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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    13

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    Thanks for your last few posts, good folks. Due to workload and a recent car accident, I haven't been on the site for a month. The car accident was caused by a young provisionally-licensed driver who ran a red light at about 15-20 mph over the limit and smashed into my car two feet forward of the driver's door. Wrote my car off but I'm OK, although will be hobbling for a while yet (bruising, soft tissue damage and joint injuries). Implications for my trip are: less focus on hiking long distance; fishing spots will have to be more accessible; reduced faith in other drivers at intersections. It happened at night, so I feel more comfortable driving during daylight and will restrict my USA driving accordingly.

    Anyway, my flight is booked, plus the first 3 nights' accommodation. Am arriving at SLC on the Monday of the Memorial Day Weekend and staying there two nights to get over jetlag, then up to Idaho Falls. Will pick up the hire car on the second day in SLC and visit the natural history museum and maybe listen to the famous auditorium pin-drop, then commence the road trip in earnest.

    Am now mulling over maps trying to decide whether to go from Idaho Falls to Jackson, up through Grand Tetons to Yellowstone and then over to South Dakota, or whether to go up through Montana from Idaho Falls at the start of the trip and come back through Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Jackson. Changes to access during the period will be a factor. The NPS website is saying that (weather permitting), all Yellowstone entrances will be open by the end of May.

    Foy - invaluable advice, thanks. I'm planning accordingly. Morgail - fascinating account of the mini icebergs - I can imagine how surreal that must have been with them clinking in the waves.

    Although I love camping, I'm going to restrict this trip to hotels/B&Bs due to my hip injury.

    Cheers
    Steve

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    13

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    Final Itinerary subject to change due to road closures:

    Day 1 (28 May): Fly in to Salt Lake City airport
    Day 2 (29 May): Salt Lake City; collect car
    Day 3 (30 May): Salt Lake City ---> Idaho Falls
    Day 4 (31 May): Idaho Falls ---> Teton Village near Jackson
    Day 5 (1 June): Grand Tetons ---> Canyon Village, Yellowstone
    Day 6 (2 June): Yellowstone ---> Cody
    Day 7 (3 June): Cody --->Rapid City
    Day 8 (4 June): Rapid City ---> Badlands ---> Rapid City
    Day 9 (5 June): Rapid City ---> Mt Rushmore & Crazy Horse Memorial --->
    Deadwood --->Spearfish
    Day 10 (6 June): Spearfish ---> Custer Battlefield ---> Billings
    Day 11 (7 June): Billings ---> Livingston (fishing)
    Day 12 (8 June): Livingston ---> Bozeman (fishing)
    Day 13 (9 June) : Bozeman (fishing)
    Day 14 (10 June) Bozeman (fishing)
    Day 15 (11 June): : Bozeman ---> Jackson (plus see more of Yellowstone)
    Day 16 (12 June): Jackson ---> Montpelier
    Day 17 (13 June): Montpelier---> Salt Lake City; return car ---> fly home

    Does anyone know if there is any possibility of Teton Village being cut off by snow then, or is it always accessible?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,010

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    Teton Village is also home to Jackson Hole Ski Resort - one of the most famous in the country - so it does stay open all year. It is however, very much a high end resort town, and you might find better/more affordable lodging in Jackson (which is also a resort heavy town) or right within the national park.

    Unless Idaho Falls is a must stop for you, I'd try to get to the Jackson area the day you leave SLC. Your time in the Yellowstone area is already quite rushed, and that might give you more time for this very big place.

    I might also try to steal some time from the back end too. Driving from Bozeman to Jackson means you would be driving through Yellowstone again, but you really wouldn't have time to stop and see anything. And while its not a big deal, you would have to pay the $25 park entry fee again, since your return would be more than a week after your arrival date. I just think it might be more simple and rewarding if you just focus one block of time at Yellowstone, rather than trying to shoehorn it in a day here and a day there.

    BTW, right now your plan does not have you going over Beartooth, although the pass is currently scheduled to reopen on May 25, so it would be an option for you.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    13

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    Thanks Michael...good points, and your advice is much appreciated.

    The reason for the stop at Idaho Falls was to ease into the driving on the first day of the road trip, but on relfection that's a waste of time and not really necessary, so I've cut that out and will take your advice. I'll go straight to the Tetons from SLC which will free up a day which I'll spend at Yellowstone. I'll spend the extra night at Grant Village in Yellowstone.

    I was thinking I'd get an annual pass for the National Parks anyway, like I did last year. I had twelve entries to NPs last year so it seemed to be worth it, but I wasn't aware of single entries being valid for a week, so will need to think about that.

    I'd love to travel along the Beartooth Highway and know it is meant to be open by then but am a bit wary of the possibility of unseasonal weather keeping it closed, so will play it by ear and will adjust the tail end of the trip accordingly.

    I'm booked in at Jackson on the way back, so will spend the best part of another day in the Grand Tetons the day I drive to Montpelier, as that should only be a fairly short drive.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,010

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    It doesn't seem like the National Parks pass would be a cost saver for you this trip.

    Yellowstone and Tetons are $25 (admission covers both parks)
    Badlands is $15
    Little Bighorn is $10
    Rushmore is free, but there is a parking fee not covered by the parks pass.
    Crazy Horse is not a national park and not covered by the parks pass.

    So unless you have some other parks you plan to visit, even if you pay twice for Yellowstone, you'd still only be paying $75 for individual fees, compared to $80 for the parks pass.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    It doesn't seem like the National Parks pass would be a cost saver for you this trip.

    Yellowstone and Tetons are $25 (admission covers both parks)
    Badlands is $15
    Little Bighorn is $10
    Rushmore is free, but there is a parking fee not covered by the parks pass.
    Crazy Horse is not a national park and not covered by the parks pass.

    So unless you have some other parks you plan to visit, even if you pay twice for Yellowstone, you'd still only be paying $75 for individual fees, compared to $80 for the parks pass.
    No annual pass for me this year then - really grateful for the advice on that - Cheers Michael!

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