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Old 09-04-2015, 12:42 PM   #1
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Yellowstone and Grand Tetons

We are considering doing a spur of the moment 2 week trip with our new Escape 21 to Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons, maybe as soon as next week. We would be traveling from Surrey, B.C. southeast on the I90. Considering the time of year and current smoke conditions throughout the PNW, does anyone have advice on the best route and campgrounds. We hate camping in parking lot type campgrounds. Any good strategies for exploring the park? It seems that Madison Campground is booked up solid.

Another thing we have in mind is taking a guided fly fishing trip floating a river (not too distant from the parks) so any personal experience on this would also be appreciated. I have a tricky leg on rough ground and so can no longer wade rivers safely, hence the boat option.

We wouldn't mind bumping into other Escapers in the area if they are camped close by.

Bob & Margie K

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Old 09-04-2015, 01:59 PM   #2
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We were there late Sept last year, Madison had opening if you showed up in the mornings. Not the greatest of CG's but not bad and a very good location. Definitly not parking lot style. Canyon was okay too. Most of the smaller first come first served ones we looked at were too limited for sites that would fit us and the TA. Both were pretty crowded as you'd expect, got pretty smoky too.

In the Tetons, roughly early Oct when a good half of the CG was shutdown, we stayed at Gros Ventre. Nice campground till early in the morning when the tour vans pull in. If you are lucky enough to have a moose come through, so to come the hoards of vans and such. They had no qualms about walking through your site, or standing around in it, at 6am or some such. Other then that it was nice, in a nice area too. After a couple days we found Atherton Creek campground not far from Gros Ventre, much more to our liking, very quiet and secluded. You have to drive a bit to get to it, maybe 15 minutes. It's first come first served, arrive early to get a good site although it never got close to filling. We left the camper at Gros Ventre and drove down early and grabbed a great site overlooking the lake. Then went back and checked out early from GV.

Taken out the back window at GV, before everyone showed up.

Atherton, could have stayed here till it snowed.

From the road between Gros Ventre and Atherton


Happy Motoring
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:03 PM   #3
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Consider Gros Ventre Campground, 11.8 miles north of Jackson Hole, WY, off route 89. It is first come first serve. This spot was no hookups for $11.50/night with our senior pass. Very convenient for the Tetons area and often overlooked. We've camped there 3 times but never had Bob's tour van disruption. Our first time we attended a NP ranger's talk held at the little on-site amphitheater and it surprised us as a totally mesmerizing presentation on the wonders of the national parks.
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:08 PM   #4
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Coulter Bay in the Tetons has the advantage of a very nice store with showers and a laundromat next door. Also nearby restaurants give an option for a night out. Do check their closing dates as it was near the end of this month during our visit.

In Yellowstone we found Madison CG very comfortable. No showers or electric so be prepared with plenty of water and solar. All of Yellowstone has excellent ranger led programs.

Lots of nearby fires during our visit several years ago. Its major impact was the views of the Tetons.
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:02 PM   #5
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Camped at Beaver Creek campground for years. Site a-10 is perfect. It is a forest service campground on Quake lake about 30 min from West Yellowstone. No hookups but it weeds out the large trailers. I found over the years its best to enter the park at daylight and be out by 11am. Beaver Creek is very quiet. The campground is in Gallatin national forest and they do take reservations.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:28 PM   #6
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When we decided to go to the Tetons we were planning to head to Gros Ventre because we thought we'd have trouble getting a site and we were told that Gros Ventre never fills up. We stopped at Coulter Bay and just stayed there for two weeks and were content. You might want to try out both, depending what you want to do in the park. When we got to Theodore Roosevelt NP we met an Escape owner -- Jen -- who had just spent a month in Gros Ventre and she raved about it -- she liked the proximity to Jackson.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:27 AM   #7
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Thanks to all for the advice. We made reservations at Grant Village for 5 nights and will then try to get into Gros Ventre or Atherton campgrounds in Grand Teton Park the next week, depending on how crowded the campsites are. Thanks for including the pictures.

Bob K
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:30 AM   #8
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I've tented in Gros Ventre, close enough to Jackson Hole if you feel like running into town for the night. This is also where I experienced the greatest Buffalo herd, I've ever seen.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:22 AM   #9
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A couple of additional buffalo experiences are the National Bison range near Poulson Montana, a very interesting wildlife loop road and the herd at Custer State Park in the Black Hills. The Buffalo roundup and associated festivities in late September are a lot of fun, as well as a chance for great fall color. Lots of things to do in the Black Hills that don't cost a lot of money if you plan ahead and stay out of the tourist traps.

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