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Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Chesterfield...
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Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

I did a route check from GTNP to VA City - traveling across the Ashton Flagg Ranch Road (late July) and googlemaps said it'd take about 5.5 hrs to get from there to Virginia City. Does that sound about right? And would it be better to travel the Ashton road vs going through YS (which I'll be driving through in August)? THANKS!!!

ps- I know this is the YS forum and I appreciate your help b/c ya'll seem to know a lot about the entire area.

Moose, Wyoming
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1. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

I assume you mean Virginia City, Idaho?

If it were me, I'd go through the park. The road connecting Flagg to Ashton (also called the Grassy Lake Rd) is mostly unpaved, narrow (1 lane or a little wider), doesn't get graded until July so it can be really rough until then, and rocky enough in places where a sedan will bottom out. So it's slow driving.

Chesterfield...
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2. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

So it would be better to just drive up through YS? And no, VA City in Montana.

N. Idaho
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3. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

I am sure Teton Bill actually means Va City MT as to my knowledge there is not a Va City Idaho.

Same info applies to Grassy Lake Rd though.

Google Maps gives it 1.5 hrs from West Yellowstone to Va. City. It's highway speeds most of the way once you get out of the West Yellowstone area. Just 2-lane, but not much traffic the times I've traveled that road.

Not sure where you are staying, but from the S. Gate to the West Gate via Old Faithful it's 79 miles so about 2.75 hours. (It's 20 miles longer to go by Canyon to the West Gate). Looks like it would then be 4.25 hours from the South Gate to Virginia City. You can add on the time from where you are staying to the south gate for the total.

Looks like a long way for a day trip!

Pam

N. Idaho
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4. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Sorry, didn't see your post. I was busy getting this non-math brain to do the calculations.

Yes, probably quicker to go thru the park than the Grassy Lake Rd.

You can figure out the time going across Teton Pass to Victor, Driggs and Ashton Idaho, up 20 to 87 which cuts you over to US 287 and on up to Ennis and see if you come out with a better time.

Pam

Chesterfield...
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5. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Thanks a ton! So helpful.

Not a day trip- we will fly into Jackson and work our way up to Glacier NP so just picking some stops along the way for the kids. Ultimately, we'll head back down to YS before flying back out of Jackson. We have 2 weeks and a day.

Again- honestly, you guys are more than helpful! Especially for us who have never visited the area.

Chesterfield...
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6. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Just thought of something- if I pay $25 to enter the south gate to get over to the west gate to get to Va City- it's only good for 7 days right? So when I return after visiting Glacier NP, I will then pay another $25 since I will be back about 10 days later?

Just want to confirm.

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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7. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Buy yourself an America the Beautiful Pass for $80 or so. It gets you and your significant other into all national parks for a year.

N. Idaho
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8. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Yes, you are exactly right. There is also a $25 entry fee at Glacier. You might as well go ahead and buy an America the Beautiful Pass for $80 which would cover you for all National Park entries for the next year. You should be able to purchase that at Grand Teton Visitor Center.

http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html

Pam

Denver, Colorado
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9. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Last September I tried to drive the Grassy Lake Road from Flagg Ranch to Ashton but only got to Grassy Lake before turning around.

My 4x4 truck had no trouble with the bumpy road itself but the road was incredibly dry and the dust kicked up by my tires was so bad that all of my camping gear in the bed of my truck got covered in a thick layer of dirt.

The cover on the bed has good seals but my tailgate did not (I'm about to fix that) so the dust just came up all around the gaps between the tailgate and the frame of the truck bed.

Also, the ranger at Flagg Ranch said that the printed times you often see online for traveling this road are rather optimistic, especially if you stop to see things or take a break from the bumpy road.

Moose, Wyoming
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10. Re: Travel distance question from GTNP to Va City

Here's an interesting story I remembered about Grassy Lake Road.

www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php…

And yes, thank you D0bby, I meant Virginia City, Montana.

Edited: 29 April 2012, 04:48