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Old 06-25-2014, 08:26 AM   #1
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Yellowstone Drive Through Question.

My family and I are taking a trip from Mass to the west coast. We are all crazy for doing this but that's how we roll. We are going to try pull this off in just 2 weeks time!

I figured while we are going to be so close, why not drive through Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park. After a lot of research this is the route I came up with. Would you seasoned Yellowstoner's and Grand Tetoner's please have a look and tell me what you think?

We are taking I-90 to Buffalo WY and taking RT-16 to the east entrance of the park. Once in the park we want to take the Grand Loop around the top through Canyon and Norris. Then down through Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village and out the south entrance.

We then want to follow RT-191 down through the Grand Tetons National Park. We would pick up RT-26 and follow that out to I-15 to I-86 to I-84 into Idaho. Off of I-84 mapquest has us routed down RT-93 from Twins Falls ID to I-80 to continue our trip out west.

Are any of these routes that I mentioned not okay for a 38 foot Class A motorhome? In all the reading I have been doing on the forum it seems the route we chosen is not a problem for an RV of my size.

Any suggestions on where to boon dock before the park if we arrive late in the day? We would like to top off fuel and water tanks if possible, and dump waste. Someplace free would be great, but not apposed to a small fee for any of it.

Is Boon docking allowed in the park? I thought I read something that there are places in the park that allow overnight parking.

Thanks in advance for the replies and help.
The Attilakara72 Family
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:42 AM   #2
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Two weeks is very agressive. We did the same trip out of Louisville, KY to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Denver and back home a few years ago and it took all of two weeks. We spent 3 days in Yellowstone and 1 day in Teton.

Traffic inside the park can be at a standstill at times. If there is wildlife in the road or near the road, traffic stops due to people viewing/taking pics. If you're going to do Yellowstone at all, I'd recommend finding a campground and taking the toad (assuming you have one) to see the sites. Also, not sure your exact route out of Teton, but you MUST avoid the Teton Pass at all costs.

There is camping available inside Yellowstone, but it's first come, first served and there are lines waiting in the mornings for people leaving. I'm not sure if any of the campgrounds inside the park allow for reservations. We stayed at a park just outside Yellowstone in Gardiner.

Also, watch the weather. You don't say when you're planning your trip, but snow comes early. If you're planning the trip in the summer, it'll be packed.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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Route realy dosn't matter we did it twice and it was great. 2 weeks??? I think it will take you a week to get to Cal and a week to get home so what do you see in between. Man call in dead or something. We went your planed route with a 36 ft Journey diesel pulling a toad and did fine but it took us 2 mts. The second trip was with the grand kids and that one still took us 2 mts. Were from NJ so your start is shorter but realy good luck with your time.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:56 AM   #4
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I understand the time issue. Three of us will be driving. Myself, my wife and my son. Which route is Teton Pass?
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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Awesome planned trip... sure will be fast-n-furious... Good Luck !?!?!?

As for your route.. It seems to be logical.. if you want some "real" fun, you could take I-90 up thru Sheridan (possible Walmart boon-dock chance) and then take 14 thru Big Horn National Forest... Last year, we left the east entrance and took 16 to 14 to I-90.. I will say.. 14 is not for the faint of heart.. but the views were incredible..

Another boon-dock possibility will be the Walmart in Cody... on our way home from Yellowstone to Milwaukee, WI... we stopped at that Walmart for a quick grocery grab, didn't stay the night, but was a good location and would set you up perfectly to enter the east entrance..

As for the Grand Loop, its already been mentioned about the stop-go nature of traffic in Yellowstone.. if there is wildlife, there WILL be traffic backups.. be prepared.. I do remember some major construction going on around the Roosevelt with major delays.. I don't know if that is still happening... but could be worth a call to the visitors center and ask about road construction....

Finally.. if you need to get out and stretch the legs... my recommendations on such an ambitious trip would be... Grand Canyon area... Old Faithful... Grand Prismatic Spring...

I would say Old Faithful (if timed correctly) and Grand Prismatic Springs would be the quickest in/out... but the Grand Canyon is absolutely beautiful.. Also, keep in mind these are also the most popular, so traffic and parking are always a challenge..

Good luck and let us know how the trip turned out.. I have visions of the Griswold drive out to Wally World stuck in my head after reading your post..
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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Teton Pass is Wyoming 22:

Wyoming Department of Transportation Travel Information Service - WYO 22 Teton Pass
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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I don't think we will be going WY-22. I can't even find it on the map.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:13 AM   #8
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IMHO 5000-6000 miles trip in 2 weeks is over 400 miles each day. I learned along time ago that the interstate in Florida looks the same as interstate in Texas, Maine, South Dakota, and Canada. Looks like alot of windshield time and not visiting the sites.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:18 AM   #9
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WY-22 is just south of Jackson...
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:13 PM   #10
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Our mission is to get to the west coast. The Yellowstone thing is just a drive thru.
It's not about the quantity but the quality of time we are spending together.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:46 PM   #11
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Your're route is excellent if you feel you'll have the time by the time you get in the Yellowstone area. Your best best before entering Yellowstone from the east is to stay around Cody. Once you get through Cody enroute to the Yellowstone entrance, there are some nice RV parks and also a state park and many forest service campgrounds. Not sure of boondocking spots but someone mentioned WalMart in Cody.

There is no boondocking allowed in the national parks.

A drive-through is certainly much better than not seeing it at all. Good luck!!
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:58 PM   #12
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Drive night and day. do not try Yellowstone on your time frame. When you reach CA dip a toe in the ocean and then drive night and day back home. If it's the quality time together you really want go up to Maine and camp for 2 weeks. That would be quality time. JMHO
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
Two weeks is very agressive. We did the same trip out of Louisville, KY to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Denver and back home a few years ago and it took all of two weeks. We spent 3 days in Yellowstone and 1 day in Teton.

Traffic inside the park can be at a standstill at times. If there is wildlife in the road or near the road, traffic stops due to people viewing/taking pics. If you're going to do Yellowstone at all, I'd recommend finding a campground and taking the toad (assuming you have one) to see the sites. Also, not sure your exact route out of Teton, but you MUST avoid the Teton Pass at all costs.

There is camping available inside Yellowstone, but it's first come, first served and there are lines waiting in the mornings for people leaving. I'm not sure if any of the campgrounds inside the park allow for reservations. We stayed at a park just outside Yellowstone in Gardiner.

Also, watch the weather. You don't say when you're planning your trip, but snow comes early. If you're planning the trip in the summer, it'll be packed.
There are several NP campgrounds in Yellowstone that have reservable sites. Teton Pass is bad!!
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:34 PM   #14
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Buffalo Bill State Park is between Cody & Yellowstone. Some sites have electric & water but I don't think there is a dump. There are "resort" type parking lots CGs in Cody where you'd be able to dump & have hookups though.

There was construction along the lake from the west entrance last summer and it looked like they had a ways to go so I'd expect some construction delays. The animal jams though will slow you down even more. Old Faithful is a very congested, crowded area with lots of pedestrians, cars, buses, RVs and few know where they're going or how to get there.

Your trip sounds like some my family took when I was a kid. We drove/tent camped from Kentucky to CA and back in about that amount of time and did drive bys & throughs. I don't remember a lot about the parks but have fond memories of camping and being with my parents and siblings.

Good luck & have fun!
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