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Old 07-06-2022, 10:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2022
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Yellowstone Travel Route

2021 Allegro Red 33aa -

My wife Coleen and I are planning a trip from Omaha NE to Yellowstone/Teton/Jackson Hole next year.

We appreciate any advice on the best route to take - best defined as safest, nice parks to stay along the way, sights to see along the way, available help should we have a mechanical issue, fuel stops.

North route? Southern Route? We will not be towing our car on this trip.

Thank you.
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Old 07-06-2022, 11:16 AM   #2
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That trip without a car would be a dealbreaker for me. I can’t even imagine trying to tour the parks driving a motor home. As for attractions along the way, same issues, tight streets, crowds and limited parking. And unless you have some magic ability I am unaware of, breakdowns can’t be scheduled, so you will have to find help locally. As for fuel, most everyone out west still drive horse and buggies, though I think they finally put gas stations in Cheyenne and maybe even Billings. It’s quite a sight to see all those billionaires and world leaders deplane their G600s in Jackson and then load up their mules for the trip to the annual world economic forum.
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Old 07-06-2022, 11:28 AM   #3
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I thought about not taking tow car too but wiser people than I said take it. Glad we did! Unless you just plan on staying on the main roads you will miss a lot. With the toad we were able to pull off in crowded places and take a lot of the side loops. It was worth the fuel mileage hit. Plus the parking at Old Faithful wa a zoo. With lots of cars in the large vehicle parking area. And the limited parking around the Nort Entrance.

Wife was worried about potty stops but was happy with what was available, even the vault toilets weren’t too bad.

As first timers with three grands we found the $20 for the app “Just Ahead” worth it.
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Old 07-06-2022, 01:55 PM   #4
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I'd also recommend taking the car.

I can't think of any route that would be unsafe except for Hwy 22 (Teton Pass) west of Jackson, WY. You might be tempted to take it if you're moving from Jackson to West Yellowstone entrance. Just take 26 out of Alpine, WY to go around it.

It's hard to route you unless we know your interests and where you plan on staying for each park. The area is huge and the parks have many entrances for all directions. We like public parks over RV parks. There would be state parks along your drive.

Stay in the national parks themselves for the best overall experience and less driving/time wasted. If you need hookups, Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone and Colter Bay RV in Grand Teton are the parks for you. If dry camping is OK there are others in the parks and there are dump stations. Note: There's also a Colter Bay campground so don't get them mixed when reserving a site. Reserve as early as possible - months before.

As far as 'nice' parks to stay along the way.... once you settle on a definite route just use one of the campground review sites and start reading for a place that appeals to you near the town you plan to stop. Prices are all over the place.

To begin a long trip I like to take a look at the big picture and to best do that I would use a good U.S. paper atlas and pour over it for any attractions marked that might interest me. When I have things highlighted, connect them with a highlighter for a route. If you just want to go from your home to Yellowstone directly then using a GPS is just fine. It will direct you for the fastest route. We rarely do that because we like to stop and explore along the way and don't mind driving out of our way to see things.

Mechanical issues - call your roadside insurance if you have issues. Most towns - even small ones have repair places.

Fuel - There's fuel everywhere. People live along the whole route. They need fuel.

Interstates are safe... but boring. We like to drive the secondary highways to really see the country.

How much time are you allowing for the whole trip? The national parks deserve at least 3-4 days of stay.

Perhaps giving a little more information would help.
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Old 07-06-2022, 02:16 PM   #5
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Having done Yellowstone and Grand Tetons NP in a 28 ft class A without A TOAD, I would strongly suggest taking a car, the tour buses hog all the larger parking spaces at the scenic pull off parking lots, ie they intentionally block spaces until the next tour bus gets into position to pull in, they straddle the line saving a parking space for the next bus, etc, and the rangers do nothing about it.
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Old 07-07-2022, 11:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by p024576kos View Post
2021 Allegro Red 33aa -

My wife Coleen and I are planning a trip from Omaha NE to Yellowstone/Teton/Jackson Hole next year.

We appreciate any advice on the best route to take - best defined as safest, nice parks to stay along the way, sights to see along the way, available help should we have a mechanical issue, fuel stops.

North route? Southern Route? We will not be towing our car on this trip.

Thank you.
We just left Yellowstone yesterday. We have a 45ft. tri-axle toy hauler and tow with a dually. We also haul a Cam Spyder motorcycle. I can't even imagine trying to park the dually in the park, let alone trying to find places for your rig.

Take the car, best advice I can give here.

If you are in Yellowstone, you can go out the South Entrance and go to the Tetons. If you go this route, you do not need to pay to get into the Tetons, since you are always in a national property area. From the South Entrance you go thru John D. Rockefeller National Parkway, then into the Grand Teton Park.
If you go into Jackson to eat or shop, do not call it Jackson Hole. Somebody at a table next to us ask the waitress and made a comment about eating in Jackson Hole. She told them they are in Jackson, and Jackson Hole is the whole valley area.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:38 AM   #7
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I agree with others. Going to interesting places in the Rocky Mountain West without a car will significantly reduce your chances of seeing the best stuff.

How I would go and what I would see? I suggest you take the route on this MAP.

To see along the way. If you've never been to a large hunting and fishing store you might want to spend an hour or two at Cabela's in Sidney, NE. They have a large parking lot and interesting things to see.

Visit the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. This is an active archeological dig. I find it really interesting. Imagine the Black hills without many trees and huge hairy elephants wandering around!

Reserve an RV site in or near Custer, SD. From there using your CAR tour the Black Hills, see Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, the Needles Highway, Crazy Horse and maybe ride the narrow gauge train at Hill City. You might want to tour a cave such as Jewel Cave or Wind Cave.

Make your way to Devil's Tower, WY. There is a KOA at the Devil's Tower entrance. Devil's Tower is interesting!

From Devil's tower continue on to Worland, WY. Between Buffalo and Ten Sleep is Powder River Pass. It rises 5000' above Buffalo before descending 5200' to Ten Sleep. That sounds like a lot and it is. However the highway is good, the grades are reasonable and the curves easily navigable. I do it regularly in a 34' gas motorhome towing a Jeep.

On the map I suggested you go to Thermopolis, WY. You might want to spend the night there. Thermopolis features hot springs pools that are very relaxing and fun for kids if you have 'em. It also has a very nice dinosaur museum. From Thermopolis take WY120 to Cody. If you have no interest in Thermopolis, from Worland go to Greybull, WY and take US14 to Cody.

Plan an overnight stay in Cody and visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It is an extensive complex that houses 5 museums. Some people can spend several days just doing the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. For me, a few hours does it.

Then it is a straight shot from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone. I have the map ending at the Fishing Bridge RV park. If you can't get reservations there I recommend you continue on through the park via Canyon village using the Grand Loop Road to West Yellowstone where there are several RV parks just outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone.

Tour Yellowstone using your CAR!

Wave to my cousins by the dozens as your drive past Gillette, WY!
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