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Old 01-06-2006, 05:51 PM   #1
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Hello, I will be making a trip from Louisville Kentucky, to Mt Rushmore, to Yellowstone, and then to the Redwood Forest. I will be pulling my 36 foot Grand Junction 5th wheel trailer. To get from Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone, I am looking at using US14 or US14A or US16. Looking at Google maps, it does not look to bad. I don't want to take I90 up and around as it will add alot of miles and time to the trip. Has anyone taken those routes with a trailer in tow? Would you recommend it? Thanks Anthony
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Old 01-06-2006, 05:51 PM   #2
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Hello, I will be making a trip from Louisville Kentucky, to Mt Rushmore, to Yellowstone, and then to the Redwood Forest. I will be pulling my 36 foot Grand Junction 5th wheel trailer. To get from Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone, I am looking at using US14 or US14A or US16. Looking at Google maps, it does not look to bad. I don't want to take I90 up and around as it will add alot of miles and time to the trip. Has anyone taken those routes with a trailer in tow? Would you recommend it? Thanks Anthony
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Old 01-06-2006, 07:25 PM   #3
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Many years ago we towed or 16' tt from Yellowstone to Mt. Rushmore. We went on 14 from Yellowstoe to interstate 90 there is a pass with some long pulls between Greybull and the Interstate. We stayed the night in Buffalo. The next day went I-90 to where 16 turns south.We had alot of wind in that stretch. We then stayed on 16 . Stoped in Newcastle for a late lunch. We ate at the old grainery there. the food was very good. then on to (16) Custer. We stayed in a KOA that had 2 swimming pools ,Horseback riding ect.The roads were not to bad. The bad spots were: I-90 between 16-14 split and Buffalo.=Heavy wind. 14 from I-90 to Greybull= Long hills , And just west of Cody some very sharp cornors. That is what I remember. Hope this helps. Others may update what I just told you. Have a great trip. We did..
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:06 AM   #4
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Hi Anthony,

I see this is your first post so let me be the first to welcome you to iRV2.
We've travelled all 3 of those routes as we're frequent visitors to the Yellowstone and Black Hills areas from Wisconsin. We've done it "RVless" driving a Suburban and with both gas and diesel class A coaches - on all 3 routes. Crossing the Bighorn Mountains is the toughest part of the trip as far as your vehicle is concerned. We prefer to take I-90 to Billings and then US-212 down to Red Lodge, MT. Then we take the Beartooth Highway or the Chief Joseph Highway from Red Lodge into Yellowstone. On the way home, we exit via the east entrance and head towrds Cody, WY. Then we cross the Bighorns via one of those 3 routes, depending upon what we want to see on that trip. By traveling in this direction we get the best scenic value of the trip. Plus, the steepest part of the grades is going uphill. If you run the route in reverse, as you have proposed, you'll be doing the steeper sections downhill and that's going to be tough on the brakes, especially with a pick-up/5th wheel combination. In that case I'd recommend US-16 rather than the other two.

US-14A is the northernmost route and the steepest. The only time we take it is if we want to go through Lovell, WY. Just outside of Lovell is the Bighorn Canyon Nat'l Recreation Area - South Unit. From here you can drop your RV at the visitor's center and take the toad (or truck) into the Pryor Mountains. There are nice overlooks along the river/canyon but the best part is the wild mustang herds that you can get to from there. However, when you leave Lovell it's a relentless series of very steep grades in order to get to the top of the Bighorns. It's an awesome drive but I wouldn't want to take it going westbound because there is no place to pull over and cool your brakes in the lower section. On the way up you'll eventually get to some areas where you can pull off but it's tough work on your vehicle. The campground owner in Buffalo mentioned that they tow trucks are constantly towing pickups that have blown transmissions on that climb so I wouldn't recommend it. We had no problems in either of our coaches. The 33' class A on a W20 chassis had to work really hard but the 40' DP had an Allison 3000 and a Cummins 400 with Jake Brake so it handled it fine. Not very fast, but it got there.

US-14 is just to the south of 14A. It's not as bad. If we're not going for the wild mustangs, this would be our choice - at least in a class A. It is still pretty step, although not as bad as US-14A, but there are a few more places to pull out. I still would prefer NOT to take it with a pickup truck/5th wheel combo though.

Both 14 and 14A meet up top at Burgess Junction. Then they wind down a series of switchbacks to get down the other side. These switchbacks are not as steep and there are plenty of pulloffs and scenic overlooks so it's no problem going down with any vehicle in that direction.

US-16 heads south around the worst of the Bighorns. Whereas 14 and 14A will take you to Sheridan, 16 will take you to Buffalo. Personally, there's more interesting things to do in Buffalo than in Sheridan, plus US-16 is less stressfull on the vehicle. US-16 has it's share of grades but they are brief rather than continuous and relentless so your vehicle gets to rest (and disipate heat) in between. It's also a very scenic drive and I would have no problem traveling in either direction with any RV, so it's a good choice for a 5th wheel combo.

While in the Black Hills be sure to see Custer State Park. This has got to be the best state park anywhere and it's truly national park caliber.

Interestingly, we are going to see the redwoods of northern California, then Oregon, Mount St Helens, and then Yellowstone again this summer. Be sure to allow plenty of time in Yellowstone. There is so much to do and see there and you'll be disappointed if you don't have enough time there.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-07-2006, 04:00 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for the info. This has helped alot. It now looks like I'm going to make a day trip to see the wild mustangs. Anthony
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:50 AM   #6
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The best bet is to ask at the Bighorn Canyon Visitor's Center just outside of Lovell. They'll give you maps of the area. Ask them how to find Whiskey Flats. That's where I generally have found them and it's easy to get to without going way off-road. Wear your hiking boots and bring water to drink because it gets hot in summer. A short hike will get you pretty close because the ones in Whiskey Flats aren't that skittish of people.



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Old 02-25-2006, 11:12 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 05diesel:
Hello, I will be making a trip from Louisville Kentucky, to Mt Rushmore, to Yellowstone, and then to the Redwood Forest. I will be pulling my 36 foot Grand Junction 5th wheel trailer. To get from Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone, I am looking at using US14 or US14A or US16. Looking at Google maps, it does not look to bad. I don't want to take I90 up and around as it will add alot of miles and time to the trip. Has anyone taken those routes with a trailer in tow? Would you recommend it? Thanks Anthony </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Anthony, I presume you will leave the Rushmore area, angling North West to I-90? If so I would recommend picking-up 16 at Buffalo, go to Worland then up to Greybull. We have traveled 14 and 16, 14 is really beautiful but much slower, mountains with 25MPH speed limits. Check the current road conditions in Cody as the construction on the East Entrance to YNP is ongoing and the road closes each night. You can expect a 30 min delay for the construction. Cruzer mentioned coming down on 212 out of Billings's area, "cannot get there for here" a rock slide closed 212 and I seriously doubt the road is reopened.

Enjoy these areas; we try to visit both on an annual basis.

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Old 02-26-2006, 01:50 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fred and Bonnie:
......Check the current road conditions in Cody as the construction on the East Entrance to YNP is ongoing and the road closes each night. You can expect a 30 min delay for the construction. Cruzer mentioned coming down on 212 out of Billings's area, "cannot get there for here" a rock slide closed 212 and I seriously doubt the road is reopened.

Fred </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Beartooth Highway is rebuilt. It was opened last fall for one week until it was closed for the winter season. The east entrance is getting near completion but each year the restrictions ease up. Check the Yellowstone web site in spring and you might find that even the nightime closures are lifted this year. Ther's been talk about that but until it's printed on the website you won't know for sure. Still, who needs to travel that area at night anyway. It'd be a waste of good scenery and you may wind up collecting a 4 legged hood ormnament in the dark.
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:37 PM   #9
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Cruzer, good to hear the Beartooth reopened, the first estimates were not looking too promising. While we were in Spearfish SD last October, two class A's pulled in with "Ornament" remnants on the front end.

Fred
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:25 PM   #10
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Anthony,
Last June we stopped at the Wyoming visitor center on I-90 as we entered from SD on our way to Yellowstone. The lady there advised us (we were driving a motorhome and towing a car) to take 16 to Worland, then 20s south for a few miles to state 431, then to 120 up to Cody. 431 is a typical back country paved road, good condition, mostly straight, and very light traffic. 431 follows Gooseberry Creek and over towards the 120 side we found Gooseberry Badlands (I think that was the name ); a BLM site, with a large level parking lot. There is a short (1 or 2 mile) trail through the colorful badlands that my Grandsons and I enjoyed. It was getting dark when we got back, so we just stayed the night. I think about three cars passed us the whole night. We really enjoyed our short stay.
120 is a good , mostly level, two lane road all the way to Cody. Don't forget the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, I could easily spend two days there
Loren
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:38 AM   #11
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I didn't read all the posting, but we made the trip last year in early June. The locals we talked with did not recommend 14A for a MH. Therefore from Buffalo we took 16 & 20 to Cody and then 14/16 into Yellowstone. We did encounter a lot of roadwork from just after you enter Yellowstone, but no real delays. However at the higher elavation it was snowing reducing visability to as little as ten feet. In fact, the next morning we woke up in the Fishing Bridge campground to a nice little accumulation of the white stuff. For Geechee's ( people who live on the costal islands of South Carolina) it was a real nice touch.
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