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  1. Default through montana and yellowstone in may

    my roommate and i are planning a cross country road trip this spring from nashville to the west coast. we're going to be making our way from seattle through montana and yellowstone and on to denver about the 3rd week in may. what kind of weather and driving/camping conditions can we expect this time of year? and where are the best places to stay, in montana but more importantly in yellowstone? we're looking at camping, hostels or whatever is available. and if we enter yellowstone from the northwest tip can we make our way through it in a few days, camping along the way, so that we exit the park on the southeast side on our way to denver? any advice and info is much appreciated!

    [Editor's Note: This trip was first discussed here nearly two years ago, ] But is now being planned here.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-24-2008 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Pacific NW tips & suggestions

    my roommate and i are planning a cross country road trip this spring from nashville to the west coast. we're going to be making our way from seattle through montana and yellowstone and on to denver about the 3rd week in may. what kind of weather and driving/camping conditions can we expect this time of year?
    I will only answer for the Pacific NW portion of your trip. May tends to be getting warming but it also tends to be very wet. Daytime weather might be short-sleeves but, more often, you will want a warmer, longsleeve top. It is rarely warm enough for shorts yet. A light rain-proof jacket is usually all you need in the daytime. But the nights can still get quite chilly so you'll want to have layers under your light jacket or a heavier coat for night-times.

    We can have some unusually warm/dry stretches at that time but I wouldn't count on it.

    Also, along the coast, expect fog and/or overcast skies in the mornings. Quite often the overcast doesn't burn off until early afternoon. It might be warm but not sunny.

    and where are the best places to stay, in montana but more importantly in yellowstone? we're looking at camping, hostels or whatever is available
    Here's a link to campgrounds in Yellowstone and how to make a reservation.

    and if we enter yellowstone from the northwest tip can we make our way through it in a few days,
    Yes, in fact you can drive through it in one day.

    camping along the way,
    You can easily stay at one campground during your time there and just drive around to different sights to see. But if you want to move along, I would recommend having reservations at each campground you'll stay at inside or near the park. Crowds aren't as thick in May as in the summer but I still wouldn't want to bother with trying to find a spot.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-24-2008 at 03:36 PM. Reason: navigation

  3. Default

    thank you so much for the advice!

  4. Default

    You will be able to drive right round yellowstone in less than a day with plenty stops, just make sure you have booked accomodation as it will almost be impossible to get accomodation within the park without booking.

    if you have time after yellowstone stop in at Jackson hole for a night (route89) its a real nice place, have a beer at the "million dollar cowboy bar". nice views of snake river, Teton mountains etc,

    we headed from there back onto the 89 south and drove to Salt Lake City where we stayed for 2 nights

    from their onto steamboat springs for the night

    then onto Esstes Park Colorado staying at the stanley hotel (the shinning)
    Esstes park is stunning, i think i prefered it over yellowstone

    from there back onto the I70 to denver

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default Winter Still

    Hi,

    My guess is that all of the Montana-Wyoming-Colorado portion of the trip will still be pretty cold in May with plenty of snow on the ground at the higher elevations.

    In Yellowstone many of the roads and other facilities will just be opening in early May (weather permitting). Campground openings haven't been announced yet. Reservations are probably not necessary for campgrounds, if they are open, but if you want to stay in a hotel in the Old Faithful area (highly recommended as a central point for seeing the park) reservations are a good idea.

    I agree that continuing south through Grand Teton National Park to Jackson, WY is the way to go. The scenery should be fabulous. Just be sure to be traveling through the Tetons in the morning so you'll have the best light.

    Campgrounds and visitor centers will just be opening up in May, as well. There are several hotels in the area, but since we always stay in our RV I don't have any first-hand recommendations.

    Have a good time,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  6. Default glenwood springs

    make sure you take time to stop at glenwood hot springs it is off I-70. We stay at the denver hotel because it is attached to a brew pub and is walking distance from the hot springs.

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