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Old 08-02-2014, 10:01 AM   #15
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When you go from Utah to NM, take the time to dry camp at Goosenecks State Park. Park right by the canyon...dramatic sunsets and views.

Then stay two nights and one day at Gouldings RV Park in Monument Valley and see that. The full day tour that goes to the Anasazi lands (you can't access them on your own) and Monument Valley is a great day (as long as the wind isn't blowing up the dust).
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:37 AM   #16
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When we visited Yellowstone, we tried to save money and stayed 25 miles from the west entrance at Red Rock RV Park in Island Park, Idaho. Every trip into the park was at least a 175 mile round trip in the toad. If there is a next time, we will make reservations way ahead of time at Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone. Expensive...but well worth it in the long run.

For me, Glacier National Park is way more scenic and the Going to the Sun Highway will take your breath away. We used the toad twice and the free shuttle buses once, but should have included an all day tour in one of the really cool touring cars. I missed some fantastic scenery while trying to keep the toad on the road. Say hi to Mr. Grizzly just outside the east entrance on Hwy 89, at the south end of the lake...near a KOA. Sorry the picture is so fuzzy, but I was a little nervous. I was, however, able to get within 20 feet of him in the toad. We stayed at North American RV Park in Coram, MT...on Hwy 2 just 5 miles out the west entrance.

You can enter Zion from the east...but need to pay to go thru the center of a 1.1 mile tunnel...with your toad disconnected. We stayed at Zion Canyon CG in Springdale, UT...just outside the south entrance.

For Monument Valley, you have no choice but to stay at Gouldings RV Park, which is located nearby in a box canyon. The entire area was one of the most unusual places we have ever been. To tell you the truth, we were glad to leave because it really is out in the middle of nowhere. The wind is constant and the dust is everywhere. I am still finding it in the basement.

We were too early this year (April) to visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Travelers Village at the south rim is fantastic...just make sure the elk allow you to hook up.

Grizzly is indeed a great option for staying near the west entrance to Yellowstone! Even from there it is 25 miles or so to get to any attractions, although you frequently get to stop along the road to view wildlife.

No trip to the areas mentioned is complete without going to Glacier. Granted, it is another 400 miles north, but well worth the effort. The scenery, and wildlife, is breathtaking. There are many campgrounds within reasonable distance from the west entrance.

Zion is very picturesque, but requires use of the shuttle to see most of the park. I believe the tunnel fee two years ago was $15. It covered the effort of closing the road to other traffic for the time required to escort you through the tunnel. There are restrictions on length, as well as height. My 42' (at the time) did not qualify in either case. You have to schedule your "arrival" ahead of time. We stayed in the park (Watchman campground), but advanced reservations are necessary (especially for larger coaches). Some sites are available with 50amp (it gets hot in the summer).

We were fortunate to arrive at the north rim days after it opened two years ago. It is well worth a visit. We stayed at a commercial campground about 40 miles away, but there are Forest Service campgrounds closer.


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Old 08-02-2014, 10:44 AM   #17
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Planning for Yellowstone, Montana, Utah and vicinity

[QUOTE=andy29847;2161446]My wife and I are in the middle of our first extended trip (retired in March). We left home with an ambitious travel plan and soon ditched it for a life of leisure. We try to find a good spot and stay there for a while. We hope to be able to travel for several years, so we have taken the viewpoint that there is plenty of time to see the sights. We have spent the last week at Mesa Verde National Park. What a magical place!
/QUOTE]


We spent a month in Cortez, Colorado a couple of years ago while on our "retirement celebration" trip. We traveled to Mesa Verde six times, and to as many other "nearby" sites (and there are many) as we could. Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) is further away, but also worth a day trip. Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and Machu Pichu in Peru are the only places I have ever been that sent chills up and down my spine while visiting. Very magical indeed!


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Old 08-03-2014, 03:45 PM   #18
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dsbear: I, too, am planning our first extended trip. I hope to be in Yellowstone the first week of June 2015 for reasons you mentioned. Do you recommend reservations or are there enough first come sites available? I don't really need full hook ups. 32ft motor home with Jeep in tow.



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Old 08-03-2014, 05:08 PM   #19
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Whatever time you think that you will need to see Y’stone NP you better double it!

Remember that Y’stone Park itself is about 50 miles E/W and 70 miles N/S (2.2 Mil Acres) and the Grand Loop (figure 8) road is about 140 miles around. With a 45mph speed limit (radar controlled) and the thermal attractions, the Bison think that they own the road and will sometimes back up traffic for 1/4 mile or more and the altitude (Canyon Area is 7918 ft, Old Faithful is 7365 ft and Mammoth Area is ONLY 6239 ft) it will take a full day for each loop. When walking take it easy, carry/drink lots of water as it can be very exhausting, then you will only see the highlights. If your luck is like mine I guarantee that Old Faithful will have gone off just minutes before you arrived and will have to wait about another hour and 10-15 minutes for it to go off again kill time by walking around the upper geyser basin. When you are at Old faithful be sure to go into the Old Faithful Inn and look up when inside. When in the visitor center, Inn, Snowlodge etc they will have a sign displaying approximately when the next eruption will occur (+ or – about 10/15 minutes)

We have lived about 110 miles from the West Y’stone entrance for 50 years and go there a couple of times each summer and I still haven’t seen everything yet.

We day trip it to Old Faithful a couple of times every summer just to have lunch in the Old Faithful Inn. (the O/F INN is highly recommended to see)

In Jackson The Bar J Chuckwagon dinner/show is high on our list. We see them 3-4 times every summer! Get RESERVATIONS and be there EARLY to pick up your tickets! http://www.barjchuckwagon.com/Chuckwagon.html
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:24 AM   #20
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Grizzly is indeed a great option for staying near the west entrance to Yellowstone! Even from there it is 25 miles or so to get to any attractions, although you frequently get to stop along the road to view wildlife.

No trip to the areas mentioned is complete without going to Glacier. Granted, it is another 400 miles north, but well worth the effort. The scenery, and wildlife, is breathtaking. There are many campgrounds within reasonable distance from the west entrance.

Zion is very picturesque, but requires use of the shuttle to see most of the park. I believe the tunnel fee two years ago was $15. It covered the effort of closing the road to other traffic for the time required to escort you through the tunnel. There are restrictions on length, as well as height. My 42' (at the time) did not qualify in either case. You have to schedule your "arrival" ahead of time. We stayed in the park (Watchman campground), but advanced reservations are necessary (especially for larger coaches). Some sites are available with 50amp (it gets hot in the summer).

We were fortunate to arrive at the north rim days after it opened two years ago. It is well worth a visit. We stayed at a commercial campground about 40 miles away, but there are Forest Service campgrounds closer.


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We are planning to be in Yellowstone around the end of Sept., I am afraid if we go to Glacier first and then Yellowstone the weather will be bad because of snow and ice.

What do you think?

Tom


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Old 08-18-2014, 06:52 PM   #21
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In addition to what has been posted, consider (little known but outstanding places to visit):
1. Valley of the Gods in the south eastern corner of Utah just north of Monument Valley. Pack a lunch and water. You'll see very few people and fantastic scenery.
2. North central Wyoming is the Medicine Wheel. Camp along the interstate and take the toad up to the Wheel. Mile and a half walk each way from the range station. It is up hill both ways (until you do the walk you will not understand). Right at 10K' above sea level. Snow most of the year.
3. South Central Idaho west of Yellowstone is Craters of the Moon National Monument. Wear good hiking shoes. The land is flat, but the ah ah lava will tear up a pair of sneakers.
4. If you are able, when at Glacier take two hikes: Grinnell Glacier hike is 5 1/2 mile one way. Pack a lunch and take water. Iceberg Lake hike is much shorter than the Glacier hike. Stand in the water (if you dare) next to an iceberg. If you do this, make sure somebody takes your picture.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:18 AM   #22
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In addition to what has been posted, consider (little known but outstanding places to visit):
1. Valley of the Gods in the south eastern corner of Utah just north of Monument Valley. Pack a lunch and water. You'll see very few people and fantastic scenery.
2. North central Wyoming is the Medicine Wheel. Camp along the interstate and take the toad up to the Wheel. Mile and a half walk each way from the range station. It is up hill both ways (until you do the walk you will not understand). Right at 10K' above sea level. Snow most of the year.
3. South Central Idaho west of Yellowstone is Craters of the Moon National Monument. Wear good hiking shoes. The land is flat, but the ah ah lava will tear up a pair of sneakers.
4. If you are able, when at Glacier take two hikes: Grinnell Glacier hike is 5 1/2 mile one way. Pack a lunch and take water. Iceberg Lake hike is much shorter than the Glacier hike. Stand in the water (if you dare) next to an iceberg. If you do this, make sure somebody takes your picture.

Aw not to have a BAD back...


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Old 08-20-2014, 10:57 AM   #23
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Rolling the dice arriving in Yellowstone after end of Sep. Could be beautiful. Could see some snow.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:22 PM   #24
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Rolling the dice arriving in Yellowstone after end of Sep. Could be beautiful. Could see some snow.

Do they plow the roads in Yellowstone ? In the worst case senecio .


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Old 08-20-2014, 11:14 PM   #25
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In 2012 we did a Mount Rushmore trip from Orange County starting October 6th for three weeks. We took a roundabout trip hitting Canyonlands (Utah) first then thru Colorado, then up to Mount Rushmore area. In Colorado we hit a few snow flurries, but not enough to stick on the ground, followed by several warm days. On the way back we spent two days in the Yellowstone area got a few snow flurries, but nothing to worry about...believe it or not we came back thru Reno on our way to Tahoe and got snowed in on the I-80, at a little casino(could have been worse). We were down for two days and then the weather was back in the 70's and beautiful. Total trip was 23 days, and covered about 4800 miles. We were able to skirt around any weather and rerouted a few times but still a great time to travel.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:26 AM   #26
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The roads in Yellowstone Park are not plowed.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #27
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The roads in Yellowstone Park are not plowed.

Can't remember the date when, they stop maintaining the roads through the park and turn them into snowmobile trails.
Checking with the Park Service is in order.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:36 AM   #28
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Some road closures in Yellowstone on September 2nd for road maintenance.
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