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Looking for some Wyoming area advice. My wife is planning to attend a photography retreat in Jackson Hole, WY during the 3rd week of June. We have already figured out that flying into Jackson Hole is going to be pricey. If Jessica flies in for the retreat and comes home immediately after, we will probably suck it up and pay the premium to fly there.

But.....

We are also considering extending the trip. The girls and I would fly out towards the end of her retreat. We would likely fly to a bigger airport that is served by Southwest so that The 3 of us could fly out on points. We would rent a car and then drive to Jackson Hole. I won't have a ton of leave, but could take a few days and do some touring in the vicinity and then drive the 4 of us back to the same (or another) big airport for the return flight home. Doing this, we would even save on Jessica's return flight and offset some of the cost of the rental car and the drive.

So, now that you know our logic (if you are still reading) I am not used to things being so far apart! We would love to see some wildlife and landmarks. The girls (12 and 14) will not really enjoy spending too many hours in the car between destinations. We are thinking of flying into Salt Lake City. Is there an airport that would be better? Am I asking a ridiculous (open ended) series of questions? Is there any suggestions for must see destinations in the area?

Thanks for any suggestions,

Lee
 

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Looking for some Wyoming area advice. My wife is planning to attend a photography retreat in Jackson Hole, WY during the 3rd week of June. We have already figured out that flying into Jackson Hole is going to be pricey. If Jessica flies in for the retreat and comes home immediately after, we will probably suck it up and pay the premium to fly there.

We flew into Idaho Falls at the suggestion of person who used to live in SW Montana. St. Louis to Denver to Idaho Falls. United and Delta are the main airlines in and out of this airport. I did not see any Southwest planes. It was about a 2 hour drive to Jackson and another 45 minutes to Colter Bay Village (where we stayed) on the east side of Jackson Lake at the north end of the Grand Tetons. Otherwise, it would have been 5.5 hours from SLC.

But.....

We are also considering extending the trip. The girls and I would fly out towards the end of her retreat. We would likely fly to a bigger airport that is served by Southwest so that The 3 of us could fly out on points. We would rent a car and then drive to Jackson Hole. I won't have a ton of leave, but could take a few days and do some touring in the vicinity and then drive the 4 of us back to the same (or another) big airport for the return flight home. Doing this, we would even save on Jessica's return flight and offset some of the cost of the rental car and the drive.

So, now that you know our logic (if you are still reading) I am not used to things being so far apart! We would love to see some wildlife and landmarks. The girls (12 and 14) will not really enjoy spending too many hours in the car between destinations. We are thinking of flying into Salt Lake City. Is there an airport that would be better? Am I asking a ridiculous (open ended) series of questions? Is there any suggestions for must see destinations in the area?

Thanks for any suggestions,

Lee
We made our trip in Aug/Sept of last year and spent 9 days total in Wyoming. 3 days at Grand Teton NP and 6 days at Yellowstone NP.

Lots of info online and you can request a packet from the NPS for the area you want to visit. Park entry fees are $35 per vehicle for a 7 day pass. We were fortunate and bought the Senior Pass for $10 before they went up.
A couple links:
https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/things2do.htm
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/grand-teton-activities/

If your wife is going for photography beforehand, she will get to know the locals. They are very helpful and this will help guide you when you and your family get there.

Basically, there is an inner road called Teton Park Rd and then the outer highway along the Snake River. Our part of the trip at the Grand Tetons started on Hwy. 191/26/89 heading south and we made stops at the pulloffs/pullouts. The road parallels the Snake River. Several rafts were launching for a trip down the river the day we stopped.
Grand Teton doesn't look very high from this picture, but it rises 13,770 ft.
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Found the buffalo just off the Hwy. 191/26/89 and turn onto Antelope Flats Rd.
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From here we turned onto Teton Park Rd. heading back north (the inner road) and stopped at the Chapel of the Transfiguration near the little village called Moose. Great views from inside the chapel through the picture window. I won't spoil it for you.
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Around Jenny Lake.
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A view from Signal Mountain.
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A view from inside the lodge at Jackson Lake Lodge. A great place to eat.
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We went into the town of Jackson one day and walked around the main square and surrounding area. This is part of town square in Jackson.
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Just a taste of what we did and a lot more pictures. We did short hikes (< 1 mile) on trails and sightseeing. The weather was perfect after the first day. We did see elk, pronghorn antelope, buffalo, but no bear, moose, or wolves. Although, bear spray would be highly recommended if you decide to hike without a group of people.
You have lots of options: Long and short trail hiking, climbing the mountains, rafting the Snake River, kayak or canoe on Jenny Lake, horse back riding along the river and flats.

Yellowstone is another park all of its own. If you got the time, it is well worth it. If not, be sure to put in on your bucket list. I want to go back.
 

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Idaho Falls, Billings, Bozeman are some alternate airports.

From Bozeman, you have two options to go south to the Hole, both through Yellowstone.

Cody / Buffalo Bill museum is also worth the time.
 

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Beautiful area. Make sure to go to Yellowstone and as rtgt mentioned, Cody Wyoming to the Buffalo Bill Museum. The museum is one of the best I have ever been to if you are interested in Western Life, history and they have a World Class Firearms museum. The museum is worthy of an entire day as there are multiple museums...

https://centerofthewest.org/explore/buffalo-bill/

Cody also has a growing airport. You can fly into Billings, MT which is about 2 hours from Cody, Wyoming. Cody would be a good place to stay and visit Yellowstone, much closer and lower cost than Jackson. Jackson is a 6 hour drive from Cody. Yellowstone is about an hour west of Cody. Jackson is about 3.5 hours from Yellowstone.

Summer is road construction season in Wyoming and most roads are two lane, so construction delays can add hours to a trip, just be aware. Plus, I once had a Detour on Highway 16 which took me over 60 miles out of my way to get around the construction, but its all beautiful scenery....

You will need to rent a car and you will be doing a lot of driving.

If you plan on visiting Yellowstone, which would be a shame to miss, plan on at least two days in the park as in June, it's very busy and very big with a lot to see. Yellowstone is larger than some states, so its not your typical "National Park" with one entrance and one exit. Also, you want to take your time in Yellowstone as there is some really beautiful scenery, incredible animal encounters if you are lucky or unlucky, depending upon the animal and encounter. Plus it's almost like several parks all connected.

Regardless of the animal you see in the park or anywhere out there, to be honest, it is wild, it is unpredictable and please don't be THAT tourist who want's the selfie with the Bison calf. He learned first hand the saying "You mess with the Bison, you get the Horn" and ended up getting gored and flown out of the park and charged with a Federal harassing protected wildlife charge. I saw that happen to this "tourist".

The dad insisted it would be great to get a selfie with a Bison calf, but when the click noise happened on the camera, he was shocked at mom Bison's speed and her goring and stomping of him. Then, she turned and walked away with the calf. Saw it first hand. We kept warning the guy not to mess with the Bison, especially the baby. When he was in the hospital recovering, the Feds showed up and cited him with the Federal violation, which I think cost him $5k and a criminal record.......And in the end, the selfie didn't turn out......:laugh::lol:

By the way, south of Yellowstone on your way to Jackson, you pass the Teton's and the site where the movie "Shane" was filmed. Yes, the scenery actually looks like that, except the houses and barn and "General Store" were all built as the movie set along the road you will be on and its a beautiful trip.

I go to Jackson and Wilson, WY and "the Hole" often. Love the area. Beautiful and lots of incredible scenery, but dang expensive and very busy in season and June is in season. Also, it can still get cold at night so plan accordingly.

It will be the trip of a lifetime. Personally, having been there dozens of times, I would suggest you take the time to make this a family vacation and you will not regret it. Beauty like no where else (well, the Canadian Rockies are also beautiful, but that's a trip further north.......) and a lifestyle which you won't find in the east.

Definitely worth the time and money. Your kids will remember the trip for ever (as will you and your wife).......But make sure you have reservations as accommodations can be scarce and expensive......Also, it's hours between destinations so keep that in mind when planning your trip and driving destinations. Also, don't pass too many gas stations as they can be a long ways apart. Wyoming is beautiful, but you don't want to experience it on foot looking for gas.......

:bigthumb:
 

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Looking for some Wyoming area advice. My wife is planning to attend a photography retreat in Jackson Hole, WY during the 3rd week of June.
Dress appropriately. Expect anything between teens and snow to sun and 80's.
 
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