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Yellowstone Trip

Vienna
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Yellowstone Trip

I am spending a semester abroad at the University of Minnesota next fall. I will probably come to the US early August, because I would like to do a little roadtrip (2-3 weeks) before the semester starts. I have already been to the East Coast Cities (Boston, New York, Philly) so I would like to

explore an other part of the States. I really love nature and moutains so Yellowstone/Teton NP sounds like a perfect destination. Generally, I got 2 options.

A: Driving all the way from Minneapolis to Yellowstone/Teton via Badlands, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore.

B: Take a flight to Denver and visit Badlands, Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, Teton NPs, Mount Rushmore, etc. on a round trip.

What do you think? Would I miss out on a lot if I don't visit Denver and Rocky Mountains NP?

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Yellowstone Trip

If you feel comfortable driving and will have a car then a lot of people drive to the Black Hills and Yellowstone.

If only you and can find affordable airfare and car rental then flying in and out of Denver would cut down on the driving. This would especially be true if you do not currently have a car to use in the US.

We love all this area of the west and have traveled to the area every year since 2007.

Good luck!!

Green Valley...
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2. Re: Yellowstone Trip

You could do Option A, but include Glacier National Park on your route.

I'd plan on:

YNP 3+ days

GTNP 2+ days

GNP 2 days

Add in driving time to/from these areas. For example, the drive from GNP to YNP is pretty much a full day.

You'll be traveling at the height of the tourist season so will need to make lodging arrangements as soon as you have definitive dates in mind.

Using Google Maps, plot your route. See how it fits your time available for this trip. It's not a "little trip", very different, more spacious, than the east coast travels.

And at risk of offending folks in Denver, you have seen other major cities, I'd focus on the breadth and beauty of this country, given your opportunity to do so.

Edited: 09 November 2012, 20:26
Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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3. Re: Yellowstone Trip

Since you are a student, I need to ask...how old are you? Car rental agencies have restrictions based on age. I know they will charge more if you are under their age requirement and they not rent to you at all if you are way off the limit.

If this is the case and you are unable to rent a car, your only choice that is simple would be to take AMTRAK to Glacier and use their shuttle systems. What are you planning to do for lodging?

I agree with voyaging. Skip Denver.

Vienna
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4. Re: Yellowstone Trip

I will be 22 then, so renting a car with a surcharge will be possible ;)

Vienna
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5. Re: Yellowstone Trip

Is there anything to do on the way back from Glacier NP to Minneapolis? Looks like a very long drive ;)

Bemidji, Minnesota
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6. Re: Yellowstone Trip

Yes it is a long drive back to Minneapolis from Glacier but there are a few thing to do to break up the journey. There is a dinosaur museum at Malta, MT and at Glasgow you can take a side trip to the Fort Peck Dam which at the time it was built was the largest earth fill dam in the world. At Wolf Point, MT I would suggest you leave highway 2 and head south on highway 13 to Circle, MT, then highway 2005 to Glendive, MT where you will pick up I-94 that will take you to Minneapolis. Be aware that there is a major oil drilling operation in this area and you will need to plan overnights to find a room.

At Medora, ND the highway goes through Teddy Roosevelt National Park. This area was known as the North Dakota Badlands before it was designated a national park. Dickinson, ND has another dinosaur museum. At Bismarck we've enjoyed a tour of the state capitol building. It's easy to get to with less traffic to deal with than many state capitols.

At Moorhead, MN there is a Hjelmkomst Museum that is interesting. You might enjoy a stop in Alexandria, MN for the Kensington Runestone museum.

N. Idaho
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7. Re: Yellowstone Trip

Good suggestions from RM-MN. I love that Runestone Museum! So interesting and such nice folks there when I visited. Teddy Roosevelt NP is interesting as well but may be a bit anticlimactic after Yellowstone and Glacier.

Pam

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Yellowstone Trip

I agree with others and yes be sure and make reservations in some parts of North Dakota due to the fact that they have an oil boom and hotel rooms are being taken by the workers because of a lack of housing.

Edited: 10 November 2012, 17:24
Vienna
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9. Re: Yellowstone Trip

Thank you!

What do you think about starting at Glacier NP? So I would start with the long drive and could visit all the other interesting places (Mt. Rushmore, Badlands,...) on my way back to Minny.

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Yellowstone Trip

Yes that would work since you will be coming in August.