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Old 04-05-2015, 02:07 PM   #1
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Louisiana to Yellowstone

Going from Louisiana to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, then Utah last 2 weeks of May 2015 (hopefully minimize the vacation season parade) Going via Denver up. Looking for some first hand experience on routes, places to camp and how much time, etc. Realize weather is what it is will be prepared for most anything.
Looking to be up there at lease 2 weeks possibly more.
Have 2014 40' Newmar Ventana (tag) so I am researching the Big Rig suggestions.
Any help is appreciated.
Have taken many destination trips via interstate but never a national park excursion.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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I'd suggest going up I-25 to Casper, then U.S. 26 to Shoshone, Then N on U.S. 20 to Cody. A couple of days in Cody are worth it, great Buffalo Bill Museum Center. Drive across Yellowstone to W. Yellowstone, they have the best CG for large RVs.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:00 PM   #3
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Whatever time you think that you will need to see Y’stone NP you better double it!

Remember that Y’stone Park itself is about 50 miles E/W and 70 miles N/S (2.2 Mil Acres) and the Grand Loop (figure 8) road is about 140 miles around. With a 45mph speed limit (radar controlled) and the thermal attractions and the Bison think that they own the road they will sometimes back up traffic for 1/4 mile or more and the altitude (Canyon Area is 7918 ft, Old Faithful is 7365 ft and Mammoth Area is ONLY 6239 ft) it will take a full day for each loop. When walking take it easy, carry/drink lots of water as it can be very exhausting, then you will only see the highlights. If your luck is like mine I guarantee that Old Faithful will have gone off just minutes before you arrived and will have to wait about another hour and 10-15 minutes for it to go off again kill time by walking around the upper geyser basin. When you are at Old faithful be sure to go into the Old Faithful Inn and look up when inside. When in the visitor center, Inn, Snowlodge etc they will have a sign displaying approximately when the next eruption will occur (+ or – about 10/15 minutes)

We have lived about 110 miles from the West Y’stone entrance for 50 years and go there a couple of times each summer and I still haven’t seen everything yet.

We day trip it to Old Faithful a couple of times every summer just to have lunch in the Old Faithful Inn. (the O/F INN is highly recommended to see)

All the above information to one extent or another goes for GTNP also.

In Jackson The Bar J Chuckwagon dinner/show is high on our list. We see them 3-4 times every summer! Get RESERVATIONS and be there EARLY to pick up your tickets! Tim, their fiddle player has won the Idaho State fiddle championship 8 times and the US open championship 2 times!

Bar J Chuckwagon
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:48 AM   #4
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Richard what's the best time of the year to go that has the least visitors and is still enjoyable weather wise? I have two handycap wheelchair boys. Is the park very wheelchair excusable? I know that there will be a lot they can't do but that is the way life is for them. I just want them to be able to enjoy things they can do there. Thanks very much.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:23 AM   #5
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John424, you will find a lot you can enjoy with your boys there. Even Ol Faithful will be accessible to them. But you won't have to go far for the buffalo pictures, they are all over the place.
Travelling through Wyoming, we found a great(!) KOA owned by a retired National Parks guy in Dubois, WY. He keeps his horses on site, its on the Wind River, have an indoor pool,and they have a wonderful restaurant called Cowboy Cafe (get the pie!!!!) within walking distance . This was a one night stop over for us that lasted a week...easy travel to Jackson and the Grand Tetons. This park is also stop over for a lot of bicyclists from all over the world. I walked our dogs down to a local park every morning, early, and saw deer walking around downtown checking out the stores and just walking down the middle of the road. We plan on taking a trip that way next year, and plan on staying there for 2 weeks.
This is one of the KOA's where the owner has gone above and beyond! And yes, there were big rigs there. If you end up going, ask for a back in on the river...great place for campfires!
Enjoy your journey and safe travels.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:24 AM   #6
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I was there first of June one time. 72 and mild one day, snow the next.
Warmed right up the next day again.
Then again I have been there in the winter at 22 below. You appreciate the hand warmers on the snowmobiles.
I did a room in Jackson in the winter.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:37 AM   #7
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Kdsgone2dogs, I agree on the Dubois KOA and the Cowboy Cafe. Sadly this past winter Dubois suffered a fire that burned down the buildings across from the Cafe, I had my branded plank on that stretch of sidewalk! The Dubois Museum is a nice place to visit while in town, lots of interesting history of the area.

I've spent many Summers in Dubois and Yellowstone, I helped teach at the Miami U. (OH) Geology Field Station. Many of the boardwalks around the features of YNP are accessible by wheelchairs. Be sure to go through the visitor's centers, they are great places to learn about the things you'll see.

Visiting in Summer, Fall, or Winter are all interesting, I've not been in Spring, too unpredictable to plan visits with snow plowing, closures, etc. Yes, the road traffic is busier in Summer, but the speed is 45 mph and if traffic jams are called 'BHM jams' because they're usually caused by 'Big Hairy Mammals.' Have your camera ready.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:05 PM   #8
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Since you only have 2 weeks which is really a short time for all you want to do, definitely try to get reservations IN the parks, themselves. You'll save a lot of driving time daily. If you're retired, plan to spend lots more time visiting these parks.

Yellowstone - Fishing Bridge RV has 40' spots
Tetons - Colter Bay RV has 40' spots
Utah parks - Zion's Watchman campground or nearby Springdale RV parks.
Bryce Nat'l Park - Ruby's is just outside the park entrance...very convenient

There's no reason to drive 30 miles or more just to enter the parks. You'll do enough driving once you're in the parks.

I would suggest you head for the Utah parks first as it's now already getting hot. Then head further north to the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Have a great trip!
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:40 AM   #9
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BFlinn181, thanks for the update on Dubois, very sad to say the least. Hope they rebuild and move forward, such a great place. Maybe by the time we get there next year, things will be in the process of renovation....I'm hoping...
Andi
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:46 AM   #10
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Thanks guys sounds like you have a great time there. I can't wait to go. I will sure take your advice when we make are plans to go.
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