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Old 11-17-2020, 11:59 AM   #1
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Want to car explore Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks

Starting to planning an end of June 2021 start date trip. Looking to park my 39 foot DP pulling a Bug, looking at entering Yellowstone at Cody, exiting at the Southern end of Grand Teton's. So, looking for advice on nice, but reasonable RV parks. Don't mind moving every few days. I'm thinking of spending 10 to 14 days in this area. Also, is this too much time? don't plan on any hiking, just seeing the sights. What do our seasoned RV'er have for me...thanks, Bill BTW...I have started my RV Trip Wizard subscription...
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Old 11-17-2020, 12:03 PM   #2
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If you mean parks outside YNP you can forget about nice but reasonable. They might be nice but they will be pricey. Otherwise use your RVTW to check parks along your route, get details and look at the review tab which will tell you the price. You can boondock around YNP.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldeguy View Post
Starting to planning an end of June 2021 start date trip. Looking to park my 39 foot DP pulling a Bug, looking at entering Yellowstone at Cody, exiting at the Southern end of Grand Teton's. So, looking for advice on nice, but reasonable RV parks. Don't mind moving every few days. I'm thinking of spending 10 to 14 days in this area. Also, is this too much time? don't plan on any hiking, just seeing the sights. What do our seasoned RV'er have for me...thanks, Bill BTW...I have started my RV Trip Wizard subscription...
Couple of notes here - when you combine Yellowstone and the Tetons you are in an area that is larger than a few, of our states, so you are covering a LARGE AREA, almost impossible to do as all is spread out and one of the main routes is closed. If you can get a reservation in the park it certainly helps.

We returned this summer in season and it was a ZOO. I believe it is very frustrating to try and see it all. Best advice I can give is to start EARLY really Early - pick a few locations each day see them early while they have parking and the crowds have not filled the roads.

Then after you’ve visited them - go against the flow (traffic) - and leave the park and enjoy the Many other adventures that surround the parks. If you are overly energetic you could return in the evening - again against the flow - and see another site, when people are heading out for dinner, then get out in the dark, just a thought.

These suggestions are one of the few ways to enjoy the park - the other is to change the time of year you visit, our last and the best visit we’ve ever had was in the late Fall fewer people and more animals, again just a thought.

So learn as much as you can about the two parks before you arrive - understand the distances between sites you would like to visit - plan your attack as to what you enjoy and want to see. Choose your locations with the utmost care so as to make this work - stock up fully with all the supplies you may need as the ability is very limited once you arrive.

Not sure this was what you were after - just another TS owner who enjoyed the National Parks recently.

Best of Luck,
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:50 PM   #4
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We usually stay in West Yellowstone (Grizzly), not cheap but nice. Going into the park, sometimes it's a long drive, other times you breeze thru, but we go in September and it's not as busy. We try to stay a week and that is not enough but we are always on our way to Oregon. We do lunch in as many of the Inns as we have time for. We have been there about 15 times and that is what works for us.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:02 PM   #5
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It's a shorter drive into the park if you use West Yellowstone as your base instead of Cody.

If you're not a hiker I would think 5 days would be enough to tour by road.

There are many more reasonable places to stay than Grizzy in W. Yellowstone... even the state park is very nice and has big sites. In the park is Fishing Bridge RV for hookups. It was closed this year for some renovations but probably will be open in 2021.

For the Tetons I'd recommend staying at Colter Bay RV or Headwaters RV if you need hookups. We love Gros Ventre campground as our first choice and Colter Bay campground as second but no hookups are fine for us.

https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/camping.htm

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Plug in some towns on this site to read reviews of the area campgrounds/RV parks:

https://www.campgroundreviews.com/
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:50 PM   #6
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In the park is Fishing Bridge RV for hookups. It was closed this year for some renovations but probably will be open in 2021.
Per the website, Fishing Bridge will NOT open until Sept. 3, 2021.

I volunteer at the Boy Scout camp that is 8 miles from the east entrance and frequently take groups into the park during the summer.

The Green Creek Inn and RV Park is a basic campground and about the closest to the east entrance you will find that has full hookups. Many rustic Forest Service campsite along the eastern route.

With camping accommodations in the park limited in 2021, plan to spend 2 hours going and 2 hours coming back in the car if you camp by the east entrance (more if you're in Cody). You have to get on line to pay, cross Sylvan Pass (snowed on July 8th one year) and then descend into Ystone lake area. Not a lot to see until you get to the Fishing Bridge junction. Turn right to the Falls, left to West Thumb and Old Faithful. Most of the big springs and geyser basins are on the west side of the park.

My advice would be to spend 5 days in West Yellowstone to see the west and north ends of the park then move to 5 days in Jackson to see the Tetons and the south end of Ystone. Leave EARLY to avoid wasting time at the entrance station.

Don't be put off by an expensive campsite. If you get a cheap one further away, you'll just burn more gas and time.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:30 PM   #7
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Good to know that Fishing Bridge won't be open next year either.

OP: If you can do without electric or if you could snare one of the electric spots, Baker's Hole Campground (national forest) right in West Yellowstone is a gorgeous campground right on the Madison River. We like the rear dry camping sites on the river. Depending on the type of site and if you have the Golden Age card or not you could stay there for around $10/night and up. They don't accept reservations though. You have to be there early morning when folks are leaving.

For the Tetons I wouldn't recommend staying in Jackson - expensive. Stay IN the park itself to save on driving. Use the RV parks I mentioned above - Colter Bay RV or Headwaters - both have full hookups.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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You are already very late in making reservations. In and around park very few sites available with hookups. If you plan on dry camping some can be found. You will not have any problem staying busy in that area for two weeks. We try to stay a month when we go. This year we are in the park last two weeks of July then north of Gardner for the month of august. The park is totally booked for the summer months. Fishing bridge once again is closed until September. West Yellowstone is a great place to operate out of. Much easier than staying in Cody for day tripping. When we stay at west Yellowstone we go into park around 11am and stay until dark. This avoids the lines at the entry gate. Safe travels


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Old 11-18-2020, 09:19 AM   #9
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We usually stay in West Yellowstone (Grizzly), not cheap but nice. Going into the park, sometimes it's a long drive, other times you breeze thru, but we go in September and it's not as busy. We try to stay a week and that is not enough but we are always on our way to Oregon. We do lunch in as many of the Inns as we have time for. We have been there about 15 times and that is what works for us.

Actually not right: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvis...ationstats.htm
September gets 750K visitors versus the busiest month that gets 1000K


Quote:
If you're not a hiker I would think 5 days would be enough to tour by road.
that would only be true if you didn't get out of the car at all. If you get out and walk the short trils, like Norris Geyser Basin you can spend weeks and not see it all.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:45 PM   #10
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10-14 days to see the area without hiking is probably plenty of time, though that depends on how you define the area. We did 4-5 days between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in the summer of 2017 and we had to skip a lot of stuff, mostly due to the crowds as parking lots were overflowing and people were parked along the ditches by the road sometimes backed up for 1/2 mile from the turn off to the attractions. Part of the problem with Yellowstone is sensory overload, where after a couple of days you start going, blah it is not worth walking 100-200 feet to get a good view of the 5th spectacular (fill in the blank, waterfall, geyser, paint pot, ...) I have seen today.


For Yellowstone without hiking, etc. I would say 7-8 days is probably good, Grand Tetons is worth maybe 2 more days to see everything accessible by car (maybe 1.5 days), there really is not that much road in Grand Tetons, this is assuming you pull over and do various nature walks, stop at the visitor center, etc. Add in the local area, possibly visiting the towns of Jackson and Cody, and you can easily get to the 12-14 day range. The museum in Cody ( Buffalo Bill Center of the West) is good for 2 solid days by itself, if you have any interest in the things there, they have a mix of everything from regional natural history, to folk art, to traditional art, to the worlds largest gun collection with thousands up thousand of guns on display.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:43 PM   #11
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The Ponderosa in Cody and Grizzly in West Yellowstone are two our favorites in that area. Although Cody is a bit of a drive to YS.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:01 PM   #12
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If you're set on staying at the Cody entrance to Yellowstone then Yellowstone Valley RV is a little closer to the entrance than the town of Cody. It's in a pretty setting. We stayed at a national forest campground nearby and went there for a couple meals and we looked over the RV park.

https://www.yellowstonevalleyinn.com/rv-park/

Note: When I say the Yellowstone Entrance, once you get to the entrance gate you still have a long drive for siteseeing Yellowstone. Personally, we wouldn't do that day after day.

Here's a good description of driving a RV through each entrance:

http://www.rvtechmag.com/travel/4_yellowstonebyrv.php
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post

For the Tetons I'd recommend staying at Colter Bay RV or Headwaters RV if you need hookups. We love Gros Ventre campground as our first choice and Colter Bay campground as second but no hookups are fine for us.

https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/camping.htm

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Plug in some towns on this site to read reviews of the area campgrounds/RV parks:

https://www.campgroundreviews.com/
Not going to book an RV site in Colter Bay for 2021 for anything more than possibly one night. I called yesterday and they are booked through September. Headwaters said they have plenty of sites available.
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