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Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

north of england
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Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Thankyou DObby for pointing me in this direction for advice. Ok, we are planning our trip to Montana, Wyoming & S.Dakota for August 2015. Flying into Rapid City around the 21st, This is our plan, I know it might sound really stupid but we want to avoid any scary roads, plus we really do want to see the places on our list. 1 night Rapid City, 1 night Sheridan, 2 nights Livingston, 1 night Gardiner, 2 Old Faithful, 3 Cody, 1 Old Faithful/Snow Lodge, 3 Big Sky (like the idea of a rest at Rainbow Ranch), 3 Bozeman, 1 Billings, 3 Deadwood and the last night in Rapid City. Absolute chicken when it comes to scary/safe roads, getting lost too!! We think keeping to the I 90 will be the best, important part of the trip is Custers Little Bighorn and Old Faithfull. Do not want to attempt Beartooth or the BigHorn, would rather go round. Going down 89 and coming up 191 are these good? Would appreciate any advice, like I said I'm a scared chicken so be gentle with me. The whole trip will be based around Old Faithful, know I have to book early, so possibility of tweaking here and there. This is the Big One and most of all we want to enjoy it!!!

Marcellus, New York
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1. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Could you define what makes a road scary, please? It is a subjective thing, and knowing how you define it (heights, tunnels, bridges, water, lack of guide rails, narrow shoulder, etc) will help those trying to respond.

Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'd not really describe any of the roads your likely to drive as 'scary' compared to some others in North America, and even in Yellowstone and the Blackhills some of the roads are steeper and more winding than you might normally drive on, but nothing too dramatic, even Dunraven Pass, or the Beartooth, or US16 or 14 through the Bighorns ( 14A is a bit different however!).

Obviously if you don't like heights and your on the outside of the curves ( worse for the passenger), even with guardrail, than might be an issue for you.

89 and 191 are fine, bearing in mind the comments I made about the roads through Yellowstone, 89 has a steep climb from Gardiner up to Mammoth and then on up to Golden Gate, but if you can do that you can do the rest, even Beartooth, and the Chief Joseph, and the scenery is so worth the effort. : ).

Edited: 25 March 2014, 11:10
Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

The roads in the Black Hills and Yellowstone are not scary to me. The Beartooth Hwy is a bit testing on the nerves imo.

Just drive slowly and you will be fine. The route thru the Big Horn Mts. is steeper so yes travel out I 90.

north of england
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4. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Thanks for replying so quickly Valiantsontour. In answer to the question GracieCNY asked, its the heights and drop offs (NO Rails AGH!!!!) that scare the whatsit out of me. Did not realise 89 had a scary bit too, my god is there any way `i can miss anything like this? I will not pull out of this trip but I do want to come back still breathing thank you very much. Tell me is there a route coming from Rapid City/Buffalo area to Cody that I might brave? Then we could skip Gardiner, stay at maybe Lake and of course Old Faithful and see Yellowstone from there, leaving by 191 for a much needed rest at Rainbow Ranch near Big Sky, appreciate anything you could do for me. See you from the UK as well, we just aren't used to it, clue where I live is is in the name!! Anybody out there who has any recommendations of what to see and do while we there fire away please.

north of england
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5. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Thankyou PeachBell8288 for at least agreeing with me on the I 90

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Ok, that explains things, sorry.

Stick with the I-90 and Gardiner as your going to Little Bighorn. The 89 through Yellowstone is not scary, honest and it's only short short steeper sections, and you get a break as you drive though Mammoth itself on the bit I described. You'll also be on the inside going south. As PeachBelle says, just take it slow and steady.

I was being a bit flippant, sorry, saying you can do everything else if you drive this ( I was considering the curves and general grades) an issue with height is a different matter and I apologise. ( I'm not always great with heights either to be honest, I force myself to stand on the edge of things etc.)

Edited: 25 March 2014, 12:35
north of england
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7. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Thanks again Valiant, I feel a bit better reading that to be honest. I take it you been a couple of times any other pointers to get the best out of the trip with out scaring ourselves whatsitless, we also want to visit a couple of nice towns, Bozeman sounds right up our street. Thanks for your input

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8. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

What do you want to see in the Black Hills?

Lots to see and do like Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Badlands NP, Custer SP, Deadwood, Devils Tower in the Black Hills.

Avoid the Black Hills during the Sturgis Bike Rally. Place will be packed with bikers and hotel rates will be thru the roof and crazy expensive. In 2015 bike rally is August 3-9 and it is their 75th anniversary so will be super crowded.

Book your lodging in Yellowstone beginning May 1, 2014 for 2015. We love the Old Faithful area.

http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/

Also when you stop at Custer's Battlefield you will probably only want to spend a couple of hours there. There is a museum which is nice but nothing else around there except a convenience store and Mc Donald's for miles.

A lot of people like stopping in Buffalo instead of Sheridan. The Occidental hotel in Buffalo is well known and very historical.

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9. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

1 night Rapid City, 1 night Sheridan, 2 nights Livingston, 1 night Gardiner, 2 Old Faithful, 3 Cody, 1 Old Faithful/Snow Lodge, 3 Big Sky (like the idea of a rest at Rainbow Ranch), 3 Bozeman, 1 Billings, 3 Deadwood and the last night in Rapid City

duck, your itinerary seems to bounce all over the place.

I don't think you would like the park road over Silvan pass out the east entrance to Cody. I am used to it as I drive it all the time, but I have heard others complain about it being scary.

I certainly don't think you would like the Beartooth, Chief Joseph & certainly not 14A or even 14 thru the Bighorns.

You could drive from Rapid City to Casper to Cody to Livingston at the beginning of your trip.

Or at the end of your trip, go Billings to Cody to Casper to Rapid City. In that case you would do Deadwood on your way from Rapid City to Livingston at the beginning of your trip.

Wednesbury, UK
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10. Re: Please HELP!!! Trip of a life time but avoid SCARY roads.

Six visits to Yellowstone so far.

Well my general comments would be the Tetons are missing, and you have a lot of nights in places like Livingston, Bozeman, and Deadwood. I like Deadwood and it's casinos, but not sure it would be my choice of base for the Black Hills over Custer, a Keystone or Hill City. But it has a old town Western vibe so it's maybe the right choice for you.

3 nights, two full days in Cody also? But, as I said if you like small towns with a western feel, and I think you do from your comments then that may be exactly the trip you want? As for Billings, have you seen the recent film Nebraska? It's shot in Black and White and that suits Billings IMO!

While your in Big Sky you might want to go to West Yellowstone, then west past Heben and Earthquake Lake, maybe out to Virginia City/Nevada City and it's train. A loop back to Big Sky or Bozeman can make a nice day trip.