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Old 06-13-2015, 05:51 AM   #1
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Question Need Yellowstone Advice.....LOTS of it!

We are in the beginning stages of planning a two week trip from Michigan to Yellowstone in July of 2016. Since we'll be driving a 40' diesel pusher (pulling a Jeep Wrangler), we wondered about campground/rv parks for our stay. Ideally, we would LOVE a nice FHU 50amp base camp that would offer open sky for satellite.......but would like to spend a few days at a more rustic park closer to Yellowstone. Are there parks that we would actually fit into for a few nights with only electric?

What route would be best from Michigan? Must we return the same way, or is there a nice southern drive that would allow us to visit a couple more states? Since my hubby will be 61 and I'll be 60, would it be beneficial to wait another year to get better "Senior" discounts? There's so much information out there, and we just don't know where to begin. Following all of the excellent advice on here, we had a LOVELY trip to South Dakota last summer.
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:26 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Born2RV View Post
We are in the beginning stages of planning a two week trip from Michigan to Yellowstone in July of 2016. Since we'll be driving a 40' diesel pusher (pulling a Jeep Wrangler), we wondered about campground/rv parks for our stay. Ideally, we would LOVE a nice FHU 50amp base camp that would offer open sky for satellite.......but would like to spend a few days at a more rustic park closer to Yellowstone. Are there parks that we would actually fit into for a few nights with only electric?

What route would be best from Michigan? Must we return the same way, or is there a nice southern drive that would allow us to visit a couple more states? Since my hubby will be 61 and I'll be 60, would it be beneficial to wait another year to get better "Senior" discounts? There's so much information out there, and we just don't know where to begin. Following all of the excellent advice on here, we had a LOVELY trip to South Dakota last summer.
I have stayed at Headwaters/Flagg Ranch multiple times which is just a few miles from the entrance to YL and will be staying there again in August. No cell service or internet. I like that it is close by the entrance. Lots of trees in the park and that may interfere with your satellite. They have full gas/diesel pumps, laundry room, store, small bar and restaurant. I was about 58' long with my trailer last year and it was tight but I got in my spot OK. FHU with 50A....was 30A but they say all spots are now 50A.

Headwaters Lodge & Cabins Flagg Ranch Company - Headwaters Lodge & Cabins Flagg Ranch Company -
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:49 AM   #3
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I don't think there are any FHU sites in Yellowstone. The most centrally located CG would be Fishing Bridge and it's only for hard sided RVs. I know it has 30amp but can't remember about 50amp (we didn't need 50 when we were there in our former coach). A lot of people criticize it because the sites are close and it's not much more than parking lot with a few shrubs but who sits at camp all day when you're in Yellowstone?

There is a lot to see between MI & WY but with only 2 weeks, you will have to pick and choose carefully. You will also need to look at your route in WY to Cody (assuming you're going in the east entrance). Both 16 & 14 can be a challenge so many drop south at Gillette to Casper to Thermopolis to Shoshone and then to Cody on 120. Cody is a great place to explore and if you have time (maybe MAKE the time) to do the Beartooth Hwy/Chief Joseph drive in your Jeep. AMAZING! It was a highlight of our trip a couple of years ago. We're planning on driving it this year when we're there again. You could also go in the south entrance and Teton NP is on the way.

There are FHU CGs in Cody but we've stayed at Buffalo Bill State Park (west end) and loved it. No sewer but spacious sites with gorgeous views. West Yellowstone has a selection of FHU CGs. We've stayed at Grizzly.

If you take I-90 through South Dakota, there are several neat places to see. Mitchell has the Corn Palace, Murdo has a really neat auto museum which is way more than just autos. There is a convenient overnight stop right next to the museum. Badlands NP is a drive through park but one should stop at the Visitor's Center. There is a missile launch site that we've not had a chance to see but it's on our list! Wall Drug is at Wall. You'll be really close to the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore. You won't be far from Devil's Tower which is worth a side trip. You could easily spend 2 weeks just getting to Yellowstone!

If you do plan to stay anywhere in Yellowstone, make reservations ASAP! Yellowstone is huge and has a lot of "jams"...bison jams, bear jams, elk jams, tourists watching wildlife jams...etc. It can be SLOW driving and there are a lot of miles to cover.

Have fun planning!
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:28 AM   #4
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Im eaves dropping on you

Dw and i are also looking at this trip hard for us to get away in summer for long trip we are still working. But this is a bucket list trip for us we live in Howell just west of you have a great trip Mike
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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We stayed in west Yellowstone at a nice open park just outside the west gate - Walking distance to stores and restaurants. great place to stay ans sight see. When we left we drove through Yellowstone on the Motor Coach out the east entrance through Cody and on to NY for a visit. Loved the drive
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:06 AM   #6
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I've stayed at Grizzly RV in West Yellowstone. Very nice park and a couple blocks from West Entrance. Cody is a nice 2 or 3 day stop. We stayed at Ponderosa and would again. From there you can do the Beartooth Highway drive in the toad. Great drive. Hill City South Dakota is a great stop. You can see Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Needles Highway and other local sites. We stayed at Rafter J Bar and would again. Wall Drug is a nice stop along the way either going or coming. Lots to do up in those parts and it's one of our favorite areas.

Have fun and relax!
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:06 PM   #7
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Highly recommend the KOA in West Yellowstone. Always clean descent sites roads big enough for my 40 footer with crew cab Chevy in tow. I've been through the park no less than 20 times and would be happy to give advice on routing during your stay to help meet your goals. PM if interested.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:32 PM   #8
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With only two weeks (very minimal trip from Michigan), I'd suggest staying either in the park itself at Fishing Bridge RV (full hookups) and there are some sites for a 40' MH or else choose one of many RV parks in West Yellowstone.

Pour over this web site for great information: http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

You definitely have to include a visit to Grand Teton Nat'l Park which is connected to Yellowstone and is completely different in looks. It's like a miniature Alps. For that park for full hookups your best choice is in the park itself at Colter Bay RV. We don't need hookups so we always stay at either Colter Bay campground (right next door to the RV park) or Gros Ventre campground a little further south toward the town of Jackson. Both do not accept reservations but each has 300 sites and we've never had a problem getting in with our 40' MH.

http://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm

With only 2 weeks I think touring the two parks would be plenty but surely you can find two different routes for getting there and returning. We prefer not to drive interstates unless we really have to.

I would also suggest you purchase the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers - Western Edition'. We used it all the time even though we love mountain driving. It will give you a heads up on what to expect. Purchase it from the original site itself. It's much cheaper than from Amazon for some strange reason.

As for as the Senior Pass, yes, it will save you some money. It just depends when you want to take this trip. If retirement is in the near future you might also wait until then and spend a couple months at least touring some of the wonderful western parks. Distance is great out here. Have fun with your plans.
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:12 PM   #9
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Just left Yellowstone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born2RV View Post
We are in the beginning stages of planning a two week trip from Michigan to Yellowstone in July of 2016. Since we'll be driving a 40' diesel pusher (pulling a Jeep Wrangler), we wondered about campground/rv parks for our stay. Ideally, we would LOVE a nice FHU 50amp base camp that would offer open sky for satellite.......but would like to spend a few days at a more rustic park closer to Yellowstone. Are there parks that we would actually fit into for a few nights with only electric?

What route would be best from Michigan? Must we return the same way, or is there a nice southern drive that would allow us to visit a couple more states? Since my hubby will be 61 and I'll be 60, would it be beneficial to wait another year to get better "Senior" discounts? There's so much information out there, and we just don't know where to begin. Following all of the excellent advice on here, we had a LOVELY trip to South Dakota last summer.
Hi, we are actually on our way home from Yellowstone now. We have a 37' MH & towing a vehicle. My husband did a lot of research & found out it was a little risky taking the big rigs into the park. There are tons of tourists in rental RV's that really are used to driving an RV. The drive over the yellow line & just about run you off the road. There are many really steep parts on the roads as well as some bad weather (snow) in the higher elevation of the Tetons. People stop quickly to get pictures with all the wildlife everywhere & any motorhomes that were there really created some problems. So we decided to drive to Bozeman & sray 2 days then on down to The park. We stayed at a really cute little town called West Yellowstone. (The 3Bears restaurant has the best Zucchini bread French toast). It was nice to come back to town each day after being in the park & the pool at the KOA campground. My favorite parts of the park were the Grand Canyon, old faithful & the old faithful inn was amazing. We did go down to the Teton National park & that was indescribable. Gotta see it. We are also 60 this year & figured we better do it now. Hope our experiences help.
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:14 PM   #10
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Forgot to tell you to check out Virginia City if you go to Bozeman��
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:57 PM   #11
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If you plan to drive through the park in your RV to get from A to B, then start out early morning - by 7 - 8am. (You'll probably see some special critters at that time, too, before all the tourists hit the roads). Definitely don't try to sitesee using the RV. It's much too busy and parking is a premium.
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Old 06-14-2015, 03:05 PM   #12
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I forgot to mention, 2 weeks might be kind of short for Yellowstone. If you can squeeze a little more time into the trip it's worth it. We were lucky enough to have 7 weeks, which for me feels a little to long. Something in between maybe better. Yes the Grand Tetons were like the Alps & amazing
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:14 PM   #13
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We stayed in Yellowstone for 10 days last September.. I would recommend staying at Fishing Bridge. We were in a 40 foot class. A and used 50 amp. The CG is only a place to park, spaces are tight and close. Ambiance is poor but location is great for touring the park. If you choose FB get reservations early. We got ours a year In advance. There was very little phone service and no wireless but we were able to find a place to use phones and hot spot not to far from the campground.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:36 PM   #14
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X2 on Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone. It is a beautiful full amenity park with long pull-thrus and very close to the West entrance of Yellowstone NP. It has a very nice Laundromat and there is a decent grocery store in town. You can divide the park into loops and drive in each day and see that portion of the park. That said, be aware that traffic is really congested in the summer. We went right after Labor day. Most summer vacationers had left and the traffic was not too bad. It was great.
We drove to West Yellowstone from Bozeman and the drive along the Gallatin River was beautiful. I highly recommend that route.

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