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Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

RC CA
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89 posts
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Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

Will be towing a 5th in mid-Sept 2011 from YNP to SD going thru Cody with a possible detour to Little Big Horn. Hate scary roads! Already know to avoid the Alt 14 but don't know if 14 or 16 heading east is the easier route. Am willing to go out of the way in order to save my sanity. Any advice would be truly appreciated before settling on an itinerary.

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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1. Re: Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

I understand your question to be: what's the easiest route over the Big Horns. You definite want to avoid 14A, which isn't even kept open in the winter. Route 14 is a little better - not so steep - but it still winds up a narrow river gorge as it makes it way up the west side of the mountains. Route 16, which goes through Ten Sleep, is IMO the gentlest way over the mountains. But since you say you're "willing to go out of the way" to save your sanity (you must really hate mountain driving), consider going further south out of Cody, down to Shoshoni, and across to Casper. This route is longer but avoids the Big Horns altogether. Just remember to fill your tank in Shoshoni, because there ain't nothing on that road until you reach Casper.

RC CA
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2. Re: Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

It sounds like 16 would be a good option in case we do decide to go up to Little Big Horn. We are used to mtn driving but the anxiety levels are getting out of control. Hubby thinks a jake brake on the truck might be the answer to my problem. He gets frustrated with my constant perusal of the Mountain Directory.

I will ALWAYS insist on the least stressful route. Thanks so much for your input.

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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3. Re: Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

If it's any consolation to you, coming off the Big Horns on the east side is the gentler slope. The west side of the range is much steeper. So be glad you're going west to east. Good luck.

Everett, Washington
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4. Re: Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

Agree, 16. I've towed a camper trailer both ways on 16 and 14 and east side on 16 was easier than 14 was. Part of the coming down part on 14 is a longer gradual descent just before Buffalo than the more sudden drop on 14. Also I think Ten Sleep Canyon is prettier then Shell Canyon (except for Shell Falls). Still both have some switchbacks and curves on the east side.

Finally took Alt-14 a few weeks ago. I loved it, my wife hated it. But the views were fantastic.

5. Re: Towing from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD - HELP!

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