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 > Next summer SC to Yellowstone?

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Kavoom

Kansas

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Posted: 06/12/18 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yellowstone tips. You don't have to stop at every mudpot. Hit the highlights. There are are little side roads off the main one. Take every one of them. Go to the back of the Tower facilities and take the short hike to the falls. Over by Lake Lodge down by the lake behind the old clinic is an actual trail you can legally walk the dogs on. It's sort of hidden back by big old 80 year old facilities, whete they store boats. Info good as three years ago. Lake Lodge has the least expensive restaurant buffet. good place for breakfast before a day. And a good porch to sit on with a beer and your feet kicked up st the end of the day. Info three years old.

padredw

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Posted: 06/12/18 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just one of almost countless possibilities for exactly 21 days from Columbia, SC to Yellowstone National Park and back:

1st day: to Lexington, KY and the camp at Kentucky Horse Park. 420 miles 8 hours

2nd day to Hannibal, MO, several camps such as Mark Twain Cave and Campground,
445 miles 8:15 hours

3rd and 4th days at Ponca State Park, NE, camping, swimming, golf, hiking, etc.
430 miles 8:30 hrs. I highly recommend a 2 night stay here to let everyone relax
and enjoy the park http://outdoornebraska.gov/ponca/


5th day to Custer, SD, lots of camping choices such as Custer’s Gulch, Rafter J Bar and many within
Custer State Park. Again, I would recommend at least a 2 night stop at one of these.
425 mi. 8:30 hrs.

7th through 10th days in Yellowstone. 420 miles to Fishing Bridge, 8:30 hrs.
(I’m not recommending Fishing Bridge, just using as central point.)

11th and 12th days in Grand Teton National Park, camp such as Colter Bay RV Park with hookups
60 miles. This actually makes 6 days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

13th and 14th days in the Flaming Gorge area. I recommend staying at Manila, UT KOA and driving
around from there. 276 miles from Colter Bay, 5:30 hrs.
NOTE: This could be one night if leaving early and having the afternoon of arrival.
I have allowed for 2 nights as this is a great area for a visit.

15th and 16th days in Buena Vista, CO. Plenty of choices of campgrounds. I recommend Arrowhead
Point or Buena Vista KOA. Schedule a “river run” that the kids will enjoy, drive up to St. Elmo.
336 miles, 7 hours to Buena Vista. A week would not be enough in the Arkansas Valley, under
the shadow of the Collegiate Peaks, but this plan is for Yellowstone.

17th day Dodge City, KS and the Gunsmoke Trav-L-Park 375 mi. 7:45 hrs.

18th and 19th days, Branson, MO. If you’ve never been there you should surely go at least once.
Many choices of campgrounds. I prefer Ozark Country or out at the Lake on a COE camp
432 mi. 8:30 hrs.

20th day at Nashville, TN Many camp choices such as Seven Points COE 455 mi 9 hours

21st day back in Columbus, SC 448 mi 8:20 hours

These are long driving days, but entirely possible. The key is to stop for a couple of days along the way. Six days is not enough to see everything in Yellowstone, but neither is 30 days. I think this will allow enough time to really get the flavor of Yellowstone and Grand Teton.





tragusa3

upstate south carolina

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Posted: 06/12/18 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice job padredw! But you forgot day 22-25, hibernate at home out of exhaustion. LOL!


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padredw

East Texas

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Posted: 06/12/18 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tragusa3 wrote:

Nice job padredw! But you forgot day 22-25, hibernate at home out of exhaustion. LOL!



You are exactly right! Actually, I would try to save out a day for the last day before home (in my example from Nashville to Columbus) so I would have a short drive on the last day. In fact, I will recommend that.

On a recent trip to the Florida panhandle, we stopped at Natchitoches, LA so our drive home would be about 3 hours. We are making a trip to Ontario, leaving next week, and I've planned a stop at Maumelle outside Little Rock so our drive home will be a short one.

On the other hand, I am sometimes in such a hurry to get home that I'll stretch that last day of driving.

Anyway, you are right about the need for recovery from a trip such as I've sketched out.

Always enjoy your posts, your boys, and your videos. You are giving the boys a great gift.

tragusa3

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Posted: 06/12/18 02:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you. Your help has been invaluable over the years.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 06/12/18 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most of the Park is on a Plateau at around 8,000 feet. Most of the visitors are there in the summer months. The park is loved to death in summer. The elk rut starts around Sept 17-18. It is the perfect time to be there for the fall colors and active wildlife. My other favorite time is late May early June for all the babies. Take your kids out of school if you have to. It will be a totallly different trip.

Kavoom

Kansas

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Posted: 06/12/18 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ppine wrote:

Most of the Park is on a Plateau at around 8,000 feet. Most of the visitors are there in the summer months. The park is loved to death in summer. The elk rut starts around Sept 17-18. It is the perfect time to be there for the fall colors and active wildlife. My other favorite time is late May early June for all the babies. Take your kids out of school if you have to. It will be a totallly different trip.


What he said.

RGar974417

Robesonia,Pa 19551

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Posted: 06/15/18 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We actually did the trip from Pa in 2016. Got to the park on the 5th day. Spent 4 nights in the park.Yes,we could have used another day or 2,but felt we saw all the highlights including a mother grizzly with 3 cubs who walked right past our van.We stayed in Madison Campground. It is centrally located.I would try to get reservations to eat at the Inn at Old Faithful. Beautiful lobby.We liked Mammoth Hot Springs, On the way home we stopped at the Harold Warp Pioneer Museum. We loved this place. If you like history,old cars,trucks,motorcycles,tractors,snowmoblies,you will like this place. They have a campground next to it and they include one ticket to the museum with you stay .I would avoid I-70 through Missouri and take State Rt 36.Nice 4 lane highway,65mph. There are 2 state parks along this route,we stayed at Pershing State Park which is right off the highway. $22 a night with electric.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 06/16/18 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been going to Yellowstone since 1955. Escaping the crowds is the most important thing to keep in mind by going in spring or fall. Nintey percent of the visitor use is within 1/4 mile of a road. Get out and walk. Keep your situational awareness up. Bison and moose can show up when you least expect it.

Twenty years ago I was sitting in a diner in Cody with my Dad who had come to visit for the Winchester Collectors Show. The young waitress asked him if this was his first trip to Yellowstone. "No actually I first came to visit the Park in 1938." he answered.

richardcoxid

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Posted: 06/19/18 08:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some general information about YNP (some items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much as you planned on in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or all stop for 1/4 mile or more blocking both directions of travel, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 MPH radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line to check it out)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking and there are passes on the grand loop road that are close to 8000 ft or so! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid May to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until about 9:30- 9:45 PM then there is a long twilight.

Cell Phone Service- Only at the major visitor centers, otherwise spotty to non-existent!

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is shiny black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within the boundaries of either NP. It can save you a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YNP yes, drink lots of water! HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Lake Hotel, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison Junction etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas only have pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line (2 rest rooms) at the lower Geyser Basin 25 or more feet long (bless the tour buses) So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area! I.e. “Never pass up a flush toilet!”

Sun- At YSNP altitude the Sun is intense (uv)have and apply sunscreen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear Sunglasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have up to a hour and 10 to 15 minutes wait for the next one. Tour tour the O/F Geyser basin while waiting. O/F INN is a must see, reportedly the largest LOG building in the U.S. (Meals in the O/F dinning room are “OK” also.

We have lived about 110 miles from West Yellowstone, MT since 1964, go to YSNP 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all yet! So don’t be discouraged that you didn’t have the time to see all of it. Just plan on coming back another time!

I honestly don’t mean to scare or discourage you but to give you a heads up as to what to expect! After all there was 4.1 million visitors in 2015! As far as I know we didn’t lose one of them. Except those who by their own stupidity step off the board walks into BOILING HOT water and ignoring the warnings about the WILD ANIMALS! That is called purifying the gene pool!Early in the summer of 2017 a foreign visitor stepped off a boardwalk into just a few inches of hot water. He walked about 100 yards (according to the newspaper) broke thru the crust and parboiled himself. The park service decided not to try to retrieve the body! Between the temperature of the water and the acidity of it the body would just fall apart when retrieving it, as well as being dangerous to the rangers. Of course a few Bison fall in every winter also.

Note I have seen on this blog and others about folks “day tripping” from YSNP to GTNP, it is done all the time (myself included) however remember this is BIG country and with the speed limits, animals and thermal attractions you will NOT come close to a 60- 65 MPH average. From the West Thumb Area, Grant Village Visitor Center (extreme S/E corner of the lower loop road) to Jackson, WY is about 80 miles with Coulter Bay being about 1/2 way then from Grant Village you have to add the distance to your CG it will be a Long days trip!

A point of Coulter Bay (in GTNP) clarification- there are two (2) CG’s at Coulter Bay, One, the “Coulter Bay RV Park” a full service “RV Park” with FHU’S that takes reservations. The other is the “Coulter Bay Campground “ has no hookups and doesn’t take reservations. Both have about 300 sites and are located basically across the road from each other.

Also in GTNP be sure to see Jenny Lake, the water is swimming pool clear! You almost feel like you are in space when you are on the boat dock and you can see the rental boat shadows on the bottom of the lake!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/ TABLE SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice". If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pads to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

http://www.barjchuckwagon.com

Also in Jackson check out the “COWBOY” bar, the bar stools are saddles and check out the # of Silver Dollars imbedded in the bar. The Wort Hotel Bar (just around the corner from the Cowboy Bar) also has Silver Dollars imbedded in the Bar


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