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Old 03-14-2008, 04:36 AM   #1
paz
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This summer, we will be traveling from Gillette, WY to West Yellowstone in our 37' motorhome with toad. DeLorme routes us west on I-90, west on US 14A, through Cody, and through the park. We would probably split the drive into 2 days. An alternate would be to head south on I-25 to Casper and then head west on US 26 and go by way of the Tetons. That seems a little out of the way, but we want to stop at the Tetons either before or after Yellowstone anyway. Any recommendations?
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:36 AM   #2
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This summer, we will be traveling from Gillette, WY to West Yellowstone in our 37' motorhome with toad. DeLorme routes us west on I-90, west on US 14A, through Cody, and through the park. We would probably split the drive into 2 days. An alternate would be to head south on I-25 to Casper and then head west on US 26 and go by way of the Tetons. That seems a little out of the way, but we want to stop at the Tetons either before or after Yellowstone anyway. Any recommendations?
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:49 AM   #3
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Forget about the Delorme route. It'll get you into trouble. US-14A is a very steep and long route down the west flank of the Bighorn's. Something like 14% grades with really no place to pull over and cool your brakes. I'd never take it westbound with a large vehicle but I've taken it eastbound in both a 33' gasser and a 40' diesel pusher. It's a slow, hard climb going up but at least you don't get into trouble with the brakes.

For a large RV heading westboiund I'd recommend US-16 west from Buffalo. It's a very scenic route, especially through Ten Sleep canyon and there's lots of room to let the RV breathe and recover.

Once you get to Worland you have choice. Head north to Greybull and then west on 14 to Yellowstone or head south to Thermopolis and Riverton, then west to Moran Junction and enter the Grand Tetons.

If you want the best possible trip - my favorite route is to take I-90 to Laurel, MT (just past Billings) then down to Red Lodge. Spend the night at the Red Lodge KOA and then take the Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone. After Yellowstone head south to the Tetons and then back east through Moran, Riverton, Thermopolis (check out the hot springs there), and Buffalo.

For more information on the Beartooths check out my pictorial at www.rvcruzer.com/ystoneindex.htm

Enjoy! It's an awesome trip.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:51 AM   #4
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Hey Cruzer,

Just wanted to comment on your signature picture ---- if it doesn't make you want to pack up the RV and head out, then I'd say your heart may have quit beating!

Couldn't get your link to work, but I'd love to see more.

GREAT pic.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:11 AM   #5
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Thanks, Mark. That's exactly the type of information we were looking for. Logic told me there were steep grades and narrow roads in the area, but we didn't know which roads they were.

BTW, the link didn't work for me either; but DW did a search and found your Yellowstone and Beartooth photos. Great pix and good write-up! Some of the wildlife photos are outstanding.
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Old 03-15-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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Okay I fixed the link. I had one too many "http"s in it plus I messed up the URL.

It works now.
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Old 03-15-2008, 05:38 PM   #7
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Absolutely fabulous pictures!

I appreciate the directions you gave paz. I hope to get out there later this year and had the same questions myself.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:00 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 Cruzer:
Forget about the Delorme route. It'll get you into trouble. US-14A is a very steep and long route down the west flank of the Bighorn's. Something like 14% grades with really no place to pull over and cool your brakes. I'd never take it westbound with a large vehicle but I've taken it eastbound in both a 33' gasser and a 40' diesel pusher. It's a slow, hard climb
going up but at least you don't get into trouble with the brakes.

For a large RV heading westboiund I'd recommend US-16 west from Buffalo. It's a very scenic route, especially through Ten Sleep canyon and there's lots of room to let the RV breathe and recover.

Once you get to Worland you have choice. Head north to Greybull and then west on 14 to Yellowstone or head south to Thermopolis and Riverton, then west to Moran Junction and enter the Grand Tetons.

If you want the best possible trip - my favorite route is to take I-90 to Laurel, MT (just past Billings) then down to Red Lodge. Spend the night at the Red Lodge KOA and then take the Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone. After Yellowstone head south to the Tetons and then back east through Moran, Riverton, Thermopolis (check out the hot springs there), and Buffalo.

For more information on the Beartooths check out my pictorial at www.rvcruzer.com/ystoneindex.htm

Enjoy! It's an awesome trip. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cruzer...awesome pics! We're pondering our first trip to Yellowstone in early September.

From your comments above, is the Beartooth highway OK for the RV? We had planned to stay in West Yellowstone as our base for exploring the park. If we do that, what is your recommended best route into W. Yellowstone?
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for the GREAT photos. As a newbie I only can dream of the day to retire and travel.(10years to go)
Dave
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:05 PM   #10
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We've taken the Beartooth Highway a number of times from our 33' Suncruiser to the 42' Bus. The key is to take it from Red Lodge into Yellowstone, not the other way around. That way you'll do the switchbacks uphill. You won't have to worry about any brakes overheating because the other side of the mountain much more gradual with lots of breaks in between. One thing we do is unhook the toad south of Red Lodge at the large pull off area prior to entering the Custer Nat'l Forest. Then Leann follows in the Jeep while I take the Bus up the switchbacks. Once up top at Top of the World Store, we rehook. It's an easier pull that way plus it's easier to fit into the pulloffs for the many photo opportunities that you'll see.

After we are in the park, at the northeast entrance, we head over to Tower and then Mammoth. We'll generally stay at Gardiner for a couple of days, then head down to West Yell but I guess you could do it in one shot. If you do you'll have to spend more time driving with the toad to backtrack and see what you missed. By staying at Gardiner you get to see that area before moving on. Be sure to stay at Red Lodge too or else you won't have any time to see the Beartooths. You'll need a day to go from Red Lodge to Gardiner or West Yellowstone or else it'll be a non-stop drive, which would be areal shame given the scenery in theBeartooths that you'll see along the way.

Mammoth to West Yellowstone is good. ACtually any road in Yellowstone is okay for RVs except the section from Tower to Canyon. That would take you over Dunraven Pass and up Mount Washburn. The road has been improved and widened in spaces but many of the hairpin curves are very sharp and you won't be able to stay in your lane. Most are blind curves and crazy idiots will generally be over the yellow line and in your way so I won't go that way - and I'm pretty adventurous.

Yellowstone is big and a single base camp means you'll spend quite a bit of time in the toad just traversing the park. September is a nice time because the elk rut begins, and is in full swing betwen the 15th and 20th of September. The crowds are down and any snow that comes is gone pretty quick - if it comes at all. Mammoth is a great area for elk and bighorn sheep in fall. West Yell is handy for the rest because it's easy access along the Madison River and down into Old Faithful. Fishing Bridge is also a great location but the RV park there is packed tight and not real up to date. With a smaller (35' and under) class A it wouldn't be to bad but the narrow sites are real tough on a 40' quad slide and you may not be able to get them all out because of trees tight on each side.
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