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Old 07-02-2012, 01:04 AM   #57
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Well good luck on the road. Perhaps we will cross paths at the AS dealer in Spokane on a couple weeks. We always seem to stop there, even if we don't have the trailer with us. Sounds like you'll be heading west at about the time we are heading east.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:39 AM   #58
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Happy paddling!

We took our canoe to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons NPs. I think a lot depends on your level of experience (as in, does the stern paddler have a solid "J stroke"?) but my husband and I have been canoeing for a while, and our experience has been:

1. The boat checks (which include canoes and kayaks) take some time but are not problematic. The staff are really friendly. Mostly they want to ensure that you're not transporting zebra mussels. Mostly you see signs on the highway, telling you to pull over at a gas station or truck weighing station. The parks require their own inspections at a marina or visitor center.

2. It's best to do your paddling early in the morning. Any of the mountain lakes, even the small ones, can really get windy by the afternoon. The waves themselves can get very big very fast. I learned to canoe in northern Wisconsin, but the mountain down-drafts are something else. If you see a squall anywhere on the lake, its best to get off the water right away. It can hit you in 15 minutes, with big swells and breakers. We always stay very close to shore. A decked kayak with an experienced paddler would have better odds than an open canoe with novices.

3. Lakes without motorboats allowed (or allowed only at wake-less speeds) are better than lakes with motorboats. Most of the M-boaters are clueless that their wake can easily swamp a canoe. Yellowstone Lake can get really dodgy with both waves and wake from the big concession boats. (Hint for the less-experienced-- turn into a big wake at a 90 or 45 degree angle-- just not broadside.)

4. Paddling on Jenny Lake in the Tetons was a wonderful experience! The afore-said concession motor boats (maximum skippers' age would appear to be 19) were annoying, and there was no docking space for small craft at Inspiration Point, but we thought it was great.

4. In Glacier NP, we've canoed on Kintla, Bowman, McDonald, and Two-Medicine Lakes, and also on Lower Waterton Lake. The drive into the first two is pretty rough, but should be fine for any high-clearance vehicle. The scenery is just spectacular. There are some wilderness camping opportunities on some of the lakes, which would require back-country permits. Motorboats are allowed on Lake McDonald.

5. Dogs are allowed in boats where motor boats are allowed. However, we're pretty much convinced to take shorter paddles, and leave our dog in the truck. She's just one more uncertainty in a tippy canoe if the waves pick up.

There are other options we haven't explored, like the Snake River in the Tetons. I think there are shuttle companies for one-way river trips. No canoeing is allowed on rivers in Yellowstone NP.

If anyone has experience on the rivers or lakes we haven't tried, I would love to hear about them!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Uzzah View Post
Well good luck on the road. Perhaps we will cross paths at the AS dealer in Spokane on a couple weeks. We always seem to stop there, even if we don't have the trailer with us. Sounds like you'll be heading west at about the time we are heading east.
Too bad we'll miss you: we are at the A/S dealer in Spokane as I speak. Camped out here a few days in our Ltd before they get the parts in to fix our rear-ended baby. We'll be heading home to Idaho Falls tomorrow. This is a wonderful dealership, friendly, honest, good folks, and of course they do great work on A/Ss!

Good luck to you on the road too: may you never have a texting teen behind you!

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Old 07-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #60
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We just returned and our trip was fantastic.

We travelled from the San Francisco Bay Area through Nevada to Craters of the Moon National Monument, Yellowstone and the Tetons, then back through Idaho, Southern Oregon, Lassen, and the Sacramento Delta. I posted a ton of pictures on my facebook page - Daniel Druker | Facebook

My favorite pictures are below - kids cooking the lake trout they had caught a few hours before at Jenny Lake in the Tetons - and checking out an Elk in Yellowstone.

The only scary moments we had were when we got stuck in the middle of a herd of Bison in Yellowstone - I was wondering what I would tell the bodyshop guys - and when I found that two of our Goodyear Marathon tires decided to undergo the dreaded tread separation - and of course I found this in the brake check area on top of Teton Pass. A slow drive to Idaho falls and new rubber solved the problem.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #61
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We did have lots of mosquitoes in Yellowstone - they were thick in clouds at the edge of Yellowstone lake and at higher elevation streams and meadows. We stayed at Bridge Bay and they were moderately bad there. They were horrible at the end of the Fairy Falls trail - we hiked to Imperial Geyser about 1/2 mile past the falls and got eaten alive. On the other hand, we hiked into the junction of hellroaring creek and the yellowstone river and only had bugs at the start of the trail.

We averaged six to ten miles of hiking per day - the rangers told us that 95% of the people who come to yellowstone never get further than 1/4 mile from the main roads. That's pretty depressing as we found some amazing hikes.

Bugs were not nearly as bad in the Tetons - we camped at Coulter Bay and had minimal bugs, and also didn't see too many on the trails - we spend a lot of time hiking around Jenny Lake and in Cascade Canyon.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:49 PM   #62
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The saying in Montana is that bad cell service and the 'skeets keep the riff-raff out!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:55 PM   #63
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Spent yesterday, all day hiking around the Mammoth Hot Springs. I know there's not that many walkways but I wondered and at the end of the day I had 12+ miles on my GPS. What a beautiful, kind of harsh place. We got a space in the Mammoth Campgrounds and boondocked last night.I thought it would be full but Sunday afternoon we had our pick. Two hours later it was full though.

Internet and cell service is very spotty in Montana. Thats OK.

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Old 07-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #64
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We had no reservations and had no problem mid afternoon on any day finding two spots in the first come, first serve campgrounds. Made for very easy travel.


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Old 07-17-2012, 03:02 PM   #65
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Hook ups at fishing bridge

Anyone out there been to Fishing bridge campground at YS. Do they have any hook ups water electric?
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #66
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Fishing bridge has full hookups, all back in spots, and you will likely find yourself squeezed like a sardine in between two giant RVs with slide-outs almost touching the sides of your trailer. The shower facilities were also quite muddy when we visited last week.

It was not hot enough during the day to need the AC which is the only reason I would think about needing hookups in the park.

The campgrounds are much much nicer. Grizzly and KOA RV Parks just outside the west entrance are also both nice - but the KOA is a bit over-run and also offers little privacy (but more than fishing bridge)

- Dan
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:36 PM   #67
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Thanks for all the info - we're planning a trip to YNP and the Tetons in September. We have a reservation at the Grant Village campground starting on 9/18 - it closes on 9/23 for the season. We were going to stay at Madison, but wanted the amenities of being close to the restaurant, etc in Grant. First time there - this is going to be great.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #68
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We stayed at the Coulter Bay campground in the Teton National Park for three days last week. It was about a two hour drive from the Bridge Bay campground in Yellowstone. I thought it was a lot nicer than the RV park at Coulter Bay - we also had a lot more privacy.

No reservations were required - we got there around noon and there were still a ton of open spots.

My kids really liked the tetons - lots of hiking and fishing and just plain swimming in the lake - so more like an active vacation place. Yellowstone was more about looking at animals and volcanic features - we still did lots of hiking in Yellowstone, but we had better warmer weather and many fewer mosquitoes in the Tetons - presumably due to the altitude.

Here's an obligatory airstream in front of the Tetons picture...
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:26 PM   #69
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Fishing bridge has full hookups, all back in spots, and you will likely find yourself squeezed like a sardine in between two giant RVs with slide-outs almost touching the sides of your trailer. The shower facilities were also quite muddy when we visited last week.

It was not hot enough during the day to need the AC which is the only reason I would think about needing hookups in the park.

The campgrounds are much much nicer. Grizzly and KOA RV Parks just outside the west entrance are also both nice - but the KOA is a bit over-run and also offers little privacy (but more than fishing bridge)

- Dan
I agree! We've stayed at both Grant Village and Bay Bridge, where you can get reservations. We thought both are fine, although no hook-ups. We rendezvoused with some friends at Bay Bridge on our last visit, and they didn't like their sites at all, though, because for some strange reason many of the sites are not level, even though they are recently paved.

We visited Fishing Bridge just to see what it was like, and the RVs were packed in so tightly we had no desire to actually stay there. If your neighbours have slide-outs, they are practically inside your RV.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:52 AM   #70
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Anyone stay at the Headstream at Flagg Ranch? It is a bit pricy but seems convenient to the gRand Tetons and Yellowstone. Plus they have full hook ups ( a requirement for me , the wife and 4 daughters). We are scheduled to stay there from July 25-30 of this year. Hope I didn't make a mistake by booking it. Any feedback?
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