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Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

Ft. Worth , Texas
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141 posts
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Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

We are looking at breaking up the drive from Mueller State Park to Signal Mtn Lodge on our trek to the Tetons/ Yellowstone (originating in Fort Worth). We are a family of 6. Any recommendations?

Fort Worth, Texas
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1. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

We drive from Ft Worth too. You've probable got this covered by now, but we stay in the Loveland or Fort Collins area of CO. I'd rather drive a bit further and stay in Cheyenne, WY, but it seems the week we go, hotels are ridiculous. (I am not paying $200 per night to stay in a Motel 6!!) LOL Laramie isn't much better with their prices. There just isn't much in between Cheyenne and GTNP or YNP.

I'm not sure how you are doing your trip, but we usually drive to Amarillo after work and spend 1 night there. Then, we only have to get to Ft Collins so we do something fun in CO, like a hike, the alpine slide in Golden, CO, drive up to Estes Park for a bit (Not too far from Loveland, and it's a beautiful drive), etc...

One thing that my son loved was getting his picture taken on this huge stuffed Jackalope in Dubois, WY. It's inside a gas station...they also have a fiberglass Jackalope statue outside. Another big plus about that gas station is that they sell huckleberry ice cream. YUM! I'm not sure of your kids' ages, but "riding" the jackalope is silly and fun.

Have a great trip!!

Lisa

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Ft. Worth , Texas
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2. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

Thank you for your reply! We have not figured out our route, yet, actually! We were going to drive straight through on the first day to Colorado Springs (a long drive, I know) and stay there 1 or 2 nights. We were going to see Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. I wanted to break the trip up going to GTNP, though to give my husband a break! I was even entertaining the idea of going west through Colorado and then north up to Jackson. My family has never been to the mountains before and I thought it would be scenic. We could, however, stay in Cheyenne. On our return from YSNP we were going to stay a few nights in Estes Park. Would you know about a route through Colorado? Thanks for the Jackalope info!

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Fort Worth, Texas
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3. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

This is the route that we take: http://mapq.st/AyIRE4

Let me know if you can't view that link. We definitely prefer going up into NM instead of through OK. Once you get to Amarillo, there is some scenery, and then in NM, you have some more scenery. Garden of the Gods is really cool. There is a nice water fall hike in CO Springs, called Helen Hunt Falls (no relation to the actress), and it's free. We haven't been up to Pikes Peak, but I do want to ride the COG up when my son is a little bit older. We'll actually stay in CO Springs on our way back, and we'll do the trip back in 2 days.

Estes Park is awesome too. We've been there 5 times. We just went for our 1st winter trip over Christmas break. RMNP is just gorgeous and has some amazing hikes. (Mills Lake and Gem Lake are my 2 favorite hikes in RMNP). there's a great restaurant, called Poppy's that has outdoor seating right on the Big Thompson River. They serve pizza, amazing salads, and sandwiches/burgers, etc. They also have a great beer selection.

Anyway, the route above is very scenic. Of course, CO is beautiful the whole way up. Once past CO, there are a lot of rolling hills and rock formations in WY. We really enjoyed the drive. We saw a lot of mule deer and we saw some pronghorn on the way.

I haven't actually been to GTNP, but we've driven right by it. It's GORGEOUS! My husband is self employed and it's hard for me to get much more than a week off work so we just go right on up to YNP. You'll love Yellowstone too. It's absolutely amazing. We used to be beach vacationers, but we went on a road trip to Glacier National Park in 2005, and we got hooked on the mountains. Plus, it's so refreshing to get out of the TX heat in the middle of summer.

Also, I'm not sure if you've ever visited "MomsMinivan.com," but it has a lot of recommendations on games to play in the car for all ages. http://www.momsminivan.com/ You can print the License Plate Game, scavenger hunts, travel bingo, and it has a lot of other recommendations for a road trip.

Let me know if you have any questions. You've got a great itinerary planned, and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun!!

Ft. Worth , Texas
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4. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

Thank you for the tips- especially the games/activities for the trip! Where do you stay in Estes Park? Do you stay within the park at Yellowstone? We are staying at Old Faithful Inn for the first night then to Lake Yellowstone for the next few nights then ending at Roosevelt Lodge for a few nights in a cabin. We are doing the cowboy cookout, also. Did you stay in any of those places? Any tips?

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5. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

I think you're on the right track in YNP. OFI, Lake Hotel or cabins and Roosevelt all beat staying outside the park. Of course, I believe all lodging inside the park beats all lodging outside the park. I bet your family will enjoy the cowboy cookout at Roosevelt.

Pardon me if you said what time of year your trip will be, and I missed it. it could make a difference.

While staying at Roosevelt, be sure to take in the wildlife in the Lamar Valley. Wildlife watchers with spotting scopes are always willing to share their scopes with well-behaved youngsters. Quite a few youngsters have seen their first wolf in the wild through mine, and I bet some of them will never forget the moment (the kids, that is, not the wolves).

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Ft. Worth , Texas
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6. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

We will be in Yellowstone at the first of August. I also hope to drive the Beartooth Hwy. have you ever done that?

Fort Worth, Texas
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7. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

The last time we went to Estes. We stayed at the Best Western. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the rooms were modern, clean, and spacious. We also like to rent cabins through VRBO. If you end up spending 3+ days there, its nice to have a full kitchen. There is a YMCA there that is nice. (I know...doesn't sound great, butlooks great and gets great reviews. Its right outside RMNP, and they have an indoor pool. Most of us Texans need it to be 95 in order to get in an outdoor pool...LOL!!)

In regards to your hotels, like Bill said, inside is better than outside. My husband is self employed so hes always needed to have Internet access that you can get outside the park. You really spend a lot of time driving staying outside of the park. This year, we'll just deal with no Internet access. I haven't stayed inside the park since I was a kid. I'm looking forward to it this year!!!

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8. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

Good point about the Y at Estes Park, TxLisa. it is the YMCA of the Rockies, and staying there, especially for a family, is a top-flight idea. I don't know if I ever reviewed it, but I would give it 5 out of 5. In the summer there is even a shuttle from there to the park.

Fort Worth, Texas
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9. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

I haven't done the Bear Tooth Hwy, but we're definitely thinking about getting that on our itinerary this year. We'll be there the week before you...the last week of July. It's the perfect time to get out of the TX heat!!! (: It's a little depressing when you get to Amarillo on the way back and the temperature gauge reads 106. Lol!!

10. Re: Stay for a night between CO Springs and Signal Mtn Lodge

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