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Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Brisbane, Australia
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Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Hi. Looking for some help in planning a route. We have hired a 25' camper van for 3 weeks from 4 May 14. Interests are wildlife and landscape photography.

Iowa (pickup campervan)

Wyoming

Montana

Yellowstone NP

Grand Tetons

Possibly a couple of Utah NP's

Denver (drop off camper van)

Any suggestions or stops would be really appreciated

Thanks

N. Idaho
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1. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Day after tomorrow? Yikes. Have you made any reservations in the National Park campgrounds?

You will find not all services in Yellowstone are open at this time of year as it can still be a little wintery. The East entrance from Cody is supposed to have opened this morning but be sure you read this news release for further information regarding the potential for closures.

http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/14025.htm

The South gate to Yellowstone which leads to Grand Tetons is scheduled to open May 9.

What plan did you have in mind when you rented the camper?

Pam

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

It was a last minute rental - 2 days ago :) so trying to research everything now and with the snow coverage was nt sure whether passes would be open.

I don t stress when travelling, there is always an alternative route or destination. But this is the one I would love to do now.

N. Idaho
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3. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Were there specific sights you wanted to see in Wyoming and Montana? Otherwise, probably the most recommended route is to head across Wyoming to Cody and enter the East gate...IF it is open. Do an anti-clockwise route staying in Gardiner or Mammoth Campground and Madison Campground or West Yellowstone. (The map on the YNP website does show the east entrance open today.)

Roads, and particularly take note of the phone # to call to veryify roads being open.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm

Services opening dates including campgrounds:

nps.gov/yell/…CP_JUMP_161723

If you spend your last nights in West Yellowstone or Madison, it positions you well for being able to divert out the West entrance gate if the South entrance gate is not open yet so you can do the Tetons next.

You don't mention any of the South Dakota parks, but from Iowa you might want to head north to Badlands NP and Mt Rushmore. Then head west via Devil's Tower in Eastern WY before you head to Cody.

Pam

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Thanks for your suggestions. Was nt sure which route would be best, only approximate destinations, but i was thinking of Badlands NP. One thing I ve noticed through visiting the numerous NP s on this trip is that they are all so different.

Do you have any other suggestions. Thanks

N. Idaho
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5. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

I now see this is part of a much larger trip for you. Did you get the America the Beautiful Pass at an earlier stop?

Badlands is very interesting. There is a lot to see in the South Dakota area, but that is not my area of expertise.

If you are interested in Native American History, Little Big Horn might be an interesting stop for you.

http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

Here is also a link to a tour thru Southern Wyoming if you have an interest in pioneer history or the Oregon Trail. Look at the 2nd post.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60999-i481-k49272…

I've always thought these 2 places look interesting, and they are on my list but have not done them so far.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vore_Buffalo_Jump

blm.gov/wy/…Tracksite.html

I have only driven I90 thru Wyoming and SD while headed East, have not done I80 thru Nebraska and Iowa, but from the comments on here you may find I90 more scenic, fewer trucks. As I said, no personal experience to compare the 2.

Do keep your eye on the weather. There was a big snowstorm earlier in the week in the Black Hills. Winter weather this time of year is rare, but can happen, so check the weather reports each night or AM before you start out.

Pam

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Hi Pam thanks. Yes I set off in January, still in the middle of doing a trip report for the 8000+ miles I covered in 8 wks. Been so busy with sight seeing. I enjoyed that trip and experienced so much, and will be doing it again. So many last minute diversions due to the weather. Covered about 14 NP though. Bought a Beautiful pass at first stop. Paid for itself after 2 months.

I really appreciate all your advice. Looking into each of your suggestions. Got into the habit of checking the weather reports twice daily aswell as checking in with the visitor centre s and asking questions. This short trip I have a friend with me from oz. All other trips have been on my own. Heading to Portland, glacier NP and the Rockies after this on my own again.

Edited: 03 May 2014, 01:51
Lewes, United...
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7. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Unless it's totally imposible, is it possible to reverse the trip and cover Utah now and move north? Should improve your chances of getting more park entrances open and just warmer weather all round.

As long as you have wifi from time to time, do check the DOT websites for the more northerly states for road conditions, too. A 25ft RV cannot drive on all roads. There are restrictions for example in Glacier NP in Montana.

SWT

USA
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8. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

I would most certainly plan to include Rocky Mountain National Park at the end of your trip, the crown jewel of Colorado. Trail Ridge Rd. is scheduled to open May 23 if our weather holds out:

www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/weather.htm

USA
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9. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Madison Campground in Yellowstone takes reservations, plus much more scenic & private than Mammoth campground, which is right on the park road. . Early season like this is a great time to see bears & wildlife babies!

Sydney
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10. Re: Roadtrip suggestions - Wyoming-Montana-Yellowstone-Tetons

Perhaps out of your way, but if in the vicinity, Canyonlands NP is amazing. We drove Vegas to Telluride last January and it was a fantastic drive, particularly the UT 12

Bryce-Escalante-Torrey. From there, continue to to Moab. We've stayed here a couple of times in the winter when the red cliffs are capped with snow:

http://www.redcliffslodge.com/

From Moab, visit Canyonlands NP (Grand View Point) and Arches NP. Canyonlands is better than the Grand Canyon IMHO.

If coming through Yellowstone, and the Tetons, maybe you'll end up in Jackson? Very cool town; but we finally figured out that there was actually a 'real' end of town where you could buy fruit and veg etc. The other end of town, fun to look at and wander around, is gorgeous, full of galleries and high end stuff. The folks on the Jackson forum are very helpful.

My son is off on another American road trip soon and is contemplating this :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Bear_Road

but think you'd best avoid it.....

Edited: 04 May 2014, 04:31