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  1. #1

    Default Suggestions for spring road trip starting in Minneapolis, MN?

    My wife and I have some time off (March 26th - April3rd) and are considering taking a short road trip with our daughter, who is 1 year old. Seeing as we have a baby with us, I'd like to keep our final destination within 16-18 hours each way and we will be using motels (we are not campers). I was thinking of going to Yellowstone Park, but we don't want to run into any snowstorms. Anyone have any suggestions? We have a dog and would consider bring him along too, if possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Heading towards Yellowstone at that time of year would be risky for snowstorms, and you would be facing limited services, too. Have you considered heading South instead? Not knowing what types of things you are interested in limits our abilities to offer suggestions, but I know that by March I'm usually thinking of warmer climates...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It would not be worth it to go to Yellowstone at that particular time. You won't be able to go anywhere!

    Only two park roads are plowed in the winter and remain open for wheeled-vehicle use:
    The road between the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to the Northeast Entrance at Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana.
    From Mammoth Hot Springs to the parking area at the Upper Terraces (approximatedly 1/2 mi. of road)

    Oversnow travel ends in March. Roads close at 9 PM on the days listed:
    March 1, 2011—East Entrance to Lake Butte (Sylvan Pass.)
    March 6: Mammoth to Norris closes at 9 pm
    March 8: Norris Junction to Madison Junction and Norris Junction to Canyon closes at 9 pm
    March 13: Canyon to Fishing Bridge closes at 9 pm
    March 15, 2011—All other groomed roads in the park are closed
    Roads will open to motorized, wheeled vehicles as follows:
    April 15, 2011—Weather permitting, west-side roads open to motor vehicles. Visitors will be able to travel by car through the park's North & West Entrances to Norris, Madison, Canyon, & Old Faithful beginning at 8:00 a.m.
    May 6, 2011—Weather permitting, the road linking Canyon, Fishing Bridge, & the East Entrance opens to wheeled vehicles.
    May 13, 2011—Travel from the South Entrance to Grant, West Thumb, Fishing Bridge, & Lake over Craig Pass to Old Faithful open to wheeled vehicles. Also, Tower Junction to Tower Fall opens to wheeled vehicles. The road from Cooke City over Colter Pass to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway intersection to the Long Lake gate shall open as soon thereafter as possible. For information on roads outside of the park from Cooke City via the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, travelers in Wyoming may dial 511; those outside of Wyoming may call 1-888-996-7623, or visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation website at .
    May 27, 2011—Long Lake Gate over the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, Montana. For information on the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, Montana, which usually opens the Friday before the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, travelers in Montana may dial 511; those outside Montana may call 1-800-226-7623, or visit the Montana Department of Transportation website at .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default So Near, Yet So Overlooked

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Many, if not most, people start out their RoadTrip planning by trying to answer the question "How far can we get in x days?" rather than the more useful one "Where can we go and have a good time in x days?" In your case, you'd have to spend 4 of your 9 days in hard driving to get to Yellowstone. With a 1 year old, that could easily expand to 5 or 6. Now, it's entirely possible that you could do a few things on the way out and back that would keep your daughter's interest, and not test your dog's bladder, but frankly I think you'd be better served by sticking to somewhere closer to home and lower in altitude than Yosemite. One trip I took 'relatively' recently is this one that's practically in your back yard. There is plenty to see and do for both adults and child without days worth of driving just to get there. Add in a few other great attractions in St. Louis (free zoo, train/car museum, river boat rides, etc.) some Lincoln sites in Illinois, Circus World in Baraboo, WI and Wisconsin Dells and you can have a great trip where each and every day is full of adventure.


  5. #5

    Default That's what I thought

    I'll have to save Yellowstone for the summer time. Heading south makes sense, but with only 16 hours of travel time, I don't know where I would want to go. Having a baby with us, we wouldn't bring our bikes or do a whole lot of hiking. We just want to relax and have a change of scenery, preferably a pleasant one. We could stretch our drive a few hours, I suppose.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If this helps, here are some driving times from MSP:

    Denver, Memphis, or Nashville - 16 hours
    Oklahoma City - 14 hours
    St. Louis - 11 hours
    Kansas City - 8 hours

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