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Old 02-18-2019, 11:01 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by MajorOz View Post
From looking at the responses..........I guess I am in a minority. The idea of an itinerary scares me plum to death.


We wander, smell the roses, and then sleep.


Get up the next day and do the same.


Never been able to sit in a multi-hundred unit CG for weeks on end, getting orgasmic over shuffleboard.


Avoid the weather, adjust when you need to..........but ENJOY.


Way too many folks need one'a'these: https://tinyurl.com/yyyuam4t

(and NEVER go to Yellowstone between Memorial Day and Labor Day.....you will terminate from frustration)
Great plan!
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:16 AM   #72
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Grand Canyon south rim is open year round. North Rim is closed in the winter and opens May 15th with visitor services.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:17 AM   #73
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Western National parks tour

We did the trip in six weeks in the heart of the summer, mid June to end July. (Because I take care of my grandson I'm constrained by school schedules.) I'd done Rushmore and Badlands the year before so for this trip we went from Fort Worth to Colorado, spent a week in Grand Lake (RMNP)and Colo Springs, then on to Moab to see Canyonlands and Arches. Then we stayed a week in Idaho Falls and drove the jeep to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons from there. Our campground in Idaho Falls was right on the Snake and a great place to watch the fourth of July fireworks. From there it was Missoula where we did Glacier for a couple nights then on to Seattle, Portland, Bend and SFO to visit friends. Unfortunately after all that it was straight to Topeka for family commitments. Waiting for a new tire in SF cost me 8 hours so I ended up with three straight 500 mile days to get home. Definitely not my preferred experience but WTH I made it.
So my comment is "don't fret the tourists". So what if a thousand people watched Old Faithful with us? It was still one of the most awesome things I've seen. If you want to be at a place don't avoid it just because its tourist season.
A couple places I would definitely recommend you try to add are Sedona and Bend. But if you can't, every place we went I would say to myself "next time I'll stay here and do this or that." Except for San Francisco I've yet to find a place to which I didn't want to return. But that's just me. Have a great trip! It's almost impossible not to.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:32 AM   #74
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When making that trek through the “wasteland” of west Texas think about a stay at Davis Mtn State Park and a night at the UT observatory star watching or a day at Balmorhea State Park for a refreshing swim with the fish in an historic spring. The Franklin Mountain State Park near El Paso is quite unique and last but not least is a stop in San Antonio and all its missions and other historic sights.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:11 PM   #75
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Certainly doable depending on how long you want to be on the road and would be an amazing trip! Off the top of my head I would say 4-6 weeks could be a good pace? ... 250-300 miles per day, get off the road by 2-3 pm and stay at least 2 nights - longer in (or near) the National Parks.

Things to consider: The North Rim of Grand Canyon is not open until mid May or later depending on snow. Much of that area and Southern Utah at 6-8,000 ft so by mid-May things are pretty much open. Zion & Bryce are great - couple days each? Take H/W 12 from Bryce to Torrey, UT - beautiful drive... some 8-10% grades on the North end towards Torrey but a good highway. Check out Capital Reef NP near there. Tetons - DO NOT take H/W 22 into Jackson, WY (Tetons) - ugly & very steep, instead take H/W 89 from the West/South. Gros Ventre NP campground ("Grow Vont") is fun, although mostly dry camping with a few with full service. Looks like you're in a MH so you can't take it thru Glacier NP MT... I assume you have a Toad or rent a car for Going To The Sun highway.

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Take you time and enjoy!
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:23 PM   #76
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Being the biggest expense is the miles of getting to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and North from South Alabama I am thinking about doing it all in a huge trip instead if this is possible. I have been working on planning the following locations in two trips, but I am thinking why not take a huge one instead. I would like to avoid the hot summer plus the crowds if possible. I also would like to avoid any chance of snow and freezing temperatures. My initial thought was to leave in April and start at the Southern end and the Dakotas last before heading back home.

1) Tucson area to see wife's kinfolk
2) Grand Canyon - both North and South
3) Utah National Parks (Zion, Bryce, etc.)
4) Grand Teton National Park
5) Yellowstone National Park
6) Glacier National Park
7) North and South Dakota (Devils Mountain, Mt. Rushmore, etc.)
:Zion make sure you book the campground now for when you want to be there or you will not get in and if your smart you will come in from the west to east otherwise you have to line up for a while in the east to west as you will not fit into the tunnel, if you do not fit you have to drive down the middle so they have to close off the traffic both ways until your turn comes up.Grand Teton just got to Jackson Hole and north to Yellowstone as you get to see all three at once but Yellowstone and Grand Teton you should also book camp spots as they are very busy there to. Best part is Jackson Hole in winter months when all the Elk are down wandering around like lost sheep or just like me from Jan. to mid April then I start to perk up.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:52 PM   #77
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This trip is for 2020, so I still have time to fine tune my stops and make reservations.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:00 PM   #78
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When making that trek through the “wasteland” of west Texas think about a stay at Davis Mtn State Park and a night at the UT observatory star watching or a day at Balmorhea State Park for a refreshing swim with the fish in an historic spring. The Franklin Mountain State Park near El Paso is quite unique and last but not least is a stop in San Antonio and all its missions and other historic sights.
I have San Antonio planned already.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:26 PM   #79
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Went to Yellowstone week following Memorial Day last year and crowds weren’t too bad but we spent most of our time in Northern part of the park. There is road construction just south of Mammoth Hot Springs that causes long delays. Went back in mid November (my daughter works there) and there were no crowds but most of the roads close at the end of October and there was some snow. Many campgrounds in northwest and Midwest don’t open until late May and close in September or October. Be prepared to pay a lot more for gasoline
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:41 AM   #80
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Grand Canyon south rim is open year round. North Rim is closed in the winter and opens May 15th with visitor services.
We got snowed in the South Rim campground in January, 2010. One of the Rangers got his pickup sideways on the road up the hill to the campground and blocked passage for several hours.

We had the old front wheel drive GMC motorhome back then. It navigated the snow with no problems. We ended up taking several of the "Volunteer" Rangers into Flagstaff on our way out.

There are some pics somewhere, I'll try to dig em out.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:24 AM   #81
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Try the Rafter J Bar Ranch campground. It's right outside of Custer, easily held our 45' coach with toad. Nice campground, nice people. Not too bad a drive to Rapid City. If internet and cable are important to you, make sure you ask for a spot with access.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:54 AM   #82
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Grand Canyon and beyond.

This is great information. We are planning on pulling the big 5er from South Carolina to the Grand Canyon, and beyond, in a year or two so thanks for all of the superb feedback on this post.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:53 AM   #83
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We did most of your trip in 2015. We left our campground in NE GA in mid August and returned in mid October. For your trip, I would suggest 2-3 months, depending on your preferred activities. This time frame gave us 'cooler' temps (depending on altitude) and smaller crowds (kids are back in school). September/October are our favorite months to travel. FYI - in 2017 did a west coast trip from NE GA and back. The itinerary covered three months of travel. However, spring might be a better time now because of the chronic forest fires, which seem to be less in the spring. Dodging fires is no fun, and we did a lot of it on our west coast trip, plus many vistas were covered in gray smoke. There is an app that tracks the fires. You might want to consider getting it. Rob
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:08 PM   #84
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Glacier NP

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Is there a chart somewhere showing when the "Going to the Sun Road" has opened in the past?

2018 Va-Alaska by way of Glacier/Waterton return Pacific coast. Going to the Sun Road not open until after 6/12/18. Important road closed several times July/August due to wildfires also. Yellowstone: spend time listening to wolves in Lamar Valley, and Elk in the mornings; the geysers are just a small part of journey. Expect blizzard in October then possible beautiful clear the next morning. Also did Yellowstone in July, traffic, traffic, then more traffic, that was during my fast paced motorcycle days. Couldn't pay me to experience summer tourists again. Enjoy! You can't plan for everything, be prepared for whatever, ENJOY the ADVENTURE!
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