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Old 05-29-2007, 02:06 PM   #1
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Hi, Can I get some help for a south Florida flatlander? After leaving Devils Tower NP we plan on going to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
We have a 31 ft. class A motor home with a small Saturn toad. I understand there will be some mountain driving but would like to minimize it if possible. Please suggest the "flattest" route. Also, is it better to go to Yellowstone BEFORE or AFTER Grand Tetons?
Thanks alot for any help.
Homestead, FL

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Old 05-29-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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Location: Homestead,FL
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Hi, Can I get some help for a south Florida flatlander? After leaving Devils Tower NP we plan on going to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
We have a 31 ft. class A motor home with a small Saturn toad. I understand there will be some mountain driving but would like to minimize it if possible. Please suggest the "flattest" route. Also, is it better to go to Yellowstone BEFORE or AFTER Grand Tetons?
Thanks alot for any help.
Homestead, FL

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Old 05-30-2007, 02:35 PM   #3
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Greg, I've driven I80 several times. From Devils Tower westward on I80, I miss most mountain driving by taking US 287 North at Rawlins, to WY789 at Lander, to Riverton.Then US20 to US26 to Thermopolis. This is a great place to overnight. The Hot Springs are free, and really relaxing. There are 3 I think CG's there, one right in town is OK for overnighting, but if you plan to stay a few days the others are better. This route follows the Wind River through the Indian Reservation. Wind River Canyon is itself a grand sight. WY 120/US20 to Cody is good highway. Days worth of sightseeing just in Cody. Then West to Yellowstone via US20/14/16, you find many CG's along the highway. Keep your eyes peeled for Grizzlies along the river on South side of highway as you near Yellowstone. You cannot avoid the long, slow, climb into Yellowstone, which is perhaps the 2nd longest climb into the park. Take your time, watch your gauges, and use the pullouts frequently to cool the engine and allow autos to pass.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:22 PM   #4
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Greg, if you are not accustomeed to mountain driving remember to use your transmission to help brake...rule of thumb is to use 1 gear lower descending than required to climb. Be sure to start the downgrade at a low to moderate speed.
I used my toad to visit the Tetons and left my coach parked at Yellowstone.
The Public hot springs in Thermopolis are excellent you are limited to 15 or 20 minutes (free)
There is a Private family owned RV park about 5 miles from town...can't remember the name but if you are interested I can look it up.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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Maybe I am an alarmist, but I wouldn't advise taking Highway 14 over the Bighorns in a motorhome, particularly if I was leery of mountain driving. I came up out of Greybull on Highway 14 through Shell Canyon in a van a few years ago, and I found the switchbacks to be really unnerving. I would never do it in a motor home. I would either go south around the Bighorns or north into Montana and back down to Yellowstone.
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:41 AM   #6
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I've crossed the Bighorns with SUVs, a 33' Itasca Suncruiser, and a 40' Allegro Bus. I would not recommend taking US-14 or 14A westbound over the Bighorns. It's a very steep grade but the worst is that it is very long and there's no real places where you can pull over and cool the brakes. I always take the eastbound so that the engine does the work and the brakes don't overheat. Heading eastbound from Burgess Junction to Sheridan is an easier grade with plenty of nice pulloffs.

I'd recommend US-16 from Buffalo in either direction. It's more relaxed and the grades come and go so there's plenty of time to breathe in between. It's also very scenic as my signature picture in Ten Sleep Canyon shows.

The flattest of all is to use I-80, then go up to Moran Junction in the Tetons via Lander, Wyoming but the scenery is better on US-16 out of Buffalo.

My ideal route is to head out I-90 to Billing, then take the Beartooth Highway past Red Lodge into Yellowstone. The leave the park via the east entrance and cody, Wyoming. However, the Beartooths are steep and if you don't like mountains you won't enjoy the drive.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:00 AM   #7
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I also suggest avoiding US-14. I just followed my GPS, and while I did make it, it made for some puckered driving. I was in a 34' Bounder towing a Vue.

As I remember, the east entrance to Yellowstone (from Cody) was pretty torn up. It was very slow going, so caution was the operative word. This was last year - July '06 - so they may have to rebuilt now.

Here is a picture of a sign at the top of the mountain on US-14.


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Old 05-31-2007, 10:30 AM   #8
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Thanks for the post. In this case, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:43 AM   #9
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Another route that is the one this old flatlander likes to take from Devils Tower is I90 west toward Billings and onto Bozeman. Turn south at Bozeman on MT191 or go pass Bozeman to MT85 south, which becomes MT191, bypassing the heavy traffic in Bozeman. This route will take you into West Yellowstone, MT. We like to camp at the Grizzle Bear RV resort on the south side of town. On the way to Billings, you will see and might want to stop at the Little Big Horn NP just before you leave WY.
In West Yellowstone, we like to take one or two of the tours offered by Yellowstone Vacations (Buffalo tours) to get to know the park. Yellowstone roads are in the figure eight, known as the lower and upper loops. Then if you have a towed, you can explore on your own.
When you are ready to leave Yellowstone, head into the park toward Old Faithfull and take the south entrance out of the park. This puts you on the north end of the Grand Tetons heading toward Jackson, Wy. After Jackson, you can head south or west, neither has any big hills.

edited for spelling and typing.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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We live about 100 miles from West Y'Stone and/or Grand Teton NPs. To avoid most of the "REAL" mountains I agree with the photo by digNbubbs (been there and have taken the same photo, W/O our RV) and the post by RV_Boy.

The first view of the Tetons when driving south from Y'Stone is unbelievable!

When in Jackson be sure to see the "Bar J chuckwagon dinner show" I guarantee that it is the best $18.00 you will ever spend on a dinner/show. Get reservations and be there EARLY.


I have no financial or other interest in the Bar J, only that is the best entertainment there is. My wife and I normally go there 2-4 times/summer.

A few miles south of Bozman and just as you leave the valley floor and get into the mountains (called the "Gallitan Gateway")there is a FS CG on your right (west) side right of the road at the rivers edge, Stayed there many times.

Have an outstanding trip and let us know how it was.

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Old 07-08-2007, 02:28 PM   #11
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Heading south from Calgary after the Satmpede and am thinking about going to Yellowstone via Red Lodge and the Beartooth Highway. Driving a 33' Suncruiser towing a toad.

I am a little leery of mountain driving (when it's on the edge of a cliff) but am pretty competent. Is the 'view' worth the twmporary discomfort?
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Old 07-08-2007, 02:34 PM   #12
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I haven't been on those roads, but I always prefer the scenic route, if time allows.

Drive carefully and enjoy the view.

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