We're making definite plans now for our two-week Western trip this summer, and I have many questions -- thanks to anyone who can provide answers!
We're flying in to Vegas, and after renting a car we'll head out of town towards the north, our first destination being the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Since we're flying in, we'll need to stop for a major stock-up shopping trip: We'll need a cooler, sandwiches, breakfast foods, sodas, water. This is a major road, so we're bound to find a Super Walmart (or similar). Is there anyplace in particular that'd be a good choice (or any overpriced place we should avoid)?
Has anyone done the cookout at the Grand Canyon Lodge (North Rim)? We'll be there on July 4 and thought this might be a fun way to celebrate the holiday. It's expensive though. Any other thoughts on other options for July 4 in this area?
We've made reservations to stay in Custer State Park (in the Mt. Rushmore area), but it's pretty pricey. Any advice on a good, basic hotel that might be less expensive? We're fine with something along the lines of a Holiday Inn or Best Western, and if a breakfast could be included, so much the better.
We want to see the Cody Night Rodeo. In general, I like to order tickets for things like this (so I can save time by not waiting in line for tickets once we're there), but I'd like to know if we're likely to find coupons for a dollar or two off once we're in Cody.
In Yellowstone we want to see geysers, etc. -- all the geothermic stuff. Should we book a tour with the Yellow Busses, or do it on our own?
Is the Wolf & Grizzly Center in West Yellowstone worth the drive?
Has anyone been to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for LUNCH? It looks really cool online but the prices look high, and we'd want to be sure that it'd be appropriate for our teenaged daughters.
We'll be traveling through Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah. Are any of these states known for better gas prices than the others? (I'm asking because we live close to the state line, and our neighboring state has significantly lower taxes; thus, we always make sure to fill up when we go that direction.)
What kind of weather can we expect the first two weeks of July? We're Southerners, so we're used to heat -- the humid kind of heat. Some of the cabins we'll be using at the national parks do not have air conditioning; should we buy a small fan for the evenings, or will it be cool enough to sleep comfortably? Does the west usually have much rain during this timeframe?