysers, Mudpots and Hot Springs in the Old Faithful area or day hiking in Yellowstone. We will finish off the day at Old Faithful, with dinner at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Obsidian Dining Room with beautiful custom chandeliers above us, and a range of amazing local dishes including Bison Short Ribs and Wild Alaska Salmon.
On our final day in Yellowstone we will enjoy breakfast at the Canyon Lodge and then begin our full-day driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. We will take a beautiful 70 mile loop from our lodge to Mammoth Hot Springs. On the way, we will stop at Norris Geyser Basin which is hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone. Then we will head to Mammoth Hot Springs where we will stop for lunch (burgers, sandwiches, salads) and exploration. There is even a general store on site to pick up souvenirs. The great part of having our own private transportation means that we can stop whenever we want! While the 70 mile drive takes around 3 hours to complete, we have built in time for stops, walks, and viewpoints. On the return trip from Mammoth we will stop in the Tower-Roosevelt area to view the 132 waterfall drop from Tower creek. We will wrap up the day with dinner back at the lodge.
Friday is our long driving day with few stops, as we are heading 4.25 hours north for a lunch stop at Steve’s Cafe in Helena, Montana. Why go so far for lunch? Not only is Steve’s a highly-rated family owned establishment, but you can get breakfast all day long including their famous Huckleberry stuffed french toast. Besides that? It’s the halfway point on our drive north to Glacier National Park. So fill up at Steve’s and pass out for the ride (another 3.5
hours) to our lodging for the night, St. Mary’s Lodge on the western edge of the park. Once we check in, we will enjoy a relaxing dinner on site at the Snowgoose Grill with beautiful views of Glacier Park. Stick your fork in a pan seared Trout, continue the huckleberry theme with huckleberry salmon, or maybe you want to try their elk sausage gnocchi or tortellini with oyster and button mushrooms. Fall asleep in their modern, upscale rooms which are equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, granite counter tops and exceptional views.
If you’ve heard of Glacier National Park you’ve likely heard of the famous Red Bus Tours. No trip would be complete without a ride, so we will be spending Saturday on the Crown of the Continent Tour. After breakfast at the Snowgoose Grill, where you can choose from seasonal perry pancakes, smoked trout scramble, or any number of great dishes, we will be departing on the trip from the hotel at 10 a.m. We will enjoy the beautiful glacially carved valleys in the St. Mary region of our hotel and then heading into Glacier via the awe inspiring Going-to-the-Sun Road. We will even go to the top of the
Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There will be many photo opportunity stops along the way. We will be stopping to enjoy lunch at Lucke’s Lounge at Lake McDonald Lodge where you can order a buffalo pastrami, vegan caesar salad, or maybe even some wild mushroom flatbread. before we head back to St. Mary Lodge. Upon return around 4:30 p.m. we will give ourselves an hour or so to freshen up and then stretch out on a 5 minute walk to Rising Sun Pizza.
Unfortunately the next day we must be on our way home. After breakfast with beautiful final views of Glacier National Park, we will depart on the 2.5 trip to the Kalispell Airport (book your return flight after 1 pm). Make sure, when you book your airline ticket, you purchase 1 way tickets from your departing location to Jackson Hole, and return flight departing from Kalispell, Montana. I’m happy to help you with these arrangements.
This 6 day, 5 night tour will go quick, but you’re going to see some amazing sights. From thermal ponds to glacial carved mountains, we will transport you hundreds of miles and through 3 of the most stunning National Parks. I hope you can join us on this epic adventure. Registration ends June 1.