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Old 07-16-2019, 09:45 AM   #1
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Going West

may of 2020 the wife and I will be going west to Yellowstone np MT Rushmore, and grand canyon will be the places I will be going too. We will be taking the I-90 route, other than the places I mention what else would you recommend for stop. i have set aside 3 or 4 weeks for this trip. coming back home we will be using I 40 back to NC.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:01 AM   #2
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Badlands, SD
Tetons NP, WY
Arches NP, UT
Canyon Lands NP, AZ
Zion NP, UT
Bryce Canyon NP, UT
Painted Desert, AZ
Petrified Forest, AZ
Crater Hole, AZ


All of these are basically on your planned route. You will not have enough time to doo all of these well in your time allotment. Yellowstone can easily take two weeks by itself. Each of these areas are worth a visit and are different and unique in character. Some can be done in a couple of hours. Some of the others you can get a thumb nail sketch in a day.

Come on out and enjoy!!!
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:05 AM   #3
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Consider starting in March or April to avoid much of the crowding. Here's a map about how I'd go about it. Each state has many wonders and I'd try to do the first leg quickly when you're fresh. No site seeing, just staying one night at each stop until you get to New Mexico. Note that places like the GC get 4-5 MILLION visitors per year. Guess which months are the favorite. Same with Yellowstone so the earlier you can arrive, the more comfortable the visit will be. In the spring, it's best to start in the south and move north as it warms.

Anyway, here's a map of my suggested stops (while on the road, I always check for interesting stops between the main stops): NC to Mt. Rushmore Plus

Also, I totally agree with Sue's statement in the next post. 3-4 weeks isn't long enough.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:17 AM   #4
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If you are in Yellowstone you should go to Grand Teton, they are next to each other.


Your trip will be close to 5000 miles in 3-4 weeks. Figuring 300 miles per day you have 2.5 weeks of driving. And you can't keep up that pace for that long.



Either add more time or skip the trip until you can give it the time deserved. You are just touching the "big" names, there is so much more.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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Just for fun Wall Drug, Wall South Dakota. Great little tourist stop, good restaurant and donuts made fresh. A couple of hours should do it. They have oversize parking and are close to the Interstate . You'll see the signs on Interstate. Check out Badlands National Park, stayed at the KOA close to the park.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:26 PM   #6
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I'd also recommend leaving NC earlier than May - March/April - so you can appreciate the desert blooms, and begin the southern route returning the northern route.

Definitely add Grand Teton Nat'l Park. Try to add more time to your trip. That's kind of rushing it if you add more things. It's a long drive and you might as well see more as long as you're out there. How often would you do this trip?
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:29 PM   #7
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Lake Powell..... Take a tour boat ride up to Rainbow Bridge.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #8
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Be careful about following the 'leave earlier' advice if you plan on going to Yellowstone.

This past 'spring', the roads in Yellowstone did not fully open until the END of May! The NE entrance closed again on June 21 (first day of summer) because of snow.

By 2020, Fishing Bridge campground will again be open and is your best choice for staying in the park. Remember you need to make reservations in February for a June stay.

Like a previous poster said, hit all the southern sites first and finish up with the Tetons and Yellowstone in June. Yes there will be crowds but hike a mile off the road and you will have solitude!
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:38 PM   #9
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Not sure where your trip starts, but I don't think there is much on I-90 until you get to Rapid City..... so....

on the way to Mt Rushmore or while there....
(good spot to operate out of is Hermosa, SD)
Wall Drugs
Badlands NP
Custer State Park
Iron Mountain drive
Crazy Horse

On way to Yellowstone..(suggest staying in West Yellowstone, ID; many campground there to choose from but do it EARLY!)
Deadwood, SD
Devils Tower
Little Bighorn Battlefield Nat'l Monument (Custer's Last Stand area)
Cody, WY
maybe visit Teton NP if time permits (full day required for sure to get there and back; VERY crowded area)

Lots of suggestions already for UT and AZ. If your choice is to stay north then maybe on your way home....
Bozeman (via US191)
Billings (day trip to Bear Tooth Pass)
Medora, ND (Roosevelt NP)
SD Hwy 35 - Enchanted Highway sculptures
Fargo - Minuteman Museum/Site

Remember to include a few "days off".
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:00 PM   #10
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They might be a bit off your planned route but, if you can include Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument, you'll have a very moving experience visiting some ancient Native American dwellings. Although smaller, I found the uncrowded and less spectacular Hovenweep to be my favorite. The campground is adjacent to the canyon housing the ruins.

Also I found the tour of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument led by the Crow Tribe to be a very moving experience. The one I took was led by a woman who used traditional story-telling techniques in telling the story of the battle.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:31 PM   #11
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Going west

If possible save the Grand Canyon for another trip and add Utahs big 5 and sw Colorado area to that trip. South Dakotas' Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park area needs 3-4 days. Cody Wy. 2 days for the Buffalo Bill Museum(I know it sounds hokey but really is excellent) . A week for Yellowstone NP, Fishing Bridge CG might not be open for 2020 but is the most central for trying to cover YNP from one FHU cg.. 3-4 days for Grand Tetons . We like Gros Ventre CG, noFHU but some sites have electricity if you get there early AM and are lucky. Water and dumpstation at entrance and close to Jackson for.a town break . Good restaurants and groceries and gas prices. Much more to see on either trip than you can do in 3-4 weeks much less trying to do both. We spent 4 weeks on each and didn't see enough, will go back.. If you are interested in wildlife spotting, I highly recommend hiring a naturalist guide in YNP. A little costly but she knew where the animals would be and had the good scopes and binoculars to see them. I have her info if you are interested.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:03 PM   #12
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Very ambitious, I would consider either the Northern or Southern Parks etc and then a beeline home (5+/- days). If just Northern add Glacier, it is one of my favorites. Going to Sun Highway is not open to RVs so you have to enter from the West. On the Southern part, Canyonlands by Night at Moab is an memorable experience.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:58 PM   #13
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What dates will you be travelling?
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:22 AM   #14
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All of the ideas above, and:

Possibly the best museum and historical park in the country - Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI. That was the highlight of our I90 trip last fall...
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