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Old 12-15-2015, 06:49 PM   #15
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FYI, 2016 Sturgis Bike week is Aug 8-14. Just when we planned to be there We don't plan to go to Sturgis but rather Mt. Rushmore/Badlands/Rapid City. Do the Sturgis Bikers spill over to the entire area, Nana25K?

Also, Robmat, I'm curious to know:

1. Where you stayed in Cody?
2. Where you stayed in Salt Lake City?
3. Were you able to drive from Yellowstone through Idaho to Salt Lake City all in one day?
4. Where did you stay in Colorado Springs?
5. Did you spend the night in St. Louis? If so, where?

Thank you,

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1. Cody - We stayed at Absaroka Bay Rv Park http://www.cody-wy.com/ We found it to be a nice reasonably priced location. Clean not far from everything. Found Cody to be a very likable location felt welcomed and everyone was genuine - Heading back there this summer.

2. Salt Lake City - We stayed at the Salt Lake City KOA Salt Lake City, Utah Campground | Salt Lake City KOA real nice place not far from the center of town

3. Yellowstone to SLC - You could as it is less than a 5 hour drive however since I planned on stopping at Blackfoot ID for the Idaho Potato Museum and planned on stopping at the Golden Spike National Monument I did it two days stopping at Pocatello and then SLC. It also gave me time to explore those two locations by getting there early.

4. COS - we stayed at Garden of the Gods RV Park Garden of the Gods RV Resort | RVC Outdoor Destinations really nice place cost a little more than others but was worth it. Clean top shelf operation. Visiting friends who lived nearby and it was near to most things we wanted to see.

5. St. Louis - did not spend the night there however a while back OCT/NOV issue of either FMCA or MotorHome they featured St. Louis. If I remembered correctly the person who wrote the article stayed East of the Mississippi.

Bob
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:28 PM   #16
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Our experience with Sturgis
1. we started running into bikes at least 150 miles west of Sturgis
2. we stayed at Custer State Park. The park was inundated with bikers
3. every where we went, Rushmore, Crazy Horse etc was bikes bikes bikes
4. all packs of bikes are going to enter the highway, pass you etc together. Doesn't matter if there are 5 or 50. Heaven forbid that they would be split up by any vehicle. So just get over and let them do their thing.
5. beware of the fancy bikes with the rider in all his tricked out gear. He probable a weekend rider on a spree. Not always courteous, frequently dangerous. Stay away from them
6. the really rough looking riders and bikes are old hand. They use hand signal as well as blinkers, frequently have at least some piece of day glow green or orange on their person to make them more viable
7. on curvy 2 lane roads they will come around that hairpin curve on the center yellow line. Meeting our motorhome coming at them was a little hair raising.
So avoid it at all cost. I can honestly say that I have never had so many fingers tossed at me in my life.
Please riders don't slam me. I have multiple family members who ride and I've been on the back of a bike a time or two in my younger years, especially if the owner was a cutie.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:06 AM   #17
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I would second what Nana25K says about Sturgis.

I've had bikes since I was 18 in 1957 and still do. I don't think there is any intent to deride bikers, only that there are a lot of them all over the area around Sturgis during the event.

Steve
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:17 AM   #18
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Thanks for the info Nana25K. I respect bikers too and just want to know what to expect.

Since we'll be coming off a week at Yellowstone, need to be in Minneapolis a few days later, and would like to see Mt. Rushmore, I'm now thinking we'll just do a drive through. Perhaps overnight 100+ miles West of the area (Buffalo or Gillette, WY), then drive to the area, park the coach temporarily somewhere, detach the tow and drive to the monument. Then spend the night well East of the area somewhere along I-90 headed to Sioux Falls. We'll have to come back for the rest of the sights on another trip.

Anyone stayed 100+ miles West or East of Mt. Rushmore and have any CG or other suggestions?
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:34 AM   #19
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YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or less for 1/4 mile or more, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 4-5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 4-5 month long road construction season and a 45 mph radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! I don't mean to scare you but to inform you of reality. (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line.),

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft, Old Faithful- 7365 ft, up to 7734 ft at Canyon and Grant to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge. Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking. And again I don't mean to scare you but rather to inform you, after all there is normally 3.5 million visitors annually.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid June to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until shortly before 10 PM.

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have a hour and 10-20 minutes wait for the next one. Tour the O/F geyser basin while waiting for the next eruption. Old Faithful INN is a must see (meals are "OK" also)

We have lived about 110 miles (4739' elevation) from W. Yellowstone, MT for 51 years, go there 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all of it yet!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle contest twice". We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

Bar J Chuckwagon
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:56 PM   #20
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In Cody we stayed at Ponderosa Campground, 1815 8th Street, Cody 307-587-9203.

On my CG rating scale of 1-5, I gave it a 3. It was crowded, but a nice family-oriented CG. It was close to all attractions so we didn't have to drive to any of the Cody stuff. For the rodeo, the shuttle bus picked us up right at the front entrance.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:02 PM   #21
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Anyone stayed 100+ miles West or East of Mt. Rushmore and have any CG or other suggestions?
The closest I stayed to Mt. Rushmore was Whistlers Gulch RV Park Home in Deadwood, SD it was a nice place however as the bike run ends in Deadwood so it might not be a good place to be. Checking Google maps Mountain View Rv Park and Campground Mountain View RV Park & Campground | Sundance, WY 82729 is just about a 100 mile ride to Mt. Rushmore and about a six hour drive from the East Entrance at Yellowstone. Never stayed there but it might be worth looking at. When I was at Mt. Rushmore it was with an automobile that I drove up from Denver while at a conference and we stayed two nights in a motel in Custer. At Mt. Rushmore I remember that there seemed to be quite a few RV's in the parking lot and Google Maps confirms about 25 long RV parking spaces. Suggestion - If you stayed at Mountain View campground and left as early as you can in the morning and got to Mt. Rushmore early you should have no problem getting an RV parking space and enjoy the place. The grounds open at 5am and visitor and information center at 8am. Leave by noon and you should have no problem making the just over 5 hour drive to Sioux Falls where there are many Campgrounds to choose from. If you find some extra time just over 30 miles from Mountain View Campground is Devil's Tower National Monument which I thought was worth the visit.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:58 AM   #22
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Thanks Robmat. Great suggestion on the early arrival at Rushmore.

Looks like the Bike Rally truly is big. Whistler's Gulch shows already sold out for Bike Week. I've emailed Sundance, but their site shows a 50% bump in rate for the "Sturgis Rally", so I'm thinking the scope of the event spreads out 100 miles or so in each direction.

We'll keep poking at this. Pre-planning is part of the adventure. I appreciate your insight and help.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:32 AM   #23
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I have made the trip to Sturgis a number of times. Rapid City, Deadwood, Rushmore, Crazy Horse and just about every other attractions will be full of bikes during rally week. This area has some of the best riding in the Country. Contrary to what a lot of folks think, the riding is as much of the experience as the Rally itself. Try to stay on your side of the road and pay close attention to bikes passing in blind spots. It will be a lot of driving and your day trips to Yellowstone from Cody will be all day events.

Having an 11 yr old and a 14 yr old on a trip ,from Pa we stopped for three days at the Wisconsin Dells. the water park let them relax a little. Stayed at a little no frill park called Bonanza, water park tickets included in price, in the middle of the action. Made an overnight stay in Mitchell at a KOA, after take after cracking the windshield unexpectedly. Nice park owned by two retired guys plenty of room. Moved on to Custer Gulch Park. It is at the entrance to Custer State Park and a decent base camp. Large stone sites and close to wildlife and attractions. If you call now you may get something. All of the prices are more during rally week. From there to Cody as a base-camp. Stayed at the Ponderosa, nice folks close to town and attractions. We did day trips to Yellowstone and surrounding areas. On the way back stopped in the Badlands at the White River KOA 2 days. Has a pool and plenty of space. By that time the kids had enough of us and were ready to get home. You are small enough to stay in the Ohio Turnpike sites for an overnight. Plan on driving a lot, bring lots of water and snacks for the day trip. Your turn to relax will be when you get home. We had 18 days on the road with the kids, lots of great adventures, and memories made. This year, I think I will just bring the bikes. Hope you have a great trip.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:20 AM   #24
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PA to yellowstone and back?

Wow! great info on "to does and not". I am sure a number of us will be sorting and digesting all of the above. I hope you all keep your experiences coming in so we all can read and enjoy! Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:06 AM   #25
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Enjoyed reading all stories and picking up more info on making long trips.

I do have a question?

My wife and I picked up a Toad in Southern Cal this past summer and drove it cross country to our home in MD by way of Yellowstone. We left Yellowstone by way of the East Entrance for the first time. I was surprised by the long trip down the mountain.

I would like to know if anyone has driven up the mountain and if they had any problems?

We are thinking of a trip back out there in our Motorhome and would to enter Yellowstone from the East. Because of the long climb we might change to the South or North Entrance. Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:50 AM   #26
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This year was the 75th anniversary for Sturgis Bike Week. Estimate was 750,000 motorcycles. Generally you won't find camping within about 100 miles or so.

Go before or after. The museum in Sturgis, the army museum just east at Fort Meade and just the history of the Rapid City area could take you an easy week of adventure.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:46 AM   #27
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Based on the valuable feedback in this thread, this is our plan for a quick visit to Rushmore this summer and avoiding the Bike Week challenges:

Day 1 - Leave Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone (reservations already made), drive all day and do a quick overnight at the Walmart in Gillette, WY (they confirmed overnight parking ok).

Day 2 - 135 miles to Rushmore. Will depart early to get there and try to snag one of those daytime MH spots Robmat mentioned. Spend a few hours and then upon departure in the PM drive east to at least Midland, SD (134 miles) for overnight on our way towards Minnesota. There are also closer options in Wall (may be crowded from Bike Week) or further in Murdo, Oacoma, or even Mitchell, which would be a LONG DAY!

Rushmore isn't a high priority destination and the DW has been there, but I haven't, hence a short visit.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:03 AM   #28
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We scoped out the RV spots at Rushmore. We would not take our MH there but others may feel its okay.
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