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  1. #1

    Default Huge Trip July-August

    I'm preparing again!

    This one we'll leave Missouri on Wednesday, June 26 and work our way up to the Black Hills, then Yellowstone & Grand Teton to Mount Hood - we have to be there by AM of July 7. Take a break for a week there (8 year old has snowboard camp), then push off to California to the Sierras, stay 10-days in the San Francisco-Yosemite area, then working our way back via the southwest through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, then up through Kansas to get back to MO by August 9 or 10.

    I have a 2 and 8 year old - so Badlands is going to be a day (with Minuteman Missles) since I really don't want to worry about the 2 year old in Badlands!

    But - Yellowstone - that's huge......how much time, realistically, should I plan to spend there? Everything in Yellowstone is already booked for my dates, so I was thinking of staying in Jackson - is that reasonable or should I look somewhere else?
    Last edited by RahRah; 03-10-2013 at 05:40 PM. Reason: date error

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Personally, I think 3 full days is just enough to see the high points of Yellowstone at a relatively quick pace (plus additional time for Grand Teton), but it would almost be impossible to spend too much time there.

    I would not recommend Jackson at all for a "home base" while visiting Yellowstone. It is simply too far away. You're looking at an hour to the very south end of Yellowstone, 2 hours to places like Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon, and could easily take more than 3 to get to the far north end of the park, for things like Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar Valley.

    I'd first say to keep checking the park, because there are cancellations that will open up, but if you're going to stay outside of the park, West Yellowstone is going to be the most central location. Gardiner MT, just to the north of the park is also an option, as is Cooke City near the northeast gate, although even Cooke City is going to be a long way from most attractions other than the Lamar Valley.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I can highly recommend the Evergreen Motel in West Yellowstone. It's a restored '50s style roadside motel owned and run by a very nice young couple, and they do take reservations online. They only have 16 rooms, so it might be booked up too, but it doesn't hurt to check. It's one of the least expensive in town too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    You might also try Flagg Ranch, which is between Grand Teton and Yellowstone. They have a lodge, cabins, and RV park.


    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Flagg Ranch looks like it is perfectly situated for what I'm hoping we can do while there! Thank you! I think we'll stay there for three nights, then head down to Jackson for a night or two since DH and I revised date I leave to 6/22 so the kids and I have more time in Yellowstone - plus it means he'll get to be with us for five days at the start, then fly home to work, then fly out to CA for our 10 days there before he heads back again to work.

  6. #6

    Default

    Hammering out more on this trip.....we're going to start by doing a sprint to Badlands on Saturday, July 22 - DH and I will share the driving to get us there so we'll have three full days with him before he flies home to get back to work on Wednesday.

    Saturday 6/22 Missouri-Badlands, Circle View Ranch overnight
    Sunday 6/23 - Badlands, Minuteman Missiles, Circle View Ranch overnight
    Monday 6/24 - Jewel Cave, Custer, Mount Rushmore, Rapid City overnight
    Tuesday 6/25 - drop DH at RAP, Wind Cave, Hot Springs (Indoor Boneyard), Crawford, NE overnight
    Wednesday 6/26 - Agate Fossil Beds, Scotts Bluff, Fort Laramie, Casper, WY overnight
    Thursday 6/27 - Grand Teton, Alta, WY overnight
    6/28-7/2 - Yellowstone and Grand Teton
    Wednesday 7/3 - Jackson, WY
    Thursday 7/4 - Craters of the Moon, overnight Boise, ID
    Friday 7/5 - overnight John Day, OR
    Satuday 7/6 - John Day Fossil Beds, Sandy, OR overnight
    7/7-7/14 - Sandy, OR

    Doable?

  7. #7

    Default

    More things hammered out!

    June 22 - sprint to Badlands
    June 23 - Badlands
    June 24 - Mammoth Site: Indoor Boneyard, Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore
    June 25 - drop DH RAP, Jewel Cave, Devil's Tower
    June 26 - Bighorn Canyon
    June 27 - Yellowstone (reserved at Lake Lodge)
    June 28 - Yellowstone (reserved at Lake Lodge)
    June 29 - Yellowstone, overnight Flagg Ranch
    June 30 - Grand Teton
    July 1 - Craters of the Moon, Salmon, ID overnight
    July 2 - Big Hole National Battlefield, Grant Knors Ranch
    July 3 - Glacier
    July 4 - Glacier, Coeur d'Alene, ID overnight
    July 6 - Nez Perce National Park, Whitman Mission National Historic Site
    July 7-July 14 - Sandy, OR

  8. #8

    Default

    So my 8 year old wants to make this summer trip a national park extravaganza (which I already thought we had) and asked if we could do the route to include Knife River Indian Villages, Theodore Roosevelt NP, Fort Union and Little Bighorn Battlefield. To do that would change things to:

    une 22 - sprint to Badlands
    June 23 - Badlands
    June 24 - Mammoth Site: Indoor Boneyard, Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore
    June 25 - drop DH RAP, Jewel Cave, Devil's Tower, overnight Dickinson, ND
    June 26 - Knife River Indian Villages, Theodore Roosevelt NP, Fort Union, overnight Hardin, MT
    June 27 - Little Bighorn Battlefield, Bighorn Canyon (Lovell, WY), Yellowstone overnight (reserved Lake Lodge)
    June 28 - Yellowstone (reserved at Lake Lodge)
    June 29 - Yellowstone, overnight Flagg Ranch
    June 30 - Grand Teton
    July 1 - Craters of the Moon, Salmon, ID overnight
    July 2 - Big Hole National Battlefield, Grant Knors Ranch
    July 3 - Glacier
    July 4 - Glacier, Coeur d'Alene, ID overnight
    July 6 - Nez Perce National Park, Whitman Mission National Historic Site
    July 7-July 14 - Sandy, OR

    I'm thinking it's too much driving......your thoughts?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default 650-900 Miles is Not a 'Sprint'; It's a Death March

    I'm sorry, but it's simply not reasonable to try to drive from "Missouri" to the Badlands in a day. Depending on exactly where you're starting from, that could be over a thousand miles! Even at best it's going to be farther than professional long-haul truckers are legally permitted to drive in a day. That is just no way to start a vacation that will have the word 'enjoyable' attached to it in any way.

    Right now, you've got three days scheduled in the Rapid City area. Although that would certainly be fine under normal circumstances, it is not with your present time constraints and other commitments. You need to take one and a half to two full days to get to western South Dakota and cut back accordingly on the time you spend there. That would then let you start out your trip at a more reasonable pace and actually stop and see something on that first 'sprint(?)' leg.

    AZBuck

  10. #10

    Default

    We'll be heading out from St. Joseph, from there to Cedar Pass Lodge in the Badlands is 588 miles - we're two drivers, it's totally doable as a sprint. Google maps has it at 8h 26m - we're planning, with stops, 12 hours - leaving 6:00, arriving 5:00 (with time zone change).

    DH and I just did a nutty run from Emporia, KS to Lamar to Keystone and wound up hitting a storm and managed without issue.

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