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  1. Default From Montana to Chicago in September... help me please!

    Hi there. I'm trying to plan a road trip from Missoula, Montana to Chicago. I plan on going from Missoula to Yellowstone on Saturday, September 17. Here is what I want to see: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, then home to Chicago. And everything in between.

    Do you think this would be possible to do, and get home on Wednesday, September 21?

    I will have flown into Spokane, seen Coeur d'alene, Glacier, and spent a week in Missoula by this point.

    Any suggestions would be great.
    Carrie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Not really enough time.

    Hi and Welcome to the RTA Forum.

    You will not have much time to see a great deal in Yellowstone, and most likely no time at all to include the Tetons as well. Remember, even just driving through Yellowstone is very very slow. Then adding the other attractions on your wish list, is going to leave you pushing to get to Chicago by Wednesday night. Let alone adding any more.

    With a couple more days, you could really enjoy this trip. Will you be able to add a couple of days?

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Not really. I will arrive in Spokane on September 9th, but am taking a class that ends at noon on Friday the 16th. So... Friday at noon until Wednesday is really all that I will have as my kids are going to be staying with my parents and I can't extend out too much. Any must-sees that I shouldn't pass on?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RC4 View Post
    Any must-sees that I shouldn't pass on?
    In the first place, we don't believe in 'must sees'. Something which is your 'must see', could be another's 'must pass by'. It is a very personal thing.

    Besides that, you are not even going to have time to enjoy the sights you have already listed, without adding any more.

    Drive carefully and get back to your family safely.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    To put this in perspective - just to drive from Missoula to Chicago via I-90 all the way is a 3 day drive. This gives you exactly 2 days to sightsee. You will need to be done with Rushmore and Custer and into Rapid City for the night on Monday.

    It will take you 6 hours to get from Missoula to Yellowstone. Yellowstone to Rushmore is barely doable in one day - it's probably going to take you 12 hours. So, as you can see, the math just isn't adding up. You are going to have to prioritize and give something up.

  6. Default

    Thanks for the help everyone. I think I may just hand around Yellowstone for a few days and fly home from there. Then plan this road trip for next summer when I can take a few weeks to see everything I want to.

    Being that this would have been my first time, and going it alone, I appreciate your feedback. I would have been very disappointed not getting to see all of the things on my list.

  7. Default

    Oh, and one more quick question- since you all have such great input- weather expectations? I've looked at averages and all of that- but any first hand knowledge would be great.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    September in Yellowstone is generally quite pleasant, but it can get cool at night. It's an excellent time to visit because the summer crowds are gone. All roads will still be open, but some of the seasonal facilities will have closed.

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