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Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

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Callington, United...
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Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

I'm planning a fly drive holiday in the United States for two weeks during July 2011.

I'm hoping to fly to Denver and then visit Yellowstone National Park. Can anyone help with ideas of where to stay and what is the best route to take in the best scenery.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

Hi and welcome to the forum

With 2 weeks you could add Black Hills/Badlands NP, South Dakota like:

1. Arrive denver

2: Drtive to South Dakota

3,4: South Dakota

5,6: To Yellowstone via Devils Tower NM and Cody

7,8,9: Yellowstone and to Grand Teton NP

10. GTNP

11/12/13: Drive to Rocky Mountains NP and the stay there.

14. Drive to Denver

I would prefer to visit RMNP at the end of your stay because you will be used to higher elevations then.

This roundtrip really is wonderfuil and one of the best you can make imo.

You can stay longer or shorter at places of course. That's up to you.

Make your reservation ahead of time. . July is a busy time of year.

Happy planning!

Tet

Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

I agree with the previous poster, except Grand Teton NP won't take more than 2-3 hrs unless you want to hike around a lot. Both times I've been there I've just drove through. South Dakota is great place that is (sort of) on the way. There are lots of historic places on the way to SD in the Nebraska panhandle (Scottsbluff mainly) if you are into that stuff. Mt. Rushmore would be an easy stop in SD and I'd recommend staying in Hot Springs or Custer, both are nice towns w/lots of lodging available. Give yourself a minimum of 3 days at Yellowstone...there is so much to see and driving around in the park takes a lot longer than you expect due to traffic. On your way back to Denver I'll suggest 2 routes depending on how much time you'll have (1 or 2 days to get back to Den.). If you have only 1 day head southeast on hwy 287 through Muddy Gap and catch I-80 in Rawlins and you can head south on 287 again at Laramie for a scenic drive if you want. If you have 2 days to get back, go west at Jackson, WY on hwy 22 to Idaho Falls and take the detour to see Craters of the Moon National Monument. Then you can go through Soda Springs (historic site http://www.sodaspringsid.com/) on the way down to meet up with I-80 in WY and then 80 to I-25. Hope this gives you some ideas!

Nederland, Colorado
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3. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

This isn't the Wyoming forum but I had to add my 2 cents. Grand Teton is one of the most beautiful national parks and deserves so much more than just a "drive through". There are too many great hikes to mention and many opportunities to see moose. It is a darned shame that so many just pass through going to or from Yellowstone.

Now, back to Colorado. Tet14 is right on, you really should plan a visit to RMNP also. Is there anything we can help you with regarding RMNP and Colorado information?

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

I also would add some time to GTNP. If you can take a little longer than 14 days you could do this roundtrip at leisurely pace. With 3 weeks you even could add the Moab area with NP's like Arches and Canyonlands NP. and/or SW Colorado with lots of fantastic places.

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5. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

My sister and I did a trip to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons last year. We stayed in West Yellowstone for 2 nights, and spent one night in YNP (rather than at a West Yellowstone motel) as a 'treat' to ourselves. Mammouth Frontier Cabins were the cheapest in-park lodging--worth it to see the buffalo grazing in front of our cabin. The cabins are very basic but hey, you're in the middle of the action. There may be entertainment (movies?) at the Mammoth Lodge in the evening. From your cabin door, walk over to the hot springs terraces--amazing!

Outside of the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner (close to Mammoth), eat at Helen's Corral, a local outdoor burger place. GO HUNGRY! It's guaranteed to be crowded but the burgers (bison, elk or beef) are HUGE and tasty.

If you choose to stay in West Yellowstone, the park entrance is very close by. LOTS of motels to choose from. On the drive into the park we often saw elk by the river--and we also saw bald eagles, parents and child. There's almost nothing to do in West Yellowstone in the evening--browse the shops choose a local restaurant, then head to DQ for ice cream. We chose a motel with a hot tub so THAT was our evening activity. Yummy way to end a day of sightseeing and hiking in the park.

ENJOY!

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

Depending on your interests, if you will be going through Cody, Wyoming, consider a stop to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center - http://www.bbhc.org/home - I'm sure that it's discussed in the Wyoming TA forums. There's a gorgeous collection of art in one of the galleries, and another of its museums is devoted to the Plains Indians, which I also enjoyed immensely.

Edited: 14 June 2010, 02:04
Uden, The...
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7. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

I agree. The Buffalo Bill museums should not be missed. Also try the nice Nite Rodeo in Cody in summer. http://www.codystampederodeo.com/

Not a Prorodeo but lots of fun.

Tet

Callington, United...
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8. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

Thank you for all the post's received, they are most welcome and extremely helpful. We are looking forward to our honeymoon next year.

Uden, The...
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9. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

Congrats! You've made a great decision.

Ohio
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10. Re: Fly drive to Colorado/Wyoming/Utah

which decision? getting married or honeymooning in the western US? :)

Another vote for NOT making the Tetons a drive by. We spent 2 days there and didn't hike at all. Saw tons of moose, too, which made my trip.