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Old 03-12-2016, 06:58 PM   #1
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Trip to Yellowstone

We are leaving late August for a month long trip to Yellowstone from western PA, we have reservations at Headwaters Lodge in Grand Teton and Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone. Now how to get there! We are pulling a 27 foot travel trailer. The best route looks like Interstate 80 all the way. Has anyone else taken this route? We were planning on stops at Indiana Dunes, IN, and seeing Chicago by train; then on to Iowa any ideas where to stop there and then any good stops on the way. We have a week to get out there so no rush, a little concerned about traffic through Chicago area and any other big cities on the way. It looked like the south entrance to Yellowstone is the best option, trying to avoid elevation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:33 PM   #2
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When we went to Yellowstone we took I-80 to Chicago area and up to Wisconsin Dells, for a stop and took I-90 across and came back on I-80 either way you will find a lot to see. On I-90 you have the Corn Palace in Mitchell, The Badlands, stayed two nights in Deadwood, SD we went up to Devils Tower, Custer's Last Stand in Little Big Horn, overnight in Billings Mt then to Cody WY for the Night Rodeo among other things there then in to Yellowstone staying at Fishing Bridge. We took in the Tetons while at Yellowstone. On the way back we went out the West entrance to Salt Lake City around to visit friends in Colorado Springs and then back up to I-80 in Sidney NB staying at the Cabela's campground, then in to North Platte to see the worlds largest rail yard Bailey Yard. Then we dropped down into Kansas City for BBQ and Springfield IL and home. For some Iowa ideas this summer we are spending two nights in Forest City to visit the Winnebago factory, then going to Davenport. On the way we are stopping at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville and while in Davenport we are going to Le Clare for the American Pickers store. By the time we leave in July we should have other Iowa stops.

Traveling through Chicago we took the bypass I-294 to I-90 and while the traffic was heavy it was moving along. Don't know how much time you have but toward the middle of August is the Iowa State Fair - Home of the Pork Chop on a Stick. It is supposed to be the fair of all fairs. Too late for my trip this year but worth a consideration.

Chicago is a great town I was there for a work conference and there is a lot to see. I will have to keep Indiana Dunes in mind for a future trip. The South Shore Line makes visiting Chicago convenient.

If you do a search on Yellowstone in the past several weeks there was several threads about going to Yellowstone and what to see.
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:04 PM   #3
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Sounds like you had a great trip, glad to hear I 80 wasn't so bad.
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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I did that trip last summer I went I-80 to I-90 I tried to time it so I would get to Chicago mid day to avoid traffic. That did not work! My estimate is it added about one hour. I 90 through WS, and MN is very nice Badlands, Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument are worth seeing. We stayed in Bozeman and visited the Museum of the Rockies. On to Red Lodge and took the Bear tooth hwy. Charles Kuralt called it the most beautiful hwy in the lower 48. It takes you to the northeast entrance to the park (note this hwy is not suited for any large RV.) But great by car.

We really had a great time in Yellowstone. We also went to Glacier Nat'l Park and we had an even better time there.

Best of luck with your travel plans and Happy Trails!!!
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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Chicago early Sunday morning is the best time to get through.

I-80 to Wyoming 287 at Rawlins, WY is the best way into Grand Teton Nat'l Park - an easy drive with awesome views of the Tetons as you pass Dubois.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:04 AM   #6
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Chicago early Sunday morning is the best time to get through.

I-80 to Wyoming 287 at Rawlins, WY is the best way into Grand Teton Nat'l Park - an easy drive with awesome views of the Tetons as you pass Dubois.
I've done this trip many times. The only problem with I-80 all the way is I find it way too boring with too few interesting places to stop on the way. If heading to Yellowstone, its about the same distance to swing north anywhere between Chicago and Omaha, and then going through the Black Hills and northern Wyoming. Earlier post covered what's nice to see on that route pretty well. More out of the way, but a route I've been planning, is to swing way north and go through the upper peninsula of Michigan.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:38 AM   #7
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Chicago early Sunday morning is the best time to get through.

I-80 to Wyoming 287 at Rawlins, WY is the best way into Grand Teton Nat'l Park - an easy drive with awesome views of the Tetons as you pass Dubois.
We also have taken this route many times with a travel trailer. We lived in Iowa for many years, and it is an easy drive. We generally stayed in York, NE at the Double Nickel campground. The route on 90 is more scenic though. Badlands National Park is magical, especially after dark. It has some electric campsites for AC though amazingly the temperature becomes reasonable at night if you can run a 12v fan. The Black Hills are also fun though we were always fine just looking at Mt. Rushmore from the highway. There are bunches of RV parks and some nice public parks.

And there is no good way through Chicago! We have tried 5:00 am and 10:00 pm - still crowded and slow. Just plan on it and do your deep breathing exercises.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:46 AM   #8
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Consider going north to Niagara, thru Canada to Michigan, across the Mackinaw to the UP, then west to pick up I-90. Beats Chicago any day, plus there is lots to see along I-90.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:00 AM   #9
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I believe Rt. 80 is a toll road thru Ohio but the upside is some of their Toll Plaza's allow over night parking/sleeping. Ends up more than paying for the toll's.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:56 AM   #10
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I believe Rt. 80 is a toll road thru Ohio but the upside is some of their Toll Plaza's allow over night parking/sleeping. Ends up more than paying for the toll's.

I've stayed at the Ohio rest area RV sites before. They are $20 per space which includes electric. You pay at a machine and must place the receipt in your front windshield. There is a dump station and water if needed. They have eight rest areas with the EB/WB spaces but in reality it is four locations as the East bound and West bound rest areas at the same location are a different name. Only negative is that they are back in spaces so we had to disconnect the dingy however they are wide so opening slides is not a problem. Other than that it wasn't a bad stop for the night when you are heading to a further destination.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:06 AM   #11
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I've stayed at the Ohio rest area RV sites before. They are $20 per space which includes electric. You pay at a machine and must place the receipt in your front windshield. There is a dump station and water if needed. They have eight rest areas with the EB/WB spaces but in reality it is four locations as the East bound and West bound rest areas at the same location are a different name. Only negative is that they are back in spaces so we had to disconnect the dingy however they are wide so opening slides is not a problem. Other than that it wasn't a bad stop for the night when you are heading to a further destination.
I've stayed at these as well. True, some are back-in, but other locations are drive through. Google maps, Earth View, will generally show them if you look carefully. There are four general locations as you say, but just wanted to make clear the east bound spaces have no connection to the west bound spaces. I suspect that is why they gave them 8 names, to avoid that confusion.
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:11 AM   #12
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The traffic jams you will encounter in Yellowstone will be FAR worse than any you encounter on your trip. When a animal is spotted near a road all traffic stops. The Bison sometimes walk down the middle of the road and challenge any thing that comes near them. STAY IN YOUR CAR!!!!
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #13
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The traffic jams you will encounter in Yellowstone will be FAR worse than any you encounter on your trip. When a animal is spotted near a road all traffic stops. The Bison sometimes walk down the middle of the road and challenge any thing that comes near them. STAY IN YOUR CAR!!!!
True! But still, I dread driving around Chicago more. Somehow a traffic jam in Yellowstone is more "interesting"
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:26 AM   #14
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True! But still, I dread driving around Chicago more. Somehow a traffic jam in Yellowstone is more "interesting"
Chicago area is not fun, but in the middle of the day it is about 1.5 to 2 hours and that's the end of it. I push through. Don't even think about the commuter hours of the day.
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