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Old 08-31-2019, 08:23 AM   #15
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Re: Avoiding steep grades Yellowstone

Thank you for all the replies. I do realize there are mountains we cannot avoid. We are probably going to have a base camp but not in Yellowstone. We will do day trips and possibly stay at a lodge for a day or 2. Actually our trailer is 25' not including the hitch and our trailer is a Sunset trail ultra light. Time isn't a problem it's just trying to be safe that's all. So it also doesn't matter where we go into Yellowstone at just the safest route. Just trying to be proactive. I thank you all for the comments.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:42 AM   #16
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I hate to disagree with you, but it does matter where you go into Yelowstone, depending on what you want to see, Yellowstone is BIG, it can take a full day driving from dawn to dusk to make the grand loop if there are big animal slow downs.
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:18 PM   #17
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And there are many small and large traffic jams. I got caught in a 45 minute traffic jam a couple of days ago. A large bison herd was grazing on both sides of the road along the side of the Yellowstone River. A brave Ranger was waving a small blue tarp at the ones who decided to take their time moseying across the road with limited success. Some idiot in a Jeep didn't shut down his engine as the road signs suggest, took his foot off the brake and rolled into the back of my toad.
There are quite a few small herds of elk scattered about the park. Some people will slam on their brakes, even in the middle of a curve, just to watch a single elk far off in a meadow.
When I worked for the summer after high school graduation at Jackson Lake Lodge in the Grand Teton NP I tried to tour as much of the park as I could time and money permitting. I never got north or east of Old Faithful but am really enjoying discovering places like the water falls, Mammoth Hot Springs and Fort Yellowstone which I never even knew existed until this trip.
The roads are much better now than 56 years ago with numerous pullouts for wildlife watching. The animal population is different too. Back then I never saw an elk, moose or bison in the park. The big elk herd was around Jackson. The only moose I ever saw was near Jenny Lake. I don't think there were any grizzlies but there were quite a few black bears and they caused many "bear jams." As an employee trying to get to and from work or go about your other business in the park the bear jams were a major source of frustration. But, what ya' gonna do.
I still haven't seen a griz in the wild yet and really want to but preferably under my own terms. Where we are dispersed camping, alone since our camping buddies went back to their home in Montana, I have to remember to grab the bear spray and flashlight before stepping out the door into the pitch black darkness of the pine forest.
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Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I hate to disagree with you, but it does matter where you go into Yelowstone, depending on what you want to see, Yellowstone is BIG, it can take a full day driving from dawn to dusk to make the grand loop if there are big animal slow downs.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:51 AM   #18
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YNP is big. Not sure where you are coming from but the park is bigger than some NE states. If you camp outside the park you can plan on an hour or more each way every day just driving into where you want to go in the park. As pointed out every time some people see a chipmunk they slam on the brakes and get a traffic slow down going.

I have seen bears a couple of times but they were so far away that I couldn't be sure if they were brown or black bears. Once a sow and two cubs but they were maybe 400 yards away. That was on the NE section of the grand loop.

I did find a good boondocking area for the south side of the park, Grassy Lake Road in that area between YNP and Tetons this last July.

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Old 09-01-2019, 02:50 PM   #19
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A couple more suggestions for you:
1. If you have an iPhone, get the Allstays app. Besides campgrounds, it shows the location of steep grades
2. Google “driving down steep grades with trailer.” There’s lots of good advice out there.
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