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Details for Doing a Backcountry Trip in Yellowstone National Park

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

GETTING THERE AND GETTING AROUND

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United offers round-trip flights from Dulles to Wyoming's Jackson Hole Airport for $511. To get around in Wyoming, you'll need to rent a car. You can do this in advance through tour companies such as Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris (307-690-6402, http://www.jacksonholewildlifesafaris.com) or at the airport.

A "backcountry" trip in Yellowstone starts and ends on foot, at a trailhead or developed area. Hiking is the best way to see the park.

WHERE TO STAY

Trapper Inn, 285 N. Cache St., Jackson, 307-733-2648, http://www.trapperinn.com. A friendly, comfortable hotel. Rooms from $199.

Wort Hotel, Glenwood and Broadway, Jackson, 800-322-2727, http://www.worthotel.com. A historic luxury hotel downtown. Its famous Silver Dollar Bar was built in 1950 and inlaid with 2,032 uncirculated silver dollars. Rooms from $189.

WHERE TO EAT

Gordito's, 1180 S. U.S. Hwy. 89, Jackson, 307-734-6736. A hole-in-the-wall Mexican dive for the adventurous traveler on a shoestring. Prices from $5.

The Blue Lion, 160 N. Millward St., Jackson, 307-733-3912, http://www.bluelionrestaurant.com. This refurbished old house has been a local favorite for fine dining for 20 years. Entrees from $17.50.

WHAT TO DO

National Elk Refuge, 307-733-9212, http://www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge. Has the world's largest concentration of elk (in winter) and the largest bison herd (more than 800) in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Grand Teton National Park, 307-739-3300, http://www.nps.gov/grte. About a half-hour drive north of Jackson. An entrance fee allows you to stay here and/or in Yellowstone National Park for seven days: $25 per vehicle, $12 per person for hikers and bicyclists, $20 per motorcycle. To the north lies Jackson Lake, where most water activities are allowed with a permit.

Yellowstone National Park, 307-344-7381, http://www.nps.gov/yell. Home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states, including grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, lynxes, elk, bison, pronghorns, bighorn sheep and moose.

All overnight backcountry trips in Yellowstone require a permit, which is free, but issued only after you watch a 15-minute video and sign some forms. Reserving a backcountry campsite costs $20. For lodging inside Yellowstone, contact Xanterra Parks & Resorts at 866-439-7375.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

http://www.nps.gov, http://www.jacksonholechamber.com

-- W.P.


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