The Rockies – Itinerary

September 14, 2017

Our Rockies itinerary includes a trip starting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and travels up through Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, a stop in Waterton Lakes NP for breakfast and ends in Banff NP. Most fitting is this included the opportunity to visit both America’s first national park (Yellowstone) and Canada’s first national park (Banff).

Overall, this trip incorporated over 1,800 miles, two weeks, five states, two provinces, five national parks and a number of amazing activities (paragliding, white water rafting, bob sledding) and beautiful scenic drives (Going to the Sun Road and Beartooth Highway). Of course, many people will choose to spend more time in each park and it would be quite easy to do this trip in two separate vacations of one week each – one week in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone and another week in Glacier, Waterton Lakes and Banff.

Travel Tip – Some of these destinations are the most visited in all of North America. If you want to secure lodging in the parks, you must be ready to book the rooms the morning they go online a year in advance. It’s not hard – just call and find out when each one will be posted and then put down a reminder to book that morning. For instance, Many Glacier Hotel sold out two hours after going online. But if you want the best lodging IN the parks, it does require that extra effort.

Whichever fits your travels best, we hope these notes, links and maps will help to plan an amazing trip through the Rocky Mountains.

DAY 1 – TRAVEL TO JACKSON HOLE

Fly into Salt Lake City and drive to Jackson Hole (about four and a half hours)

Eat: Gun Barrel Steak and Game House – Dinner ($$) – Parmesan Artichoke Dip, Mixed Game Grill (including elk steak, buffalo prime rib and venison brat), Grand Teton Mud Pie and Double Barrel Cheesecake
Stay: Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole ($$)

DAY 2 – GRAND TETONS, SNAKE RIVER – WHITE WATER RAFTING

Barker Ewing – White Water Rafting ($$) – Snake River
Scenic Drive over Moose Wilson Road and Mormon Row

Eat: Atelier Ortega – Breakfast ($) – Pastries, Chocolates, Mexican Spiced Mocha Coffee
Eat: Jenny Lake Lodge – Dinner ($$$) – Prix Fixe – Five Course Meal
Stay: Jenny Lake Lodge ($$$)

DAY 3 – JACKSON HOLE – PARAGLIDING, COWBOY COASTER, ALPINE SLIDING

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – Paragliding ($$$)
Snow King Resort – Cowboy Coaster ($) and Alpine Sliding ($)
Jackson Hole – Visit town and shopping

Eat: Jenny Lake Lodge – Breakfast ($) – Pastries, Coffee
Eat: Local Restaurant – Lunch ($) – Burgers, American
Eat: Jenny Lake Lodge – Dinner ($$$) – Prix Fixe – Five Course Meal
Stay: Jenny Lake Lodge ($$$)

DAY 4 – GRAND TETONS – HIKING, BIKING

Hike Jenny Lake Trail from String Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
Afternoon Biking or Horseback Riding
Check for Resort Afternoon Activities (i.e. Wine and Wickets)

Eat: Jenny Lake Lodge – Breakfast ($) – Pastries, Coffee
Eat: Dornan’s Pizza – Lunch ($) – Pizza, Breadsticks
Eat: Jenny Lake Lodge – Dinner ($$$) – Prix Fixe – Five Course Meal
Stay: Jenny Lake Lodge ($$$)

DAY 5 – YELLOWSTONE – SIGHTSEEING, HIKING

West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley, Artist Point, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Tower Fall, Mount Washburn, Calcite Spring Viewpoint, Boiling River, Mammoth Hot Springs
See Old Faithful erupt at Sunset

Eat: Jenny Lake Lodge – Breakfast ($) – Pastries, Coffee
Eat: Canyon Fountain and Grill (Canyon Village) – Lunch ($) – Burgers and Shakes
Eat: Old Faithful Inn – Dinner ($$) – American
Stay: Old Faithful Inn ($$)

DAY 6 – YELLOWSTONE – SIGHTSEEING, HIKING

Lower Geyser, Grand Prismatic Spring, Sapphire Pool
Hike Fairy Falls Trail to Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook
Artist’s Paintpots, Norris Geyser Basin
Afternoon enjoying Old Faithful Inn or Swimming in Firehole River (if open)

Eat: Old Faithful Inn – Breakfast ($) – Pastries, Coffee
Eat: Old Faithful Inn – Lunch ($) – Sandwiches
Eat: Old Faithful Inn – Dinner ($$) – American
Stay: Old Faithful Inn ($$)

DAY 7 – BEARTOOTH HIGHWAY, RED LODGE – SCENIC DRIVE

Lamar Valley – Buffalo
Clay Butte Tower – Lookout
Beartooth Lake – Pullover
Top of the World Store
Shopping, Visiting Red Lodge
Sights: Metal Biker/Skier (Red Lodge Inn) and Peter Toth Giant Indian Head (Red Lodge Carnegie Library)

Eat: Old Faithful Inn – Breakfast ($) – Pastries, Coffee
Eat: Red Box Car – Lunch ($) – Burgers, Fries, Shakes
Eat: Bogart’s – Dinner ($) – Mexican, Pizza and Burgers
Stay: The Pollard ($) – Red Lodge, MT

DAY 8 – GLACIER – LONG DRIVE

Skier God Sculpture (Joliet, MT)
Blackfeet Metal Warriors – Highway 89 just north of Birch Creek

Eat: Log Cabin Café (Choteau, MT) – Lunch ($) – Hot dogs, Sandwiches, Salads
Eat: Many Glacier Hotel – The Ptarmigan Dining Room– Dinner ($$)
Stay: Many Glacier Hotel ($$)

DAY 9 – GLACIER – HIKING

Iceberg Lake Hike (or Grinnell Glacier)

Eat: Many Glacier Hotel – Swiss Lounge – Dinner ($$)
Stay: Many Glacier Hotel ($$)

DAY 10 – GLACIER – GOING TO THE SUN ROAD, LAKE MCDONALD, LOGAN’S PASS, HIKING

Going to the Sun Road – GyPSy Guide
Wild Goose Island (from the opening scene in the The Shining)
Weeping Wall, Lookouts
Lake McDonald – Colored Pebbles, Mountain View, Kayaking
Trail of the Cedars
Logan’s Pass – Trail to Hidden Lake Overlook or Highline Trail

Eat: Eddie’s – Lake McDonald – Lunch ($) – Huckleberry Cobbler
Eat: Many Glacier Hotel – Swiss Lounge ($$) or Two Sisters Café (Babb) – Dinner
Stay: Many Glacier Hotel ($$)

DAY 11 – CALGARY – BOB SLEDDING, ZIP LINING, SKYLINE LUGE

Chief Mountain Border Crossing
Waterton Lakes – Prince of Wales – Breakfast
Wonderland Sculpture – Calgary
WinSport – Bob Sledding ($$), Zip Lining ($$) and Skyline Luge ($)

Eat: Waterton Lakes – Prince of Wales – Breakfast ($) – Saskatoon Pancakes with Saskatoon berries
Eat: WinSport – Lunch ($) – Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Eat: Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise – Dinner ($) – Room Service or Three Ravens Banff ($$)
Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ($$$) or Post Hotel Lake Louise ($$$)

DAY 12 – BANFF LAKE LOUISE – HIKING – PLAIN OF THE SIX GLACIERS

Hike Plain of the Six Glaciers and on to Glacier Overlook
Drive to Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks

Eat: Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House – Lunch ($) – Cheese or Hummus Sandwich; Chocolate Cake, Tea
Eat: Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise – Walliser Stube – Dinner ($$$) – Château Experience – Fondu and Beef Châteaubriand
Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ($$$) or Post Hotel Lake Louise ($$$)

DAY 13 – BANFF – VISIT TOWN, EXPLORING

Visit Banff – Shopping, Sightseeing
Fairmont Banff Springs – Sightseeing
Cascade Gardens and Parks Canada Building
Town – Johnston Canyon, Cave and Basin or Gondola
Resort – Hike to Lake Agnes Tea House
Out of Town – Icefields Parkway, Peyto Lake

Eat: Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise – Alpine Social – Dinner ($$) – Beets (with Goat Cheese and Maple Dressing), Flatbreads and Social Nachos, Warm Mini Doughnuts with Cinnamon Dust and Maple Dip
Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ($$$) or Post Hotel Lake Louise ($$$)

DAY 14 – BANFF, CRANBROOK – HALF DAY DRIVING

Drive through Kootenay National Park and Radium Hot Springs
Miniature Golf

Eat: From Scratch A Mountain Kitchen, Fairmont Hot Springs – Lunch ($) – Poutine Fries, Mac n’ Cheese, Homemade Ice Tea and Soda and Bison Tacos
Stay: Elizabeth Lake Lodge ($)

DAY 15 – SPOKANE – HALF DAY DRIVING

Eastport Crossing, Drive to Spokane

Eat: Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle– Lunch ($) – Burgers and Shakes (River City Sludge – Brownie Sludge)
Stay: Your own bed (-)

And for more details on surrounding areas see our destination notes for Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole, Yellowstone/Beartooth, Glacier, Waterton Lakes/Calgary and Banff.

ROCKIES – TRIP SUMMARY – LINKS AND REVIEWS

TRIPADVISOR – THINGS TO DO

YELP – RESTAURANTS

TRIPADVISOR – HOTELS

 

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