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National Park Western Vacation

National Park Western Vacation

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Removed on: 13 July 2015, 22:12
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1. Re: National Park Western Vacation

From the Yellowstone forum trip report archives here's a trip report from this summer covering those 3 areas to give you an idea:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60999-i481-k66664…

Edited: 02 September 2013, 00:30
Bristol, Connecticut
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2. Re: National Park Western Vacation

We did a cross country trip and saw all these sights in about 10 days. I think with two weeks you could do the area justice and see The Badlands too. Where would you be traveling from/to? What time of year?

Ohio
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3. Re: National Park Western Vacation

couple of weeks is good. Mt Rushmore area: give it at least 2 days/nights. Badlands, Rushmore, Custer State Park, couple of caves... Stop at Devils Tower on the way from there to YNP. A day and night in Cody, Wy is a plus. Rodeo and museums. 4 days/nights minimum in YNP imo. An additional 2 for the Tetons. If you fly in and out of Denver, you can make your way across via South Pass City and Independence Rock-- drive the Snowy Range scenic byway-- Add a couple of days/nights for Rocky Mtn Natl Park.

Green Valley...
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4. Re: National Park Western Vacation

You should begin now to find Yellowstone lodging. I agree, 3 full days minimum, 4 or more is better. One cannot underestimate the size and diversity of the park. Be prepared for several hundreds of miles driving inside the park.

LODGING FOR YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK This article tells what you need to know about lodging locations both inside and outside the park, how to get lodging, and how to choose from among the various locations.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28973-c189012/Wyomin… html

If you decide on this trip, suggest you post further on the Wyoming Forum for detailed information from those who live there in hearts, mind and physically. :)

Tell us your interests (hiking, wildlife viewing, geysers, white water rafting, float trips, etc.)

Edited: 02 September 2013, 02:35
Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: National Park Western Vacation

Yes, Yellowstone needs 3-4 days and staying inside the park is the best if you can get the lodging. We prefer Lake Yellowstone. Jackson and the Grand Tetons needs 3 days minimum. And I believe Black Hills deserves at least 3-4 days. Mt Rushmore at night is dramatic. Allow at least one full day for Custer SP. Badlands NP needs another. Not to mention caves, Devils Tower, Sturgis and Custer itself.

So with travel time you need most of 2 weeks.

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: National Park Western Vacation

I did this exact road trip (except we started in Minneapolis and stopped at a few more towns before Mt Rushmore) and it was not difficult at all. I would fly into Rapid City and spend three nights in the Black Hills. From there I would drive to Cody, WY for a night (stopping at Devils Tower on the way). Make sure you see the Buffalo Bill Stampede Rodeo if you are in Cody during the summer. After making the short drive from Cody to Yellowstone, spend 3-4 nights there before driving to Jackson Hole (that is where we were based to see the Grand Tetons). Staying right in Grand Teton N.P. would be great too. Spend 2-3 nights there before dropping off the car and going home.

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: National Park Western Vacation

We have done that trip flying in and out of Denver. Had enough time to see and enjoy all three areas. Lots of other things to see and do like Devils Tower, Cody, Lander and Rocky Mt. NP. Great ideas from all.

N. Idaho
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8. Re: National Park Western Vacation

I will just add, do the South Dakota part of the trip first, then move on to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Some report disappointment if doing it in the reverse order.

As Voyaging says, we (denalicat, Voyaging, PeachBelle and I, lol) would welcome you on the Yellowstone forum when you get down to questions about the details of lodging, # of days, etc.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28973-i480-Wyomin…

BTW, time of year is critical in planning a Yellowstone visit!

Pam

Indy
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9. Re: National Park Western Vacation

I will be the lone person here, but the time needed depends on what you want to do, and also when you are going. When we went out west, we went in Sept.. For Mt. Rushmore area, we used the last part of our arrival day to see Mt. Rushmore at night. Didn't know about the night program and missed it. We then used about three quarters of a day to head out to the Badlands and Wall Drug. Then another full day for Rushmore and part of Custer State park during the day, then the last part of the day we checked out Deadwood and drove a scenic road from Spearfish to Deadwood.

One day you can spend driving from Rapid City to Cody as suggested, stopping off at Devil's Tower. Then onto YNP. We made our base in W. Yellowstone, because we wanted more than what in-park places offered, specifically cable TV, a pool, etc.. We did the north loop one day, the south loop the next. We checked out W. Yellowstone the third day and just rested mostly (We had went up to Glacier between Rapid City and YNP). On the way back to Denver we drove through the north part of Grand Teton and stopped at the visitor center.

So basically two and half days for the Black Hills area and two days for Yellowstone. We saw a lot, and I'm sure we missed a lot. This short of time frame only lets you pretty much sight see. This wasn't a hiking vacation, or one where we wanted to get involved in hour+ long park service programs. It was a feeler trip, but none in our party of four felt we really didn't see anything. We were able to do the hike at Rushmore to the base, watch the short movie, and get good photos. We were able to do the one mile hike around Devil's Tower. We were able to spend enough time at all the main places in Yellowstone, get some good photos, walk some of the boardwalks.

I plan on going back, with enough time to actually do some hikes and enjoy parts of the park a bit more. This will take more time. Also, had we went during the busy summer months, we might not have been able to stop and see everything we did. Lots of traffic, plus animals can cause traffic jams lasting for hours. Just something to consider.

10. Re: National Park Western Vacation

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