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  1. Default July trip west Badlands ,Yellowstone and Tetons

    hello we are a family of six 4boys 8.10,12,14 planninning on driving from Philadelphia west to Yellowstone and the Tetons and back. we have about 16 days in July. We would like to stop and see some place along the way ie. Chicago the Badlands and mt Rushmore and also have enough time to see alot of Yellowstone and do a float trip in the Snake River. We could push it coming home but would like to enjoy the trip out. We used this site in 07 for beautiful roadtrip from Vegas to DeathVally up to Yosemite over to Zion and it was very helpful with suggestions as far as routes and places to stop along the way, so any help this time would be appreciated........thanks fran
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-14-2008 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Linked to last trip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,318

    Default Busy, Busy

    Let's see. You're looking at around 5,000 miles of driving. That alone will take 9 days. A day or two for your rafting trip, a day (at least) at Yellowstone and a day or so at each of the Badlands/Rushmore and Tetons and you've used up 14 of your 16 days just for the highlights. So I think you've packed about as much as you can into this trip. I certainly wouldn't be looking to make any major stops on the way out or back, especially in a time consuming location like Chicago. Still, there are plenty of scenic and interesting stops near the Interstates on your way that will let you sample the country you're driving through without losing too much time. Also, while you know your 'boys' better than I do, I'd also plan on at least one day near the midpoint of the trip where you don't plan on doing anything except having some down or alone time.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Welcome back!

    I hope we're able to help you as much for this trip. I'm glad you had a great time last time.

    planning on driving from Philadelphia west to Yellowstone and the Tetons and back. we have about 16 days in July. We would like to stop and see some place along the way ie. Chicago the Badlands and mt Rushmore and also have enough time to see alot of Yellowstone and do a float trip in the Snake River. We could push it coming home but would like to enjoy the trip out.
    You're looking at a trip of about 4400 miles. Definitely drivable in 16 days. The question will be if you will have enough time to see and do the things you want.

    I'm imaging an itinerary something like this:
    Days 1-2: Drive to Chicago, arrive sometime in the afternoon.
    Day 3: Enjoy Chicago
    Days 4-5: Drive to Mt. Rushmore, maybe visit Mt. Rushmore for sunset?
    Day 6: Badlands, etc.
    Day 7: Drive to Yellowstone
    Days 8-12: Enjoy Yellowstone/Tetons/Snake River
    Days 13-16: Drive home

    The route home is about 2200 miles so you'll be averaging 550 miles per day if you take 4 days to get back. Depending on your stamina and how well your kids travel for long hours in the car, you might be able to squeeze this down to 3.5 days but I sure wouldn't try to do it in any less than that.

    This is the route I used to come up with this plan.

  4. Default itinerary

    thanks for the itinerary i came up with a similar one check it out
    day1(july3rd fri.) leave philly 5:00am drive to chicago arrive around 5:00pm
    day2- enjoy chicago july 4th
    day3- leave chicago 7:00am drive to sioux falls arrive 4:00pm eat swim relax
    day4-5 leave sioux falls 8:00am drive to sturgis stay for 2 nites check out badlands wind cave rushmore
    day6leave sturgis 8:00am check out devils tower on the way to cody wy.
    day7-check out cody area, beartooth highway, maybe cookecity or red lodge
    day8-10yellowstone(north,hayden,old faithful) various motels
    day11-13drive to jackson ejoy jackson, snake river float trip
    day14 start to head back east toward cheyennemaybe detour south a little to denver
    do you think i can get home from here in 4 days........fran

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,318

    Default Overly Optimistic at the Start

    I just don't think there's any way that you can cover the 770 miles between Philadelphia and Chicago in 13 hours. Now I know that mapping software will tell you that's possible, but that software lives in the 'reality' of electrons and bits where you can cover every mile at the speed limit, never see traffic or have to stop to pay a toll, get gas, eat, go to the restroom, or track down your four sons after any out-of-car activity. in the real world, that segment of your trip is far more likely to take 14-15 hours of driving - an exhausting day even with two drivers. Same thing with day2. Leaving Chicago at 7:00 is going to put you in rush hour, and you won't even gain an hour since Chicago and Sioux Falls are in the same time zone. Count on a 6:00 PM arrival rather than 4:00.

    On the positive side, the rest of your trip looks quite reasonable as you plan on spending a goodly amount of time (given your overall constraints) at some of the best spots in the South Dakota and Wyoming. Also 5 days is quite sufficient to cover the 2200 miles back from Jackson via either Cheyenne or Denver. But I would urge you to find a day to add to your outbound trip to Sioux Falls.

    AZBuck

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