We are heading to Yellowstone and Tetons in mid September which is part of a larger trip but these questions are only about that portion of the trip. We are family of 6, mum, dad and 4 boys. The accommodation etc that we have chosen may not seem ideal to some of you but getting all of us in one room was very limited, so we have worked with what was available.
We have the following booked and although we know it's not enough time, it's all we have for this section of the trip so we really want to make the most of it. We can not add any more nights at all as we have flights and other planned booked in after this section. There is another section of our trip before this so we are not flying in to Idaho Falls we will be driving from the south, so I will just start with when we are in the area and ask for advice from there.
Idaho Falls - 1 night
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins - 2 nights
Cody - 1 night
Old Faithful Inn - 1 night
Colter Bay Village Cabins - 2 nights
Jackson - 1 night
then south and out of the parks.
We would ideally like to enter the park from the West entrance as the kids would like to go to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Centre, then head up to Mammoth Hot Springs.
After that we would like to drive a portion of the Beartooth and then the Chief Joseph out to Cody.
After Cody we would like to drive on the 14 via the lake to Old Faithful Inn.
After OFI we will drive south to Colter Bay, then south to Jackson and then out of the parks.
The main questions that I have are how to include most of the main bits of Yellowstone without doing too much doubling back, as we will be sort of going around the outside a bit what would be the best way to work it so that we don't miss the bits on the inside loop section?
We really want to see the falls and the grand canyon and also animal spotting which I have read Lamar Valley is good for, so definitely don't want to miss that. We know we will get to see the hot springs whilst at Mammoth and we know we'll get to see some geysers whilst at OFI and we can work in the lake, but it's the other bits we are worried about missing out if we don't get a good route sorted in our heads.
Does anyone have any advice for us please? I have already done a lot of reading and research and know where everything is in the park, it's just trying to work out how to fit it in that is the tricky part for us newbies. Any advice welcome.