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9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

Paris
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9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

Hello,

I ahve allready posted this trip in the road trip section but it seems this was not very attractive and did not receive lots of answers (zero to be axact :) ) So I am now trying my luck in the wyoming forum.

This itinerary will be the second portion of my 4th road trip in the "west". I have allready been to the Yellowstone National Park so this will only be a refresher and I intend to visit only 2 or 3 things in this park (grand prismatic that I missed and the north of the park mainly)

I know this will be a lot of driving but this is also part of the fun and why I like so much these trips in the united state. Driving is really part of the holidays and is not at all frustrating!!!!

So here is the proposed trip:

Day 11: Flight to Jackson Hole arriving noon - Some visit of Grand Teton (night in Jackson) (1.5hour)

Day 12: Grand Teton (night in West Yellowstone) (3 hours)

Day 13: Yellowstone (night in West Yellowstone)

Day 14: Yellowstone + Beartooth road (if time otherwise direct through Highway 16 (night in Cody) (4.5hours)

Day 15: Bighorn Canyon / Bighorn National forest (night in Buffalo) (4hours)

Day 16: Devils tower / Deadwood (night in Custer) (4.5hours)

Day 17: Custer State Park (wilife loop, peter norbeck highway, needles)+Mount rushmore+ crazy horse memorial (if time) (night in Wall) (3.5hours)

Day 18: Badlands NP (night in Scottsbluf????) (4.5hours)

Day 19: Scottsbluf NP (night in BOULDER to go back next morning to denver airport) (4hours)

Let me know what you feel. If you have any small things to add on the road or big changes to make, please let me know!!!!!

Thanks for your time

Florent

Thank you very much for reading up to here!!!! I am really open to any comment (positive or not) and also for any sidetrips, any small (even useless) things or detour to see on the road!

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

On Day 12 I think it will take you longer than 3 hours to go thru the GTNP and up to West Yellowstone. Do you want to stop at Old Faithful, etc.? The last time we drove the route it took us most of the day with stopping at Old Faithful, eating lunch, etc.

On Day 19 you want to stay in Boulder- what time is your flight? Whenever we fly out of the Denver airport and it is on a weekday we never want to stay more than an hour outside of Denver. I know Boulder is only about an hour from the airport but traffic and time of your flight is the question.

The last time we flew out of Denver we stayed near the airport because our flight left in the morning.

Paris
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2. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

Peachbelle!

Thanks for your answer.

Day 12 is targetted to be Grand Teton exclusive and then the shortest drive to west yellowstone without stopping.

Then day 13 is a full day to see grand prismatic and do some less crowded area (I must admit this is still to be define!).

Then Day 14 is an other Yellowstone day with additional small things to see. I think the beartooth road will be too much so I am thinking of driving directly to cody through Highway 16.

We do not want to visit again mammoth lake/old faithful and other VERY touristic places since we still have good memories.

Regarding boulder, this is one of the best evening we spent in the united states so it will be difficult to get rid of it but I will think about it :)

Everett, Washington
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3. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

If you leave W. Yellowstone relatively early and swing up to Mammoth for a look at the terraces then it would be relatively easy to head to the Lamar Valley area (wildlife common) and then do Beartooth Pass as far as the Rock Creek Vista viewpoint - no need to go down the switchbacks to Red Lodge. Then backtrack to the Chief Joseph Highway turn and use that route to Cody. Pack a picnic lunch and if weather is clear stop at the Clay Butte fire lookout for lunch. The Chief Joseph Hwy is very scenic and would only take a couple hours (not including stops) so you could be in Cody by early afternoon.

Next day to Buffalo there are three options over the Bighorn Mts. US-14 ALT, US-14 and US-16. US-14 ALT is spectacular but somewhat scary. US-14 is Shell Canyon, very scenic and has Shell Falls - ends up at Sheridan. US-16 is Ten Sleep Canyon - no water fall but in my opinion a little prettier than Shell Canyon and goes direct to Buffalo.

On way to Custer and right after Devils Tower if you are interested in Native American history check out the Vore Buffalo Jump. Right off the freeway at exit 199. www.vorebuffalojump.org

Then to Custer be sure to go via Spearfish Canyon - look for US-14 Scenic route in the town of Spearfish.

Paris
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4. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

Sequim!!!

Thanks for this marvelous answer. I have taken all these advices for bighorn mts.

I might sleep in Gardiner instead of a second night in West Yellowstone. I need to detail exactly the trails/spot I want to see in Yellowstone. Are there any famous 2 to 5 miles trails in the Lamar valley? This sounds great.

Thanks again this is very useful!

Florent

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

Boulder will be fine if you do not have an early morning flight out of Denver. Yes we too enjoyed Boulder when we were there last September.

Have a great trip!!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

Sounds like a good trip. Here's some ideas and input...

Day 11: Flight to Jackson Hole arriving noon - Tetons and then to Jackson for the night. Snake River Brewing is a good/casual place for dinner.

Day 12: Grand Teton to West YS. You can either drive through YS Park or drive over Teton Pass into Idaho and drive up to West YS that way.

Day 13: Yellowstone- you really don't need a full day for Grand Prismatic. There is a hike to an overlook. We spent a lot of time at Norris Geyser Basin, might be an option for part of the day.

Day 14: Yellowstone - northern loop. Visit Lamar Valley, Tower Falls, maybe a bite to eat at Roosevelt Lodge, then to Cody for the night.

Day 15: Bighorn Canyon / Bighorn National forest (night in Buffalo) - Watch for wild horses and maybe visit the Bighorn Medicine Wheel. byways.org/explore/…index.html

Day 16: Devils tower / Deadwood (night in Custer). Spearfish Canyon is beautiful blackhillsbadlands.com/home/…spearfishcanyon

Day 17: Custer State Park, Mt Rushmore. Maybe a cave tour either Jewel Cave Nat Mon or Wind Cave Nat Park. I would stay in Custer another night, then you can see the night program at Mt Rushmore.

Day 18: Badlands NP to Scottsbluff would be fine.

Day 19: To Boulder. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to airport. Rush hour is from about 6:30am to 9am or so. You can take a toll road which will bypass much of the traffic, but there is no way to pay the toll as it is all done by cameras and you will be charged quite a bit by your car rental company when the bill comes in.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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7. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

On Day 17, I'd opt out of Crazy Horse since you will be basically be seeing all of Custer SP & Rushmore that day and then heading to Wall. You could probably do a drive by, but I don't recommend going inside. As much as I enjoy the caves, I don't know if you will really have time to see one. I think Rushmore and Custer SP will max your day.

BTW, if you stay in Gardiner, be prepared for many less dining/ lodging options than in West Yellowstone. However, the town does put you in a better spot for touring Lamar Valley.

Enjoy your trip to these beautiful areas.

Paris
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8. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

'Hello!!!!!,

Thank you very much everyone for these inputs. Snake River Brewing looks nice, on my list :)

Day 13: I am not planning to stay full day at grand prismatic but take ALL the time I did not have last time :) But definetly I will need to look for intersting trails!

I was planning to sleep in Gardiner but if this is a far smaller town with less dining options then I think I will stay in West Yellowstone although I understand that the spot would be better since I am planning to do the northern part of Yellowstone the next day.

Spearfish canyon is on my list now!!!!

Thanks again for your inputs, this is very usefull!!!

Everett, Washington
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9. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

An option near Gardiner (about 1/2 hour drive north) is Chico Hot Springs. Very nice place with wide range of accomodations and a great restaurant. Also very nice hot springs pools. Rustic and very much a "western" flavor to the place but nice. Only downside is the extra drive to and from YNP but for one night not too bad. www.chicohotsprings.com

I am not sure about hiking much in the Lamar Valley. The area has large numbers of Bison, from time to time a fair number of wolves and also frequented by bear. But there are lots of viewing areas from the road.

10. Re: 9 days in Wyoming/South Dakota

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