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Old 12-18-2012, 08:03 AM   #1
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Denver to Yellowstone - best route/entrance

Hi everyone! Taking the family to Yellowstone for the first time end of July/beginning of August and trying to determine the best route. Have performed many searches and heard nothing but great things about Grizzly RV Park near the park's west entrance but I am wondering if that's the best route? Google maps have the south and east entrance as being shorter by almost 2 hours but how is the drive? I'm not looking for anything with too many white knuckle experiences. The other problem is finding a campground near the entrance to the park. Fishing bridge is already booked up and I'd prefer to be no more than 10 miles from the entrance (I understand that Grizzly RV is practically at the west entrance). According to www.rvparkreviews.com, campgrounds near the south and west entrance are at least 30 miles away.

My coach is 37.5' long, no toad, travelling with my wife, 3 kiddos, and a fat beagle, and plan on being there at least a week. Already have reservations at Grizzly, just wanting to make sure that that's the best option.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:30 AM   #2
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We traveled from Denver to Yellowstone years ago. I don't remember the road #s, but we went up through. Steamboat Springs (US40?) and then up into Wyoming. Then west across Wyoming (I80?) until we turned north and went up through the Tetons and Jackson Hole. This would be the south entrance. As I recall, every bit of it was scenic and interesting. Can't help with campgrounds near the park, but I would imagine there are some near Jackson Hole. Ejoy your trip and Safe travels!
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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Just dud thus in May

There are no issues taking short cuts thru the park to Grizzly Rv West Yellowstone.
You can enter via Laramie Cody thru the Tetons or Red Lodge ( I think it was called to the north)
No need to go around the outside.
At West Yellowstone the first thing you should do is go see the grizzly and wolf discovery centre ( we did as we were leaving and realized it should have been first cab off the rank)
We tracked 80 and entered via Rawlins
Good luck you'll have a blast
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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This past summer we came in the south entrance and exited to the west in our 39' DP and the driving was easy. Yellowstone's actually got decent roads, parking, and even places to pull off the road where big coaches are not an issue (as compared to, say, Arches NP, where you struggle with parking a non-car size vehicle). We're looking forward to going back this coming summer when we'll have a bit more time!

Steve
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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w1kk3d...

We went two summers ago and went up to Cheyenne then West on I-80 to 191N to Jackson... Then to the Tetons and into Yellowstone thru the South gate.... Spent 8+ days in Yellowstone then out through the East gate... 40' DP with a toad...,

Going to do it again this summer but will come in from East and out the South gate....
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:09 PM   #6
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Driving Routes for Large RVs into Yellowstone National Park
ON EDIT: I might add that your decision to stay at Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone is a good one. Excellent park and they just finished an expansion last summer so it's better than ever. Stayed there many times.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #7
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Entering through Red Lodge is a VERY poor choise ... please don't ask why I know this.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Entering through Red Lodge is a VERY poor choise ... please don't ask why I know this.
Got us interested!
Can you tell us what happened.
I drove it in the toad on a day trip while we were staying at West Yellowstone.
Tip. If you like a good cappuccino you won't find one in Red Lodge.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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After trying a number of routes to Yellowstone, I prefer to take I-25 up to Casper and then take 20/26 West to Shoshoni. Then take 789/20 North to Thermopolis (stop to take a swim in the hot springs!). From Thermoplis, take 120 right to Cody. Plenty to see in Cody. Then take 20/16/14 to the east entrance.

Past Fishing Bridge make a right to go to Canyon Village. At Canyon, make a left then another left at Norris. Bear right at Madison for the west entrance road.

It was the flattest way I could find.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:22 AM   #10
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After trying a number of routes to Yellowstone, I prefer to take I-25 up to Casper and then take 20/26 West to Shoshoni. Then take 789/20 North to Thermopolis (stop to take a swim in the hot springs!). From Thermoplis, take 120 right to Cody. Plenty to see in Cody. Then take 20/16/14 to the east entrance.

Past Fishing Bridge make a right to go to Canyon Village. At Canyon, make a left then another left at Norris. Bear right at Madison for the west entrance road.

It was the flattest way I could find.

Good luck!
Cody is a great town with lots of history
It's an especially big days drive to Jackson Hole from West Yellowstone, so on our last trip we stayed a couple of nights in Cody. We drove to Jackson Hole and stayed in a hotel overnight.
Jackson Hole Ski Resort run the gondola during the summer. We spent a great afternoon at the top nibbles and wine. The view without snow is as especially good with a nice red wine or 3 in hand.
It's a great experience and its free.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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In 2002 we followed the Lewis & Clark trail to the Pacific ... on our way home we stayed overnight just west of Billings, MT ... my wife looks at the map and says "if we took highway US 212 we could go through a corner of Yellowstone ... that would be interesting" ...

I did not have a Mountain West Directory at the time ... so I agreed to her alternate suggested route ... suddenly we were in Red Lodge, MT ... and I remembered the description of the road in a book I had read ... and suddenly said "Oh, My God" .... the elevation went from 5800 ft to 9300 ft before getting to the summit ... there were fifty-eleven switchbacks ... and every time I turned on the outside I had to stop and let long lines of vehicles that were piled up behind me pass ...

The view from on top was spectacular I will admit ...

But the worst part for me was the traffic inside of yellowstone moved at about 20 mph ... and even worse there was not a single campsite available for our 35 fto motorhome ...

So I had to drive out the east entrance all the way to Cody to find a spot for the night ...

Will I ever go in the northeast entrance again ... I think not ...

I have been back to Yellowstone since ... I made reservations ... and I went in the East gate ... a much better experience ...
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:29 PM   #12
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So, you went over Beartooth Pass?
Beautiful--one of the US most scenic drives, but...
Joe
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernest917 View Post
w1kk3d...

We went two summers ago and went up to Cheyenne then West on I-80 to 191N to Jackson... Then to the Tetons and into Yellowstone thru the South gate.... Spent 8+ days in Yellowstone then out through the East gate... 40' DP with a toad...,

Going to do it again this summer but will come in from East and out the South gate....

Yep, Easiest and most simple - sort of boring across 80 however, then up through Rock Spring (most traffic), but probably the quickest. 287 up from Rawlins (Wind River area) is a more scenic drive IMHO.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
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So, you went over Beartooth Pass?
Beautiful--one of the US most scenic drives, but...
Joe
On our first time to Yellowstone we deliberately drove from Red Lodge over the Beartooth Pass into the NE entrance to YS. I wanted to do that scenic road and am generally not intimidated by steep, winding roads. The Journey pulled the Explorer up and over with no issues and we loved the scenery. I had checked with others who had done the trip in a motorhome with no issues.

However, it is not a trip for the timid and your equipment needs to be in top shape.
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