Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Help with Yellowstone and Tetons
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kdsjts3

Georgia

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Posted: 06/23/20 07:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Need expert advice. Driving a 40' with a tow from Georgia with our family of 7 in July. Staying in Rapid City, Custer, then on to Yellowstone, Tetons and RMNP then back. I have reservations at campgrounds near the National Parks - as close as I could find. I have double booked because I am not sure of the best route as I have read to avoid going over the Bighorns. I have a night in Cody, and two nights in West Yellowstone booked. I also have the same three nights booked at Yellowstone's Edge in Livingston. The next two nights I have at Firesides Buffalo Valley, then on to Estes Park, CO. Should I keep three nights at Yellowstone's Edge and plan to drive in to YNP each day or is that too much car time for 7 of us packed in? Other option is to go through Cody and drive through the park to the West side. OR stay two nights on the North side then drive over to West Yellowstone for a night to see Old Faithful and the sites on that end. There is so much driving and I am nervous about the first come first serve spots because we have five kids (three teens) and it's hard to get everyone up and going early. Advice on roads in that area? Advice on a home base for Yellowstone - north or west or both? Advice on Tetons from Moran area? Thank you!

ppine

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Posted: 06/23/20 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't over think it. Get as close to the park as you can. Ystone is huge. Best to camp in the Park. You will spend a lot of time commuting, but you will be in Wyoming.

Cancel the reservations that are furthest away if they are duplicates. Livingston is clear out in Paradise Valley. You can make the Bighorns.

Desert Captain

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Posted: 06/23/20 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just returned from a 19 day trip from Tucson to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and while our trip was just my bride and I in a 24' Class C here are few thoughts to share. Since you will be in Cody do not miss the Buffalo Bill Center of the West but try an allow at least an hour or two to explore. You could spend more time but a couple of hours will give you a great look at this amazing display.

We drove from Cody across the Yellowstone to West Yellowstone where we stayed at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park {about one mile from the west gate of the park}. This is a very nice RV Park that I highly recommend.

Access to Yellowstone from here is excellent especially as you have Old Faithful near the top of your list. The ride to OF is awesome with lots of thermal areas too explore along the way. Buffalo and Elk by the hundreds typically graze along most of the route.

We spent 4 - 6+ hours 6 days out of 7 exploring the parks in our coach on the cold days and on my motorcycle when it warmed up and covered nearly 700 miles. We did not see all of Yellowstone but we did see most of it. Do not miss the Grand canyon of Yellowstone {see it from both sides of the canyon}. The waterfalls will take your breath away, one is 308' high as the Yellowstone river roars through the narrow canyon.

The Mud Volcano is another great stop with lots to see. Leaving Old Faithful continue east and then north along the west shore of the lake {going towards Fishing Bridge {the Grand Canyon is just north of FB}. If you have the time a trip up to mammoth Springs near the north entrance is another great ride with lots to see when you arrive.

Not sure how you accommodate 7 in one vehicle and for how long that remains fun but Yellowstone is so amazing I have no doubt you will all have a blast.

We drove south out of the park and also stayed at Firesides Buffalo Valley RV Park and loved it. The views of the surrounding Grand Teton's are incredible. The restrooms and laundry facilities were immaculate and they have a small store and gas station on the property. A drive into Jackson is scenic beyond belief and it is a fun town to visit just 40 miles down the road from the RV Park. The Jackson Lake area is another great area to explore.

It is impossible to pick a favorite photo but this one works about as well as any. The smile on my bride's face pretty much says it all. This is about halfway to Jackson from the RV park at the Glacier View turn out:

[image]

Different trips for different folks but Yellowstone and Grand Teton are about as good as RV'ing gets. Hope this helps... Enjoy!

[emoticon]





wapiticountry

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Posted: 06/23/20 10:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yellowstone's Edge is a great RV Park. But it is a 45 minute drive to Yellowstone Park's North Entrance. That adds an hour and a half to your already long day. There are parks within blocks of the North Entrance, perhaps you should get reservations there instead. What type of vehicle are you going to be driving with 7 people? Normally, I would suggest you book some bus tours, but they aren't running this year due to virus concerns. I sure hope your children are really into the outdoors. Because if they are not, Yellowstone and the surrounding amenities don't offer a great deal of other activities. There aren't amusement parks, water parks, go cart tracks or other diversions for the kids. Good luck.

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Posted: 06/23/20 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved to "Roads and Routes" from "Forum Posting Help and Support"

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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 06/23/20 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yellowstone itself is enormous. There will be a lot of car time for a family of 7. On the other hand, it is worth it, both for the landscape/features, but also for the wildlife. We were unable to use our TT, long story involving a blown head gasket, so rented a car and stayed in hotels/camping cabins in West Yellowstone, at Grant's in the park, and at the ranch between Yellowstone and Tetons. You cannot see everything in one trip to Yellowstone, unless perhaps you spend an entire season there. At the same time, what ever you choose to do, you will have lots to see.





kdsjts3

Georgia

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Posted: 06/23/20 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How is driving through the park with a motorhome and tow vehicle? Should we plan to do this early in the am or later at night? Need to get from Cody to West yellowstone.

runeatcamp

Illinois

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Posted: 06/23/20 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kdsjts3 wrote:

Need expert advice. Driving a 40' with a tow from Georgia with our family of 7 in July. Staying in Rapid City, Custer, then on to Yellowstone, Tetons and RMNP then back. I have reservations at campgrounds near the National Parks - as close as I could find. I have double booked because I am not sure of the best route as I have read to avoid going over the Bighorns. I have a night in Cody, and two nights in West Yellowstone booked. I also have the same three nights booked at Yellowstone's Edge in Livingston. The next two nights I have at Firesides Buffalo Valley, then on to Estes Park, CO. Should I keep three nights at Yellowstone's Edge and plan to drive in to YNP each day or is that too much car time for 7 of us packed in? Other option is to go through Cody and drive through the park to the West side. OR stay two nights on the North side then drive over to West Yellowstone for a night to see Old Faithful and the sites on that end. There is so much driving and I am nervous about the first come first serve spots because we have five kids (three teens) and it's hard to get everyone up and going early. Advice on roads in that area? Advice on a home base for Yellowstone - north or west or both? Advice on Tetons from Moran area? Thank you!


This is such an awesome trip. You'll have an amazing time.

I don't have the experience with all of your questions to feel confident answering all of them, but I wanted to tell you that if you are at all interested in the first come first serve campgrounds in the park, you don't need to have your whole rig/family with you to get in line for a spot. You (or whoever rises early in your family) can take your tow early, get your spot, then return later with your rig. We did this last September and it worked out fine.

You're not going to regret any part of this trip, I don't think. Personally, were it me, I'd do all three nights in West Yellowstone, and I'd get there via I-90 in Montana. I wouldn't cross the Bighorns unless I had to. If you stay in one place for the three nights, you save some packup/breakdown time with your rig, and get to spend that time in the park. West Yellowstone is a great spot to see the most popular sites. Then I'd take the rig through the park to get to Moran and the Tetons.

I-90 coming from South Dakota is a beautiful drive. You see the Bighorns get larger as you drive towards them. It's one of the seminal moments of my life.

No matter what you choose, you'll have an amazing time. Please keep us updated!


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ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 06/23/20 03:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kdsjts3 wrote:

How is driving through the park with a motorhome and tow vehicle? Should we plan to do this early in the am or later at night? Need to get from Cody to West yellowstone.


The roads are good. Big RV's drive through the park all the time, even with construction going on. We've driven through many times with our big fifth wheel and parked at the visitors center way in the back, near Old Faithful. We weren't the only RV.


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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 06/23/20 11:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is a big park, and the roads have low speed limits plus slow traffic plus occasional stoppages for wildlife crossing the highway and whatnot. Plan for slow going. If you find yourself in a part of the park you really like, consider trying to snag a first-come campsite nearby in the park itself and then move your rig there for a couple of days. That will let you have a closer 'home base' and reduce windshield time. All the driving will get old after while, unless you break it up with plenty of stops and walks and such.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


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