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  1. Default 4 blondes moving to LA from Michigan, taking scenic route and need advice!

    Hey guys, new here! My girlfriends and I are finally moving to Hollywood in August to pursue careers in the film industry and we want to make a fun road trip out of our move! Coincidentally, my uncle will be taking his family on a road trip to Yellowstone around the same time, so we're going to meet up with him there. I just drove to Orlando in 20 hours straight and it wasn't too bad, but I think having time to sightsee along the way will break up our drive and create some awesome memories! Here is the route I have planned, which is changeable except we must be in Yellowstone by August 10th as we are meeting my uncle there for a 1 hour horseback ride and steak cookout from the Roosevelt tower hotel. Also, one friend is in a wedding on August 5th so we have to leave on the 6th at the earliest.

    8/7 depart Detroit, arrive in onalaska, wi and spend the night
    8/8 depart onalaska, wi early, arrive keystone, SD, explore a bit
    8/9, hike mt Rushmore early, depart for Cooke city Montana, spend night in Cooke city.
    8/10 visit old faithful, be at Roosevelt tower lodge by 3:30pm for horseback ride, spend night in Cooke city again.
    8/11 uncle has stuff planned, spend night at lake Yellowstone lodge
    8/12 grand Tetons
    8/13 grand Tetons
    8/14 depart grand Tetons early morning, spend night in salt lake city at friends house
    8/15 depart slc early, spend night in Moab, visit arches at dusk
    8/16 all day at arches, fiery furnace hike?
    8/17 depart Moab early, take southern route that dips into Arizona see wave if win the lottery to get in, spend night in Vegas at friends house
    8/18 walk around Vegas a little, leave for La around noon, arrive by 5


    Does this sound crazy to you? We're recent college grads, so cost is a big factor. We don't need to see *everything*, just want a taste of the sights to break up our drive. Do you think our route is doable in the time frame?

    Also, according to google maps, each of our destinations are about 10 hours or less from eachother, and we have 4 drivers so it won't be too difficult to drive that much I think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got a pretty reasonable plan, with a few tweeks.

    I'd try to get a bit farther on day one, probably to Rochester, MN just to shorten your day 2 drive. Even there, you won't have much time to explore Keystone on that day.

    Your 3 days is a bit of a challenge too, especially since I'm assuming you want to go over Beartooth pass. It will be a long day, when you factor in the slower speeds of the 2 lane mountain road.

    Day 4, I wouldn't do Old Faithful that day, simply because it would be a lot of extra driving and backtracking, when you have to get back to Tower. It could easily take you close to 3 hours to get to Old Faithful from Cooke City, and about 2 more to get back to Tower. I'd focus on Lamar Valley, which is right on your route, or possibly the Mammoth Hot Springs or Grand Canyon parts of the park.

    The rest of your trip looks pretty easy, just keep in mind that Google time estimates are typically much lower than reality once your factor in basic stops and slowdowns.

  3. Default

    Thank you Michael! Yes I was a bit wary of not driving far enough on day 1 considering we won't care about the sights in wi/mn so I won't mind being tired. I really need to get a map of Yellowstone tO plan our drives in the park, we're staying in Cooke city for 2 nights because it's much cheaper and you don't have to pay a deposit! My uncle said he got some free Yellowstone books on their website but I only say .pdf versions, do you know where I can get some real books or brochures mailed to me from any of the parks? I like hard copies so I can highlight and draw on them! I'm stopping at AAA today after work to get some free tour books as well, those have been great help to my family in our past trips south and to the east coast!

  4. Default

    Actually now that I think about it, we might go all the way to Sioux falls, that way it's only a 6 he drive on day 2?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Driving to Sioux Falls would be a very bad idea on day one. Its going to be a shorter day on day 2, but you're going to be so exhausted after day one that you will feel the effects even into your time in Yellowstone. Rochester/Austin is really about the maximum distance you should even consider for your first day. Think of it like a marathon vs. a sprint, running as fast as you can as hard works fine for a short distance, but you'd never be able to continue when you've got miles to go ahead of you. It also gets very dangerous when you start pushing much beyond 600 miles a day, even with multiple drivers.

    The problem with Cooke City is that is really is a long way from anywhere else in the park. Yellowstone is a huge place, and travel through the park is very slow. You are really looking at nearly 3 hours each way of driving to places like Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake, and since you're about an hour of driving through the Lamar Valley just to the main figure 8 road through the park. If you don't stay in the park, I think you'd find that Gardiner or West Yellowstone would be much better suited for your short time in the area.

    Yellowstone has a free newspaper and brochure that you get when you enter the park gates, and they might be willing to mail it to you - although the brochure is the same as what you'll find online. However, I can tell you there are no free books available from the nps, and even the maps/trail guides for the specific sections of the park have a very small ($.75) fee. Of course there are hundreds of guidebooks for the park that you could check out from a bookstore or library.

  6. Default

    A few tips from a South Dakota native:

    You'll be hitting the Black Hills right smack dab in the middle of the Sturgis Rally (Aug. 6-12 this year). Finding places to stay, even if you don't insist on four walls and a roof, may be difficult and/or exorbitantly expensive. You might consider tweaking your schedule so that you spend a day driving through the Hills instead of stopping there overnight. As a possibility, consider staying in Pierre, Kadoka, Murdo, Chamberlain/Oacoma or even Platte, Gregory or Winner the second night, and looking for rooms past the Hills on the 3rd night.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardAJensen View Post
    A few tips from a South Dakota native:

    You'll be hitting the Black Hills right smack dab in the middle of the Sturgis Rally (Aug. 6-12 this year). Finding places to stay, even if you don't insist on four walls and a roof, may be difficult and/or exorbitantly expensive. You might consider tweaking your schedule so that you spend a day driving through the Hills instead of stopping there overnight. As a possibility, consider staying in Pierre, Kadoka, Murdo, Chamberlain/Oacoma or even Platte, Gregory or Winner the second night, and looking for rooms past the Hills on the 3rd night.
    Thanks for the advice! I actually already reserved all of our hotels along our route except for 2 in the grand tetons, and the hotel I got in Keystone, SD near Mt. Rushmore was only $167! That's actually not too bad considering we'll be splitting it. I figured I might as well reserve them now since I can cancel it within 3 days of check in! Most of our hotels are $115 a night, so it's been fairly economical so far.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellewoods2001 View Post
    Thanks for the advice! I actually already reserved all of our hotels along our route except for 2 in the grand tetons, and the hotel I got in Keystone, SD near Mt. Rushmore was only $167! That's actually not too bad considering we'll be splitting it. I figured I might as well reserve them now since I can cancel it within 3 days of check in! Most of our hotels are $115 a night, so it's been fairly economical so far.
    Good job!

    I'd suggest taking SD 240 (the Badlands Loop Road) between Kadoka & Wall off I-90, and leaving from Keystone via US 385 to Lead/Deadwood, taking a miss on Deadwood (since you won't have time to stop anyway), driving through Lead on 85/14A (will be marked South 85 & West 14A), through Icebox Canyon to Cheyenne Crossing, and stay on 14A through Spearfish Canyon to Spearfish & I-90, assuming you head to Yellowstone on I-90. Otherwise US 85 will take you up to 212 at Belle Fourche

  9. Default Need sightseeing advice Detroit- Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Tetons, Arches, Vegas, LA

    Hey all!

    My friends and I are all moving to HOLLYWOOD in August, and it just so happened my uncle was planning a trip out west around the same time so we decided to join him and take the "scenic detour" route. How many times will I get another opportunity to drive cross-country? And for only $300 more than it would cost me to fly directly from Detroit to LA, I can take an 11 day vacation and see 10 states along the way :-)

    So here is our itinerary. I booked all the rooms in April and managed to get an average rate of $100.21 per night!! I'm pretty proud of that considering it's high season in all these places.

    Day Date Depart Time (approx) Arrive Time (approx) Distance (miles) Activities

    1 Tuesday, August 07, 2012 Detroit, MI 10:00 AM EDT Austin, MN 9:00 PM CDT 649.0 Sleep

    2 Wednesday, August 08, 2012 Austin, MN 6:00 AM CDT Badlands, SD 1:00 PM MST 467.0 See note A

    3 Wednesday, August 08, 2012 Badlands, SD 4:00 PM MST Mt Rushmore 6:00 PM MST 108.0 See note B

    3 Thursday, August 09, 2012 Keystone, SD 5:00 AM MST Fairy Falls, WY 2:00 PM MST 512.0 See note C

    3 Thursday, August 09, 2012 Old Faithful 8:30 PM Cooke City, MT 10:45 PM 93.1 Sleep

    4 Friday, August 10, 2012 Cooke City, MT 8:00 AM MST Roosevelt Lodge 4:30 PM MST N/A See note D
    (drive around exploring)

    4 Friday, August 10, 2012 Roosevelt Lodge 9:30 PM MST Cooke City, MT 10:30 PM MST 43.9 Sleep

    5 Saturday, August 11, 2012 Cooke City 9:00 AM MST Lake Yellowstone 6:45 PM MST N/A See note E
    (drive around exploring)
    6 Sunday, August 12, 2012 Lake Yellowstone 8:00 AM MST Colter Bay Village 9:30 PM MST N/A See note F

    7 Monday, August 13, 2012 Colter Bay Grand Teton ALL DAY N/A See note G
    (drive/hike around exploring)
    8 Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Colter Bay Grand Teton ALL DAY N/A See note H

    9 Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Colter Bay 8:00 AM MST Moab, UT 6:00 PM MST 521.0 See note I

    10 Thursday, August 16, 2012 Arches National Park ALL DAY N/A See note J

    11 Friday, August 17, 2012 Moab, UT 9:00 AM MST Las Vegas, NV 4 PM PST 460.0 VEGAS!

    12 Saturday, August 18, 2012 Las Vegas, NV 9:00 AM PST HOLLYWOOD! 2:30 PM PST 277.0 WE MADE IT!


    SIGHT-SEEING PLANS:

    A.

    6:00 AM CDT - 1:00 PM MDT Travel from Austin, MN to Badlands, SD

    1:30 PM - 4:30 PM MDT Badlands National Park $15/car load
    Park Hours: 24/7, but park office open 7 AM - 7 PM
    enter thru Northeast Entrance off 240 South

    1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Door Trail 0.75 miles, round trip; 20 min - easy
    2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Window Trail 0.75 miles, round trip; 20 min - easy
    2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Cliff Shelf Trail (possibly) 0.5 miles, round trip; 30 min - moderate
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Drive 240 Loop Road notch trail?
    Check out Pinnacles Overlook

    4:00 PM-6:00PM MDT Travel to Keystone, SD


    B.

    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM MDT Mt. Rushmore Memorial Park $11/car to park; no entrance fee
    Park Hours: 24/7 Information Center hrs: 8 AM - 10PM
    9:00PM MDT Evening lighting ceremony

    Suggestions on good trails/things to do at Mt. Rushmore? We only have these 4 hours. We can shorten our Bad Lands time if you think it's a good idea

    C. This is gonna be a really long day. We have to be at Old Faithful Inn by 5pm for a dinner reservation, and this is where we're meeting up with my uncle.. hopefully at Fairy Falls or Mystic Falls to join them for the hikes before dinner.

    5:00 AM - 1:30 PM Travel from Keystone, SD to Fairy Falls in Yellowstone Park
    1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Fairy Falls 5 miles round trip - easy
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Mystic Falls 2.2 miles round trip - easy to moderate
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Observation Point Self-Guiding Trail 1.1 mile loop - moderate

    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner at Old Faithful Inn

    Old Faithful to West Thumb - Lower Grand Loop South driving time = 30 min / 17 mi

    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Lone Star Geyser - 2.5 mi E of turnoff to Old Faithful 4.8 miles round trip - easy to moderate

    8:30 PM - 10:45 PM Travel back to Cooke City to spend the night driving time = 2 hrs 13 min / 96.4mi


    D. We're staying in Cooke City and my uncle and his family are staying at Pahaska lodge in Cody, WY. So we're going to meet up at inspiration point at 10:45 because that's what my uncle had planned. I really wanna see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone so we're going to hit that up before meeting them.

    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Travel from Cooke City to Grand Canyon of Yellowstone driving time = 1 hr / 34.7 mi

    9:00 AM Arrive at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

    *Trails/things to see suggestions appreciated*

    10:15 AM - 10:45 AM Travel from Grand Canyon to Inspiration Point driving time = 40 min / 16 mi

    Canyon Village to Tower Roosevelt - Upper Grand Loop East driving time = 45 min / 19 mi

    10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Inspiration Point Self-Guiding Trail 0.2 mi round trip - moderate
    12:00 PM - 12:30 PM Grand View Point Self-Guiding Trail 0.2 mi round trip - easy
    12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Red Rock Self-Guiding Trail 0.75 mi round trip - difficult (500' elev chg)

    1:00 PM - 1:45 PM Lunch at Canyon Lodge

    1:45 PM - 2:15 PM Tower Fall 1 mi round trip - moderate (300' elev chg)

    Tower Roosevelt to Mammoth Hot Springs- Upper Grand Loop North driving time = 40 min / 18 mi

    2:15 PM - 3:15 PM Wraith Falls 1.8 miles round trip - easy
    return via Blacktail Plateau Drive (1 way east bound)
    see Petrified Tree

    3:15 PM - 3:45 PM Mammoth Hot Springs 4.8 miles/7 min

    3:45 PM - 4:30 PM Travel to Roosevelt Corrals 29.6 miles/46 min

    4:45 PM - 5:45 PM Horseback/Wagon ride to cookout site from Roosevelt Corrals

    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout - Tower-Roosevelt Pay $78.85 for horses 3-4 hrs

    9:30 PM - 10:30 PM Return to Cooke City, MT 43.9 miles/1 hour

    E.

    9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Cooke City to Northeast Entrance driving time = 18 min / 13.7 mi
    drive to Pebble Creek Campground after dropping a car at Warm Creek Picnic area

    9:30 AM - 1:00 PM Pebble Creek Trail - starts 8.7 mi from Northest Entrance 12 miles 1 way (w/drop car) - moderate to difficult
    Upper Meadows are especially beautiful in early August;can be reached from Warm Creek Picnic area in 2.5 mi, but this would mean a steep climb for 1.5 mi

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Slough Creek Trail - starts 0.5 mi from Slough Creek Campground 3 miles to meadow; otherwise 22 miles rd trip easy to moderate
    2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Trout Lake - 1.5 mi S of Pebble Creek Campground 1 mile round trip - moderate w/200' elev gain

    2:30 PM - 4:30 PM Yellowstone River Picnic Area - 1.5 mi from Tower Roosevelt 4 miles round trip - easy w/steep climb at beginning, steep drop-offs close to trail; stay on path

    4:30 PM - 5:45 PM Travel from Tower Roosevelt to Lake Village driving time = 1 hr 15 min / 35 mi

    5:45 PM Check in at Lake Yellowstone Hotel

    6:45 PM - 8:45 PM Dinner at Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room reservations for 6 -2 4 top tables

    F.

    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast at Lake Yellowstone Lodge & checkout

    Lake Village to East Entrance Road driving time = 1 hr / 27 mi


    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Howard Eaton Trail 1st 2 miles of 15 mi trail - easy
    (less road noise)
    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Pelican Creek Trail 1.3 miles round trip - easy
    1 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Storm Point Trail - depart from turnout at Indian Pond 2.3 miles round trip - easy
    2.5 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch

    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Elephant Back Trail 3.6 miles round trip - easy to moderate rises 800' elev in 0.8 mi

    4:00 PM Arrive at Bridge Bay Marina

    4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Scenicruse of Lake Yellowstone - Lake Queen II 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast at Lake Yellowstone Lodge & checkout

    Lake Village to East Entrance Road driving time = 1 hr / 27 mi


    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Howard Eaton Trail 1st 2 miles of 15 mi trail - easy
    (less road noise)
    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Pelican Creek Trail 1.3 miles round trip - easy
    1 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Storm Point Trail - depart from turnout at Indian Pond 2.3 miles round trip - easy
    2.5 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch

    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Elephant Back Trail 3.6 miles round trip - easy to moderate
    rises 800' elev in 0.8 mi
    4:00 PM Arrive at Bridge Bay Marina

    4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Scenicruse of Lake Yellowstone - Lake Queen II Pay $16.07 at check-in duration = 1 hr
    from Bridge Bay Marina

    Lake Village to West Thumb driving time = 45 min / 21 mi

    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM West Thumb Geyser Basin Self-Guiding Trail outer boardwalk = 0.5 mi long - easy
    inner boardwalk = 0.25 mi long - easy

    West Thumb to South Entrance driving time = 50 min / 22 mi

    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Riddle Lake (optional thru moose habitat) 5 mi round trip - easy to moderate

    8:15 PM - 9:00 PM Jackson Lake Turnout

    9:30 PM Check-in at Colter Bay Village
    V8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast at Lake Yellowstone Lodge & checkout

    Lake Village to East Entrance Road driving time = 1 hr / 27 mi


    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Howard Eaton Trail 1st 2 miles of 15 mi trail - easy
    (less road noise)
    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Pelican Creek Trail 1.3 miles round trip - easy
    1 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Storm Point Trail - depart from turnout at Indian Pond 2.3 miles round trip - easy
    2.5 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch

    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Elephant Back Trail 3.6 miles round trip - easy to moderate
    rises 800' elev in 0.8 mi
    4:00 PM Arrive at Bridge Bay Marina

    4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Scenicruse of Lake Yellowstone - Lake Queen II Pay $16.07 at check-in duration = 1 hr
    from Bridge Bay Marina

    Lake Village to West Thumb driving time = 45 min / 21 mi

    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM West Thumb Geyser Basin Self-Guiding Trail outer boardwalk = 0.5 mi long - easy
    inner boardwalk = 0.25 mi long - easy

    West Thumb to South Entrance driving time = 50 min / 22 mi

    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Riddle Lake (optional thru moose habitat) 5 mi round trip - easy to moderate

    8:15 PM - 9:00 PM Jackson Lake Turnout

    9:30 PM Check-in at Colter Bay Village
    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast at Lake Yellowstone Lodge & checkout

    Lake Village to East Entrance Road driving time = 1 hr / 27 mi


    9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Howard Eaton Trail 1st 2 miles of 15 mi trail - easy
    (less road noise)
    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Pelican Creek Trail 1.3 miles round trip - easy
    1 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Storm Point Trail - depart from turnout at Indian Pond 2.3 miles round trip - easy
    2.5 miles E of Fishing Bridge Vistor Center easy to moderate

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch

    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Elephant Back Trail 3.6 miles round trip - easy to moderate
    rises 800' elev in 0.8 mi
    4:00 PM Arrive at Bridge Bay Marina

    4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Scenicruse of Lake Yellowstone - Lake Queen II Pay $16.07 at check-in duration = 1 hr
    from Bridge Bay Marina

    Lake Village to West Thumb driving time = 45 min / 21 mi

    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM West Thumb Geyser Basin Self-Guiding Trail outer boardwalk = 0.5 mi long - easy
    inner boardwalk = 0.25 mi long - easy

    West Thumb to South Entrance driving time = 50 min / 22 mi

    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Riddle Lake (optional thru moose habitat) 5 mi round trip - easy to moderate

    8:15 PM - 9:00 PM Jackson Lake Turnout

    9:30 PM Check-in at Colter Bay Village duration = 1 hr from Bridge Bay Marina, $16.00

    Lake Village to West Thumb driving time = 45 min / 21 mi

    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM West Thumb Geyser Basin Self-Guiding Trail outer boardwalk = 0.5 mi long - easy
    inner boardwalk = 0.25 mi long - easy

    West Thumb to South Entrance driving time = 50 min / 22 mi

    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Riddle Lake (optional thru moose habitat) 5 mi round trip - easy to moderate

    8:15 PM - 9:00 PM Jackson Lake Turnout

    9:30 PM Check-in at Colter Bay Village tent cabins- $59/night


    G.

    9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Take boat ride across Jenny Lake to Cascade Canyon Trail

    9:30 PM - 1:30 PM Cascade Canyon Trail

    1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Teton Glacier Turnout

    2:30 PM - 4:30 PM Teton Point Turnouts

    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Dinner back at Colter Bay Village


    H.


    9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Travel to Sands Whitewater - Jackson, WY driving time = 56 min / 43 mi

    11:00 PM - 2:00 PM 8 mile Whitewater trip - Classic 14 man raft $67/pp; duration 3 hrs

    2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Travel back to Colter Bay Village driving time = 56 min / 43 mi

    3:30 PM - 6:00 PM Open

    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Dinner back a Colter Bay Village


    I.

    8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Travel to Moab, UT driving time = 10 hours / 521 mi

    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Open to suggestions See sunset at Arches? Any good trails?

    Spend night in Moab, UT.


    J.

    ALL DAY Arches Park- need trail/sightseeing suggestions!


    Are we crazy for trying to fit all this in? I can't change my hotels as a) most places are sold out now and b) any places that aren't sold out are now almost DOUBLE what I have reserved


    I would love to hear your suggestions!!

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-03-2012 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Merged

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default a basic rule

    I'm not even going to start to try to go through the details of this trip.

    A good basic rule is that when you are trying to schedule everything down to the minute, you are setting yourself up for failure. Simply put, things will take longer than you plan, there will be other things that come up, that will force you to stray from your schedule. Now maybe you've already factored that in, but when someone comes up with a hyper-detailed plan like this, I assume they are going to want to stick to it, and that means you'll be far more focused on staying on schedule than you will be on enjoying yourself.

    I will say your day trying to get from Keystone to Cooke City, with a stop at Old Faithful by 5pm, plus multiple hikes is so far beyond what you'll be able to do, that I don't even know where to begin. It is a perfect example, though of how you are just not being realistic.

    1- you're planning 8 hours for a 500 mile trip, much of which is on 2 lane roads with a speed limit of 45 mph. Not Happening.
    2- Once that's done, you are planning 8 and a half miles of hiking in 3.5 hours, and that doesn't even include the significant driving time between those sites. Not close to realistic.
    3- You're giving yourself 1.5 hours for another 4 mile hike to Lone Star - which considering that Lone Star only shoots off once every 4 hours, means you certainly haven't given yourself time to actually watch the geyser!
    4- After driving about 600 miles and doing 10 miles of hiking, you're planning to drive through the dark another 2 hours (actually more like 3 in real world conditions) through an area that is famous for its wildlife, where driving after dark can be quite dangerous and requires you to be at your absolute best.

    That's just one day! Just glancing through, I see nearly every other day features similar instances where even if everything went off perfectly, you aren't giving yourself nearly enough time to do everything, much less actually stop to enjoy what it is you plan to do.


    PS - as a complete aside, if you want to do whitewater in Jackson, I highly recommend Mad River Rafting. I used them last year and was extremely impressed.

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