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Old 06-07-2016, 12:16 PM   #1
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West Yellowstone from the north?

We'll be coming into West Yellowstone from Butte, and it looks like a few options (Tiffin 31 SA gasser with Jeep)

Do you take 287?

If so, do you stay on 287 to 191 into West Yellowstone

Or, do you get off 287 onto 87 and take 20 in West Yellowstone?



Or is it better to just head into Bozeman and take 191 straight into West Yellowstone?

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:28 PM   #2
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All three routes you ask about are fine for an RV, I-90 to Exit 256 at Cardwell, S on MT 359, right onto US 287, then right on MT 87 into West Yellowstone is the most direct, and shortest, about 2 hr, 20 min.

All the roads off I-90 are wide, 2 lane Hwys, with wide berms and clear view of any wildlife.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:53 PM   #3
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One thing I might add to the previous poster regarding the route described is that the scenery is special. One of those instances were the "destination" is the "trip". Another route option.....especially if you're a "history" buff...is to go directly south out of Butte on Hwy 2...to Hwy 41...at "Twin Bridges" you pick up Hwy 287 and go until you get to "Ennis" where you turn "right" onto hwy 87 which will take you on down to W Yellowstone.

Few things about this route. It is all single lane road but great for pulling a camper. I found the trip over the Continental Divide much easier than going over it on I 90. It also takes you down the "Ruby Valley" which is just beautiful.
There are some really neat "old western mining towns" along the way...Sheridan, Nevada City, Virginia City, just to name a few.

It is the road less traveled as the other route from Cardwell south to W Yellowstone carries more traffic.

You've got some great experiences in front of you regardless which route you choose. Enjoy Montana....we're glad your coming!

Here's photo of the route going south towards Ennis from I-90
https://photos.smugmug.com/Traveling.../FB%203-X2.jpg
Pat
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:15 AM   #4
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Thank you both for the very insightful information.

We are really looking forward to our summer adventure! This 3 week part of our "big" trip includes staying at Yellowstones Edge which is between Livingston and the north end of the park along the Yellowstone River, Jim and Mary's for a few days in Missoula, up to Glacier, then to Yellowstone.

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Old 06-13-2016, 10:58 PM   #5
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By all means...stop in Missoula!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
Thank you both for the very insightful information.

We are really looking forward to our summer adventure! This 3 week part of our "big" trip includes staying at Yellowstones Edge which is between Livingston and the north end of the park along the Yellowstone River, Jim and Mary's for a few days in Missoula, up to Glacier, then to Yellowstone.

Regards
Drink our coffee and micro beer....ice cream from the "Big Dipper" and great pastries from the "Black Cat Bakery"...kick back and enjoy our town....and don't forget to "spend your money"! It will be money well spent.

Have a great stay!

Pat
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:24 AM   #6
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Coffee, micro brew, pastries, and ice cream - seems to cover all the major food groups to me (OK, need some meat too!).

One more question, as you all seem to have a great local knowledge.

We are stopping at Jim and Mary's for a few days which nicely splits the distance between Livingston and Galcier. On the way back down from Glaicier to West Yellowstone we were thinking of an overnight stop at Riverfront RV Park near Garrison - seems to have mixed reviews, but ok for an overnight. Any thoughts or other midway suggestions?

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:35 AM   #7
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For just a night while traveling, we often stay at Walmart or some other 'free' campsite. One of the reasons to carry all the equipment for living in an RV is to be independent. We don't feel the need to pay for a campground, playground, laundry, pool, etc. when only stopping for an evening.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPatrick16 View Post
One thing I might add to the previous poster regarding the route described is that the scenery is special. One of those instances were the "destination" is the "trip". Another route option.....especially if you're a "history" buff...is to go directly south out of Butte on Hwy 2...to Hwy 41...at "Twin Bridges" you pick up Hwy 287 and go until you get to "Ennis" where you turn "right" onto hwy 87 which will take you on down to W Yellowstone.

Few things about this route. It is all single lane road but great for pulling a camper. I found the trip over the Continental Divide much easier than going over it on I 90. It also takes you down the "Ruby Valley" which is just beautiful.
There are some really neat "old western mining towns" along the way...Sheridan, Nevada City, Virginia City, just to name a few.

It is the road less traveled as the other route from Cardwell south to W Yellowstone carries more traffic.

You've got some great experiences in front of you regardless which route you choose. Enjoy Montana....we're glad your coming!

Here's photo of the route going south towards Ennis from I-90
https://photos.smugmug.com/Traveling.../FB%203-X2.jpg
Pat
Beautiful photo! Thanks for posting it!
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:11 AM   #9
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We did much of this trip last summer. We went from West Yellowstone north. I would travel the route suggested by RPatrick16. Very interesting places to see along this route.
Be sure to visit the Bison Range while you're staying at Jim and Mary's. Worth the drive through.
If you like to fishing, book a guide at Hebgen Lake, Yellowstone Holiday RV Campground and Marina. Some great trout fishing in that lake.
Enjoy!
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:31 AM   #10
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West Yellowstone from the north?

A couple of years ago we left Glacier on Rt 2 to Browning going south. Picked up 287 at Choteau and rode it all the way to W Yellowstone. Good road; marvelous, beautiful country! Like Bflinn, overnights on the road are sometimes at the Wally CC, In this case on 287 in Helena. IIRC, a well kept, quiet night with very friendly folks in the store (I always go in to thank the Mgr on duty).


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Old 06-14-2016, 10:51 PM   #11
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The 287 south of Ennis is a beautiful drive. The valley is just awesome. ONe thing to note is you may want to avoid driving it or really watch your speed at dusk if on the road. Lots of game in the valley and accidents between vehicle and game is very common on the stretch from Ennis south to Quake Lake.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:42 PM   #12
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Garrison CG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
Coffee, micro brew, pastries, and ice cream - seems to cover all the major food groups to me (OK, need some meat too!).

One more question, as you all seem to have a great local knowledge.

We are stopping at Jim and Mary's for a few days which nicely splits the distance between Livingston and Galcier. On the way back down from Glaicier to West Yellowstone we were thinking of an overnight stop at Riverfront RV Park near Garrison - seems to have mixed reviews, but ok for an overnight. Any thoughts or other midway suggestions?

Thanks so much!
I am answering your question a day after you have posted it so this may be null and void.

I am assuming your visiting your friends in Missoula...therefore

Depending on the time you leave them and head east let me offer the following:
Missoula to Butte is an easy drive thru beautiful country.
Garrison (Garrison Junction as it is know around here) is an open flat land area. As I recall this CG is on the right side of the hwy and is very close to it. It's basically a field in that Garrison is very very small.
Other options:
Exit 126 Rock Creek Rd is only 30 miles out of Missoula but offers a really neat campground nested in the trees called Exstrom's. They also have a very nice restaurant on the property logded in an old "stagecoach" way station. If you unhook your trailer a drive up the the 10 mile marker on Rock Creek Road is a treat. There is a large herd of Big Horn Sheep about the 8 mile marker and you might get to see them....maybe even in the road.

A bit further up the highway is Beaver Tail State Park...just a few exits beyond 126.

There are no Walmarts or major truck stops between this area until you get to the Butte Area.

Butte from Rock Creek is 90 miles. West Yellowstone from Exit 126 is 241 miles. I know this area well and driven the routes outlined above many times.

I live up in the mountains that look down on the Exstrom Camping faciility. By the way...."if you are fly fisherman". Rock Creek is a "blue ribbon" trout stream and the "bucket list" so to speak, of fly rod fisherman from all over the world.

Best wishes to you on your travels.

Hope this works for you .

Pat
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:14 PM   #13
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Pat, thank you for taking the time to provide such helpful insight!

We are just getting ready to head out, and just trying to get a few open things squared away for our big trip. We will certainly take a look at the other campgrounds as options to Garrison, which is actually a planned one night stop to split the trip from Glaicer down to West Yellowstone. (Jim and Mary's RV Park in Missoula will be a stop for a few days as we head up to Glacier from Livingston).

I've tried fly fishing once, and, well, I sure you are well aware, one time makes you realize it is an art that takes much time and practice to master. So, I know we will be near some great fly fishing, so it's kind of a shame that we won't be ones to enjoy it in such a great area. But, we really looking forward to visiting this part of the county.

Thanks again!
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