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Old 04-11-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
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Yellowstone in mid May??

We're thinking about a trip to the Black Hills and Yellowstone in mid May in our 40' motor home with tow. I don't really know what to expect....any thoughts?
Thanks, Jim
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:53 PM   #2
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Expect a pleasant experience - lots of baby animals roaming around, cool weather and less crowds. When it gets closer to your take off time, check out the official national park web site for updated road conditions. Sometimes...but not always....some roads will still be closed for snow. Enjoy!


Park Roads - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:58 PM   #3
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we have been there in later part of may .
part of grand loop still closed by snow,yellowstone lake frozen solid,snow still on the sides of the road over the passes and one morning 6 inches of fresh snow.
this winter has been very mild but mother nature can still brew a snow storm or heavy freeze. bring your winter jacket just in case.
it is still our favorite time to visit as lots of baby animals and not many people.
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:00 PM   #4
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Back in the day we used to visit Yellowstone in early June.

Tent camped at Soda Butte campground outside of Cooke City.

Every morning we'd wake up to frozen water bottles INSIDE our tents!

Don't tent camp any more....
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Old 04-11-2015, 02:07 PM   #5
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Back in the day we used to visit Yellowstone in early June.

Tent camped at Soda Butte campground outside of Cooke City.

Every morning we'd wake up to frozen water bottles INSIDE our tents!

Don't tent camp any more....
A few years ago, a tent camper was killed by a grizzly at Soda Butte. For a while after that, it was posted as hard sided campers only. I am not sure if it has been reopened for tents.

Joel
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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This winter had a shortage of snowfall and I'd expect roads to be open earlier than in the past couple of years. It will still be cold at night. The bears have just awakened in Mid-May, they will be hungry! (If you hike, carry Bear Spray, know how to use it, and don't bury it in a pack.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:35 AM   #7
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They just reopened Beartooth Pass for the season yesterday.

It's an awesome road!
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #8
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Regarding Beartooth Pass....is it recommended for cars only, or could we take our 40' diesel with tow?
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:50 AM   #9
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Regarding Beartooth Pass....is it recommended for cars only, or could we take our 40' diesel with tow?
I think it is much more relaxing and enjoyable with a car. The stress on the RV, driver, and passengers is pretty high. I've done it in a car and driving a bus. Much better in a car where you can easily pull off, look, take photos, than grinding along in 1st gear going down long grades!
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #10
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I was there June of 2010 had snow but was still nice stayed at west entrance
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:19 AM   #11
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While in the Back Hills check out Custer State Park. I work there as a volunteer from mid May to Oct. Your 40 footer will fit any of the many campgrounds in the park. You can drive the Wildlife Loop and see many Bison, and Pronghorn and newborn babies.

As far as the Beartooth Hwy. Take your car.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:15 PM   #12
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Thanks to TXTiger regarding Custer State Park.....it really looks good. May I ask which campground you volunteer in? Any specific recommendations regarding campsites?.
Thanks, Jim
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:58 PM   #13
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Thanks to TXTiger regarding Custer State Park.....it really looks good. May I ask which campground you volunteer in? Any specific recommendations regarding campsites?.
Thanks, Jim
I've spent a lot of time exploring around the Black Hills. A word of caution: The roads can be confusing, US 16, 16A have parts that are great for RVs and parts that you won't be able to travel. Mt. Rushmore is free to visit, but you pay to park, go by auto to save parking fees. We actually enjoy Chief Crazy Horse for it's great Indian culture museum. Don't miss it!



The parts in Red are fine for RV travel. The roads in Green are best in a small truck or auto. The section of US 16A (Iron Mountain Rd.) is best seen traveling from south to north. This highway was designed to capture spectacular views of Mt. Rushmore framed as you go through tunnels but has switchbacks, 360 loops, and low clearances.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:58 AM   #14
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Thanks to TXTiger regarding Custer State Park.....it really looks good. May I ask which campground you volunteer in? Any specific recommendations regarding campsites?.
Thanks, Jim
I work in the admin office on the weekend and can help make reservations for any of the campgrounds. As far as the roads. Do not take an RV on Iron Mountain Road or Needles Hwy. They both have small tunnels. If you go north on Iron Mountain you will see Mt Rushmore thru the last of the 3 tunnels and when you get to the end you will be just at down the road from Mt Rushmore.
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