(SFR) Yellowstone Lodging

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Griswald, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Griswald

    Griswald a.k.a. Griswald

    My wife, and our 2 boys 8 and 11 are taking a month off this summer and driving to see my parents in the Southeast...We wanted to do the epic, summer American road trip. We will camp, fish, hike, and sight see all the way across. We will not be taking electronics for the kids (or us) so that part will be just like it was when I was a kid.
    We are going to be going thru and staying in Yellowstone for a couple of days-as I have never been there, was hoping to tap the board knowledge on where you all might have stayed and what you liked...it does not need to be fancy!
    If you also have any fishing suggestions for late June, that would be great too.

    Very best,
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  2. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    HI, Gris; you'll find the park crowded with "animal jam" tourists, gawking at elk & buffalo standing on the road. If you're camping there's a KOA a few miles West of West Yellowstone on highway 20, Targhee Pass Highway. If you're there in August, there's a mountain man rendezvous around that time that's interesting. Gusher Pizza has an "all you can eat" spagetti feed midweek-at least they used to. Pizza's good too. If you're not camping, there's plenty of lodging, but make reservations early, as it's "high" season. Blue Ribbon Fly Shop on the North edge of town will have the beta on where/what/when. Everybody else will have the same info though. I just like BR because it's not so crowded with tourists. Make sure you bring your binoculars. I also wouldn't waste time going into Jackson Hole, but would make the trip to Grand Teton National Park for the spectacular Tetons. Jackson's become "Rodeo Ave. East" with all the boutiques in town. Places like Jack Dennis' fly shop have morphed into North Face and Patagonia fashion statements for the well-heeled flying in from L.A., and you have to hunt for a fly shop these days. High Country flies on a side street was the only real fly shop we found, and the salesgirl at Dennis' place sniffed when she told us where it was. Disdain for fisherfolk fairly dripped from her designer outfit; they're just peasants to her.

    Fish the Firehole in front of Midway Geyser Basin, the Madison anywhere in the park, and the Gibbon's just by the first intersection with the Grand Loop Road. There's plenty of books on fishing the park out too. I try to avoid the summer crowds due to the majority of them lacking any common sense whatever when it comes to the large critters all over the place. First time we were there, my wife laughed at the brochure about not trying to pet the buffalo, but nope, tourists really are that stupid. Their antics in itself make for great "wildlife" watching! Have a great trip!
  3. teedub

    teedub Active Member

    It's worth it to stay in one of the lodges in the park, just to experience the complete cycle of a day there. The lodges and the meals are a ritual and some of the tourists are more interesting than you will ever see anywhere else. You will need to make a reservation if you want to stay. I would say there is a fifty percent chance they may be full already for some weekends (especially August). Try and enter or drive to the North Gate at least once with your boys. The elk will be sleeping and napping on the lawns and eating flowers out of the pots on the front porches of the buildings. If you are careful and have a zoom lens you can get some shots they will love for years.
  4. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    I have great childhood memories of all the tourist stuff. The falls, the hot springs and the of course the geysers are spectacular. As an adult I have memories of the crowds and not being able to find a single camping spot from from the gate at Tetons NP all the way through Yellowstone.
    Richard Olmstead likes this.
  5. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member


    I recommend camping in the park. Madison is great but the closest showers are at Old Faithful. Canyon is great and has showers. The park website is excellent for planning, and you can make reservations for some campgrounds such as Madison and Canyon, as well as Grant. Check out Grand Teton for a day, and if you are continuing east from YNP, take the Beartooth Highway toward the Bighorn. Incredible drive. Will you have a chance to do Glacier also? Don't be discouraged by reports of YNP crowding. To see animals, get up early and you'll have the place to yourselves. Also, YNP is a road park and the main attractions such as the falls will be crowded but very, very doable. On the other hand, get of the road on virtually any trail, and there are lots of easy ones for kids, and you'll have a chance to be lonely. Hike in to Grebe Lake for grayling. If you hike, pick up a can of bear spray, and make a little noise going thru thick brushy areas. PM me if you want details. Caution: July is skeeter season.

  6. quazman

    quazman Member

    If you plan on seeing the Tetons, and are looking for a place to stay, I recommend the cabins at Coulter Bay.
  7. GAT

    GAT Active Member

    For many years, Virginia and I would stay at The One Horse Motel in West Yellowstone (there is a full size, black plastic horse in front of the office so you can't miss it). It isn't fancy but always extremely clean, usually freshly painted and reasonable in price. The advantage is that the motel is located a few blocks from the fly shops and restaurants so you can walk anywhere you want to go.

    Plus, West Yellowstone is a good base camp for fishing in and out of the park.
  8. bigdood

    bigdood fishing hack

    I recommend staying a night in the Victor/Driggs area, just the other side of Teton Pass from Jackson. There's a little pizza place/brewery right as you come into town that makes for a nice stopping point after a long day of driving. There may be a spot or two to wet a fly in that area as well. There are some decent campsites in that area, PM me for details. Also, if you head to Targhee you can get a nice view of the backside of the Tetons.

    Oh yeah, and beware the tatanka.

    Bill Aubrey likes this.
  9. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Late June is still high water in many of the rivers and streams, and the Yellowstone itself doesn't open until July 15, last I recall. Like Alex says, the Firehole is a good June spot. Lakes will be open, and some offer good fishing.

    Park campgrounds are first come, first serve. I don't recall if any offer reservations. Lodges in the park are probably all booked by now, but it may be worth checking. Otherwise it would be a good idea to check on lodging outside the park in West Yellowstone, Gardiner, etc., and reserve a place now.

  10. Mike Ediger

    Mike Ediger Active Member

    Got nothing to add, but love the idea and the plan! I hope it comes together and you have a great trip!