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Old 10-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
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You said you're retired....so definitely take a longer trip - even plan on staying west the whole summer. Yes, there's that much to see! As far as snow melting in Yellowstone - no set time. However, the roads probably won't give you any problems in June although some hiking trails may still have snow, but most likely you'll find it clear sailing. Have a great trip!
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #16
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Most every facility will be open by mid May. You still will see snow on the roadsides, but roads will be open shortly after any fresh snow.

Operating Hours & Seasons - Yellowstone National Park
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #17
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Remember these dates are weather dependant, but are generally correct!
The “Park” allows over snow vehicles only (Snow Machines, Snow Coaches and Snow Shoes) from mid December until mid March. This gives the Rangers about a month or more to clear the roads of snow/ice.
There are 5 entrance roads-
The Gardiner entrance is open all year, open how far south?
The first to open is from W. Y’stone, MT to Old Faithful about mid April.
Next would be the South entrance from Jackson and the Grand Tetons.
Last would be the North East entrance from Cooke City or the East from Cody, WY
The elevation at Canyon is 7918 ft, between Old faithful and West Thumb you cross the Continental Divide twice (8262ft. and 8391ft.) between West Thumb and the South Entrance you cross the Continental Divide at 7988 ft. the roads will be clear (except temporally for a late season Snowstorm) but there can be snow alongside the road until late June!
We normally make the trip from W. Y’stone to Old Faithful as soon as the road is open to look at the newest croup of Babies.
As of mid April there are limited tourist facilities open so take your own food/snacks and have plenty of Fuel. All tourist facilities will be open by Memorial Day Weekend.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:00 PM   #18
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scooterbob,

We did an out west trip two years ago and loved it. We were in Yellowstone right around Memorial Day and woke up with fresh snow on the ground each morning. On the way from Yellowstone to the Black Hills we decided to jot up to Devil's Tower. It's a few miles out of the way, but I'm very glad we "added it on" to the trip, as it turned out be one of the highlights.

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #19
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Other things to think about, Oklahoma City has a huge and fantastic Cowboy museum, if your travels take you thru there it's a must. Cody Wy, has a firearms museum, Colt I believe that is appt only, if you're going to be in Cody, I'd take the time to visit that. Custer battlefield is a nice visit, I could give you a list 5 - 6 pages if you want, I've lived in ID, and traveled thru Mt, WY, SD, ND, etc, way too much to see. Personally, I'd narrow it down to a few places and spend more time in each rather then try to see it all. Yellowstone, Glacier and Teton park can take a month just by themselves.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatonka
Other things to think about, Oklahoma City has a huge and fantastic Cowboy museum, if your travels take you thru there it's a must. Cody Wy, has a firearms museum, Colt I believe that is appt only, if you're going to be in Cody, I'd take the time to visit that. Custer battlefield is a nice visit, I could give you a list 5 - 6 pages if you want, I've lived in ID, and traveled thru Mt, WY, SD, ND, etc, way too much to see. Personally, I'd narrow it down to a few places and spend more time in each rather then try to see it all. Yellowstone, Glacier and Teton park can take a month just by themselves.
John
Yes any info would b good
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #21
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Bob, Karen, and (of course) Buddy:

Hi from South Dakota. We're full timers from the Mitchell area of So. Dakota and know the Black Hills pretty well. Of course we're otta here down South in the winter, but we do spend some of our summer in the Hills.

So, if you find yourself on I-90 running East/West through So. Dakota, either going or coming from Yellowstone, ya might consider a visit to the Black Hills on your way. Late May and/or early June would be wonderful. If ya decide to visit on your way West to Yellowstone, consider the following:

a. Plan an overnight at R & R Campground next to I-90 (easy in/out) at Mitchell, SD IF ya want to visit the Corn Palace.

b. Continuing West, on I-90, the rest stop at Chamberlain right before the bridge and overlooking the Missouri River is a great stop with a nice little Lewis and Clark Museum. Worth a stop and pictures of the river.

c. Cont. W., ya might want to think about a short (1 hr., or 2 hr.) lunch stop at the famous Wall Drug in Wall, S.D. (Exit 110 or 111), (good RV parking in/out). Ya have to stop once in your life anyway so why not now .

d. Cont. W. toward Rapid City, THEN, at Exit 61, follow Rt. 16A/16 around the SE corner of Rapid City and on WSE toward Keystone/Rushmore, etc. Now, where ya stay is up to you, but there are quite a few great campground. But where ever you park your rig, unhook your tow vehicle or toad, and sit back relax and take a few day trips. On the way toward Keystone from Rapid along Rt. 16 is a good campground called Rushmore Shadows. Another good one is in the town of Custer (stay on 16 to Hill City and then cont. South past the Crazy Horse Monument to Custer). From where ever ya park, take day excursions to Rushmore, Crazy Horse, do (for sure !!) the Needles Hwy., maybe up to Deadwood (N. Hills area), run through Spearfish Canyon (stopping at Cheyenne Crossing for pie !), do the Custer Park (day pass) Wildlife Loop Rd. (buffalo on road, jackasses, prairie dogs, etc.). Ask others for more things to do and see.....there's SO MUCH, and it's ALL easy little day trips from your base campground. Ya COULD even do a easy day trip from the Hills up to I-90 and West into Wyoming to visit Devils Tower so you'll have seen it even before ya head further West toward Yellowstone once ya depart the Black Hills.

ENOUGH for now,....others will jump in hopefully. HAVE A GREAT TRIP !!

Steve & Lynette
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickadee View Post
Bob, Karen, and (of course) Buddy:

Hi from South Dakota. We're full timers from the Mitchell area of So. Dakota and know the Black Hills pretty well. Of course we're otta here down South in the winter, but we do spend some of our summer in the Hills.

So, if you find yourself on I-90 running East/West through So. Dakota, either going or coming from Yellowstone, ya might consider a visit to the Black Hills on your way. Late May and/or early June would be wonderful. If ya decide to visit on your way West to Yellowstone, consider the following:

a. Plan an overnight at R & R Campground next to I-90 (easy in/out) at Mitchell, SD IF ya want to visit the Corn Palace.

b. Continuing West, on I-90, the rest stop at Chamberlain right before the bridge and overlooking the Missouri River is a great stop with a nice little Lewis and Clark Museum. Worth a stop and pictures of the river.

c. Cont. W., ya might want to think about a short (1 hr., or 2 hr.) lunch stop at the famous Wall Drug in Wall, S.D. (Exit 110 or 111), (good RV parking in/out). Ya have to stop once in your life anyway so why not now .

d. Cont. W. toward Rapid City, THEN, at Exit 61, follow Rt. 16A/16 around the SE corner of Rapid City and on WSE toward Keystone/Rushmore, etc. Now, where ya stay is up to you, but there are quite a few great campground. But where ever you park your rig, unhook your tow vehicle or toad, and sit back relax and take a few day trips. On the way toward Keystone from Rapid along Rt. 16 is a good campground called Rushmore Shadows. Another good one is in the town of Custer (stay on 16 to Hill City and then cont. South past the Crazy Horse Monument to Custer). From where ever ya park, take day excursions to Rushmore, Crazy Horse, do (for sure !!) the Needles Hwy., maybe up to Deadwood (N. Hills area), run through Spearfish Canyon (stopping at Cheyenne Crossing for pie !), do the Custer Park (day pass) Wildlife Loop Rd. (buffalo on road, jackasses, prairie dogs, etc.). Ask others for more things to do and see.....there's SO MUCH, and it's ALL easy little day trips from your base campground. Ya COULD even do a easy day trip from the Hills up to I-90 and West into Wyoming to visit Devils Tower so you'll have seen it even before ya head further West toward Yellowstone once ya depart the Black Hills.

ENOUGH for now,....others will jump in hopefully. HAVE A GREAT TRIP !!

Steve & Lynette
Steve & Lynette
Thanks, I think I will need about 2 months to see what everyone is posting. I am trying to make a list of everyones hot spots and then put them togather. I appreciate everybodys input and look foreward to looking this thread every day. I am a 2 finger typist and cant spell for s**t.

Me and the wife have decided we are leaving about May 15 and come home in july sometime, I will not be towing the toad on this trip though.
"all comments apprecited"
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:31 PM   #23
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Get your map(s) out and check not only the places listed so far, but other points of interest to you along your proposed route (you will change it several times to take in all the wonders).

I left Clarksboro, NJ headed for Seattle, WA and it took me a month to make that trip with stops at the Black Hills and Yellowstone and we are looking forward to a return trip. We were in Yellowstone during May and had no snow issues of any kind.

I learned to not plan the trip too tight, leave some room for flexability as you will find more then you planned and can fit it in as you go.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #24
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Bob, Karen & Buddy:

Gotta tell ya, unless there is some major overriding reason not to, taking a toad with you for day trip/touring not only the Black Hills, but Yellowstone as well would be the way to go. It would be very cumbersome touring with your rig, and you'd miss alot.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:47 AM   #25
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We did Yellowstone a few times from NJ.

- take the toad. Y'stone is tight trying to tour in a MH.
- make reservations as soon as they open up. Fishing Bridge campground right in the park is where we stay.
- we have taken the bus tours for the Lower and Upper loops in Y'stone. We have also rented a private guide for the day from the Y'stone institute. Both are great options and you will learn much more from the guides. Plus they do the driving!
- We have been there in June and there was still a lot of snow around. We were there in July and there is a ton of pine pollen and mosquitoes.
- You have few route options on the way to Y'stone and can arrive via the South or East entrance. There are a number of threads on the forum discussing your options so you should investigate those.
- We love to stop in Thermopolis, WY and swim in the hot springs. Great for weary bones and muscles!
- Expect a strong cross wind when driving across NE or SD.

Have fun!
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