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Old 06-16-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
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Yellowstone/Grand Teton NP's

Hi all,

Will be driving up in late July from Cheyenne, WY, and would like to visit both of these NP's and then go on up into Montana. Is there a good campground midway between the two NP's to see them both? Or, is it better to stay around Jackson, WY, for Grand Teton and then drive up to maybe West Yellowstone, MT, to visit Yellowstone, NP? Looking at a map, there doesn't seem to be a good route from Jackson to W. Yellowstone however. Looks like you have to go up through Idaho(will be driving a 36ft Class A w/towd so assume going through Yellowstone NP is not a good option). Have been told it's too far to drive to Yellowstone from Jackson, but having never been out there we need some help.
Any advice from anyone about seeing these parks, best routes to get around the area and campground recommendations will be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #2
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We were just there in May and stayed at a park just outside Jackson and another in West Yellowstone. Relocating for us was best because these parks are very large...like, you can drive over 70 miles into Yellowstone from West Yellowstone town and still not reach the other park boundry...you really will use the towed car.

The south entrance to Yellowstone is the quickest way from Jackson to go north into Yellowstone and Teton and Yellowstone share a boundry...well within a 1 day drive.

The parks we stayed at were off season specials and probably there are better out there, so I will recommend a search on Reviews of RV Parks and Campgrounds - RV Park Reviews for places to stay.


Best of luck
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #3
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We headed to Yellowstone from California, through Nevada and Idaho and entered the West Entrance and headed south from there to the East entrance....they have a map at the gates to let you know which way is okay to go with your rig...we have a 29'2 ACE and are towing a Honda Civic Hybrid. We are staying outside the park between Yellowstone and Cody and take day trips into the area. Yesterday (fishing season just opened on June 15) fished the Swan Lake area then headed to Fishing Bridge and north to see the falls...200 miles round trip and that is just one section of Yellowstone.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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We liked Colter Bay Village RV Park to see the Tetons. I walked to the lakeshore with the dog each morning for the views of the Tetons across the lake.

We would not stay there to see Yellowstone except perhaps attractions near the south entrance.

Our first stop was at Grizzly RV park at West Yellowstone and we enjoyed the access to the park from there for all our tours of Yellowstone NP.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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From Cheyenne come up I-25 to Casper, then U.S. 26/20 to Riverton and Dubois, over Togwatee Pass and down into Jackson Hole at Moran Junction. From Moran Junction it's about 30 miles to Jackson, 27 miles to YNP South Entrance. You should have reservations already for most RV parks. Many campgrounds in GTNP and YNP are first come, first served. To get a spot in one of those, you'll need to arrive at the campground entrance by 8 am and wait for an opening. Gros Ventre CG in GTNP, south of Moose, WY and near the Jackson Hole Airport almost always has vacancies, but no hook ups.

Here's info on GTNP campgrounds:
Colter Bay Campground | Grand Teton Camping | GTLC - Grand Teton Lodge Company
Campgrounds - Grand Teton National Park
In town of Jackson: Jackson Hole Lodging, Hotels, RV Parks | Virginian Lodge Jackson Hole home (expensive!)

Six miles east of Moran Junction is a campground with hook ups on U.S. 26: Grand Teton Park Campground | RV - Tent and Motor Home Camping Sites | Yellowstone & Grand Teton Park Campground

Yellowstone's campgrounds are no hook ups and also first come, first served except for Fishing Bridge which is reservations only. West Yellowstone has a few RV parks, Grizzy RV being the most popular.

Avoid Teton Pass west of Jackson to Driggs, ID, it has 10% or better grades and is not for the light-hearted. Same goes for NE entrance to YNP. The Beartooth Highway is spectacular, but not in an RV pulling a toad!

Distances are great out west. From Moran Junction to Gardiner, MT (North Entrance to Yellowstone) is 122 miles. The 'Grand Road' of Yellowstone is a figure 8 with the top loop at 70 miles and the bottom at 96 miles. The roads are used by buses and RVs all day and semis at night, so they are quite passable. You might avoid Dunraven Pass on the upper east side of the loop (between Canyon and Tower Falls) the road was widened a few years ago but still has some sharp turns and 'fun' parts to it in an RV.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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The RV parks in Jackson itself are expensive and pretty crummy. For the best experience stay in Teton Nat'l Park. If you need full hookups there Colter Bay RV. We enjoy the dry campgrounds of Gros Ventre and Colter Bay campground (right next door to the RV park). Both have 300 non-reservable sites. The RV park requires reservations.

From the Tetons just continue north through the south entrance of Yellowstone. It's a good road and you might as well be looking for more critters as you drive. Don't go around to Idaho. It's not necessary.

Here is a list of the campgrounds in Yellowstone.

http://http://www.nps.gov/yell/plany...ellowstone.htm

You'll notice some are not reservable and if you drive from the Tetons to one of those early morning you'll get into them. We do. Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone is the only hookup RV park and reservations are necessary. Some folks put down Fishing Bridge as a parking lot but it really isn't. There are many trees surrounding and within the sites. It's also centrally located to do the figure 8 of roads.

On your way to the Tetons from the south, stop for major fuel and groceries just before entering the town of Jackson. There's a Smith's on the left and a little further is Albertson's on the right. Smith's also has fuel, liquor store and a laundry.

The Tetons have excellent hiking trails of all abilities and a gentle float down the Snake River will almost guarantee moose siteings. Have a great trip and don't try to do both parks from one locations. It's entirely too much driving.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the input about campgrounds and getting around in GT and YS NP's.
Another question, my motorhome has a Onan 5500 genny that runs great, but do I need to make any adjustments for the higher elevations in the mountains? Might need it in some of those NP campgrounds.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:39 AM   #8
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We never need to make adjustments to our generator due to elevations. Good travels!
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:47 AM   #9
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I believe the nature of diesel engines make them far less affected by changes in altitude, as twogypsies has posted. If the 5500 is a gas generator with a carb, you should count on using the altitude adjustment. I used mine to smooth out our old Onan on just 2000' changes in elevation with our old Southwind.

We have not visited Yellowstone or Tetons in an RV, but we are veterans (and huge fans) of Yellowstone. We usually stay a couple of nights in West Yellowstone while exploring the south end of the park. We'll do Norris and Canyon (the central section of the park) and exit to Cody. If you are interested in firearms or history of the old west or want to take in the rodeo, Cody demands a day or so.

We like to drive (all of our visits other than in winter are in our Miata). From Cody, we head north on one of Wyoming's scenic byways over Dead Indian Pass, then hang a right and go up and over the Beartooth Hwy (10,947') to Red Lodge. After lunch we drive back over the Beartooth (yes, it is that good) and re-enter the Park at Silvergate. We'll spend the afternoon and early evening in the Lamar Valley (wolves, bears, elk, bison, bighorn sheep, mtn goats, etc), then return to Cooke City overnight. We leave before sunrise the next morning for more critter watching in the Lamar, then on to Mammoth Hot Springs.

Having "perfected" our approach to the park when visiting with a fun-to-drive car, I'm not sure how I would adjust the plan when visiting in an RV. I suspect we would setup base in West Yellowstone and then do a night or two away in the toad.

I would not be too concerned about driving up to West Yellow from Jackson via Yellowstone. The road is pretty good, and not too challenging. Once you get to Old Faithful, there will be more delays due to animals on the roadway than slow-moving RVs.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Yellowstone's campgrounds are no hook ups and also first come, first served except for Fishing Bridge which is reservations only.
Fishing Bridge HAS electric & water!
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #11
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Hi all,

Several of you have said it's possible to get into the first come/first served campgroungs in Grand Teton and Yellowstone NP's by arriving "early". The NP folks say checkout time is 11am so arriving about 10:30am is good, but also that many campers leave earlier. I'm a little worried that arriving at 10:30am would be too late to get a campsite. The motorhome is 35ft plus the towed car, so I know all the campgrounds won't have sites large enough, or maybe in some campgrounds just a few adquate sized sites.
Can anyone recommend what arrival time would be best at each NP, or is just "the earlier the better" the best plan?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:52 PM   #12
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I've had success arriving and waiting at 8 am. When a vehicle leaves the CG, you go up and claim the site. I'd drop the towed near the office and drive up with it rather than the RV. This has worked at Norris, Canyon, Mammoth, Gros Ventre, Colter Bay. (not the RV park) The YNP website says most CG are filled by 11 am.
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