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  1. #1
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    East Idaho/Yellowstone hiking & hammock camping late September

    My company has an office in Idaho Falls, ID. I've been out there a few times, and I'm headed out again in September. I was considering a family tourist trip out there, but we're already doing another vacation earlier that month, so now I'm thinking I might do some hiking out there for a few days. I'd love to see some of the more famous sites like Old Faithful or Grand Prismatic, but I'm open to other ideas. I understand that Yellowstone campgrounds are prone to closure due to the presence of wildlife.

    If I had 2-4 days in late September to hike and hammock camp in that area, what recommendations would you give me?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Crazytown3's Avatar
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    Hi Snaps, I'm not sure about the campgrounds closing for wildlife, they have Rangers, etc what manage that pretty well. That time of year though the campgrounds may close due to weather/end of the season.

    It will be getting pretty cold at night that time of year, and the there is a high likelihood of snow.

    That being said, I absolutely LOVE Yellowstone/Tetons and that whole region that time of year. Labor Day typically marks the end of the busy tourist season in that area, and there is so much to see. Just in YNP once you have seen the 'big' things, there are trails and hikes all over the place. Same with Tetons NP. Same with all of it actually.

    For your first visit though, I would see the big things like Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, Tower Falls, Upper and Lower Falls, Mammoth. It may be tough to camp in the parks, but there are KOAs and such just outside the parks where you may have better luck.

    Here is a link to YNP campgrounds showing which are open, which are full, and gives you the closing dates as well:
    https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

  3. #3
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    East Idaho/Yellowstone hiking & hammock camping late September

    Thanks for the resource. That bit I said about site closure due to fauna was something I read online... probably not a reliable source.

    It looks like there could be availability at the Madison, Bridge Bay, and Canyon sites while I'm there. I'll have to call this week to see what I can find out.

    Many of my colleagues that work out of that office like hiking, but to my knowledge none of them hammock camp. The Tetons are a favorite location for at least one of them.
    Last edited by Snaps; 07-27-2019 at 06:52.

  4. #4
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    Update with an interesting twist...

    I made my reservations for a small tent site at Madison campground for three nights toward the end of September. In the notes they require your tent and car dimensions, so I put "12-ft hammock, 17-ft car." I figured I should call to clarify. When I did, the rep was accommodating and I asked to be sure I would have a site with trees. She made a note and said hammocks are allowed and trees are abundant, but that hammocks require reservation of an RV site ($3/night more). Yuck. I asked for clarification as to whether this is a Madison policy or for Yellowstone as a whole, and she said that this is the guidance that the National Parks system has laid out for them. I hope I'm not hanging between a couple of land yachts for three days... but I hope if I am, they'll give me use of their fridges and showers.
    Last edited by Snaps; 07-29-2019 at 13:18.

  5. #5
    Member whoismiketruong's Avatar
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    Have you considered hiking a section of the CDT? Might be a cool trip. Have fun whatever you decide! Happy Trails!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoismiketruong View Post
    Have you considered hiking a section of the CDT? Might be a cool trip. Have fun whatever you decide! Happy Trails!!
    Thanks--I haven't given that much thought. I've only been to Jackson for rafting and otherwise I haven't spent any time in either Yellowstone or the Tetons, so I thought I'd catch the highlights and hike some trails in the area while I'm there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Crazytown3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
    Update with an interesting twist...

    I made my reservations for a small tent site at Madison campground for three nights toward the end of September. In the notes they require your tent and car dimensions, so I put "12-ft hammock, 17-ft car." I figured I should call to clarify. When I did, the rep was accommodating and I asked to be sure I would have a site with trees. She made a note and said hammocks are allowed and trees are abundant, but that hammocks require reservation of an RV site ($3/night more). Yuck. I asked for clarification as to whether this is a Madison policy or for Yellowstone as a whole, and she said that this is the guidance that the National Parks system has laid out for them. I hope I'm not hanging between a couple of land yachts for three days... but I hope if I am, they'll give me use of their fridges and showers.
    Well that's interesting. I have to say, I've never had that 'rule' come up when I have stayed there. Granted, this may be something new for them, but still, seems like an odd rule.

    When I'm staying in YNP, if it's at one of the campgrounds that accept reservations, I always reserve a small tent site, and if that's not available, the next choice up from there, and so on. I don't think I have ever stayed in an RV space, reserved or not. Next time, maybe don't call them hehe.

    I do have to say, YNP (and Grand Teton) have been very progressive with their policies/guidelines on hammock use in the park. Others are not quite there yet.

  8. #8
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    I'm ready for this trip, with the exception of a bit of food I still need to get. And because I'll be flying out there, I'll need to obtain stove fuel and bear spray--neither of which are allowed on planes--when I get there. A colleague of mine caught wind of my trip, and so now I have a hiking buddy. Pros and cons, there, but I'm sure it'll be enjoyable nonetheless.

    What's at issue is that our family vacation is next week, on a tropical island. We'll return and in under 20 hours, I'll need to do some laundry and transfer bags and such for a week of office work in Idaho, and then I'll drive over to WY. My prep for three such different trips is taking its toll on my wife; I've got stuff staged all over the place. I'm looking forward to the three nights of hang time far more than I am the week sitting around on the beach...

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