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  1. #1

    Default Planning roadtrip from Texas to Montana


    Im planning a roadtrip from Texas to Montana next summer. Im planning on start in Dallas or in San Antonio and end in Billings.

    My must-see places are:
    Antelope Canyon
    White Sands monument
    Very large array
    Mesa Verde
    Four corners
    Monument valley
    Arches NP

    Im looking for some help to find strange, funny, beautiful and wierd places to visit on the road from Texas to Montana. Tips are welcome :)

    My wife wants to see "the real texas". Im not sure what this is and my wife cant tell me :) But I guess its cowboys, ranches and ghost towns. So if anyone have any good tips on where to go to see the "real texas" it would be great.

    Also if anyone can tell me a good route in Yellowstone (and good places to stay in the park)? Im planning on staying in the park for 3 nights.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    If you are doing a one way trip you can expect one way drop off fees on your rental, but if you have an International flight at the end of the road it would be worth considering continuing to Salt Lake City.

    For all things Yellowstone I would suggest you look at the NPS site. All routes in the park lead to something with a lot of it found near the Grand loop road. One of the finest drives anywhere can be found from Red Lodge into the park via the 'Beartooth Highway'. You have a variety of lodgings to choose from to cater for different needs and budgets, agian you can find all the details on the NPS site. And don't forget to set aside some time for the 'Grand Tetons' just south of Yellowstone. The same could be said for the 'Island in the sky' section of Canyonlands, not far from Arches.

    All I know about Texas is there are big hats, oil and JR ! Not sure if they are real ! ;-)

    How long have you got for the trip ?

  3. #3



    Im planning to do this trip in around two weeks. I know about the drop-off fee but thats ok. After Billings we will go to LA by plane.

    We have no problem with a lot of driving in one day (3 drivers).

    I will check the NPS site for lodges.

    Grand tetons looks nice! I will look into that :)

    Texas: If someone know of some nice place to see old oil drilling towers that would be nice.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Defining "A Lot" and Other Help

    I'm not sure why it came up, but "We have no problem with a lot of driving in one day (3 drivers)." is a red flag. We see this come up over and over where people think that they can get meaningful rest in a car simply by slipping from behind the wheel. It just doesn't work that way, and having multiple 'drivers' who require more frequent and longer rest stops often works to slow you down and limit the number of miles you can cover in a day rather than the other way around. All that said, you should have plenty of time for both the trip and the sites along the way while keeping to roughly a 50/50 mix of driving and sight-seeing each day. Even on days where your sole activity is driving, you should not plan on covering more than 550 to 600 miles.

    As for the 'real' Texas, I can offer a couple of suggestions. One is to head from the Alamo up US-281 to Johnson City, visit LBJ's boyhood home and then take US-290 west to Stonewall and visit his later home, the LBJ Ranch. Those stops will tell you a lot bout what it means to grow up "Texan". Another thing you should do is to eschew the Interstates from time to time and use the older US Highway system, state highways, and even Texas' Farm-to-Market and Ranch-to-Market network. If chosen judiciously, those roads won't slow you down too much. I've seen cases where they have higher speed limits than the Federally controlled Interstate Highways. You've got at least one built-in opportunity when you use US-67/US-90 to and from Marfa.

    Next, I don't know if it was a typo or an oversight, but you'll want to do your next few stops in the following order: Carlsbad (The entrance to the Caverns is actually in Whites City.), Roswell, White Sands, VLA, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Four Corners, Mesa Verde, Arches, etc. At least that's the most mileage efficient routing. And if you follow that routing you will literally drive right by the entrances to Petrified Forest National Park, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and the Grand Canyon. You might want to add a few of those to your list.

    Be aware the US-89 is closed semi-permanently between Cameron and Page AZ sue to a recent landslide and that you will be detoured onto a Navajo Nation road (BIA-20) that is currently being upgraded (paved) to handle the traffic. You can expect significant delays along that stretch for traffic and construction.

    Finally, if you have a little extra time towards the end of your trip and you're still looking for more sights to see, consider taking US-89 from the Salt Lake City area up to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are going to Yellowstone end ending the trip in Billings, definitely take the Beartooth, but on the way OUT of the park!

    Next summer, there shouldn't be any significant delays between Cameron and Page, the BIA-20 upgrade will be finished sometime this month and will be posted as US-89T. However, I don't see where your itinerary would include that stretch of road.

  6. #6



    AZBuck: Dont worry :) Mine definition of long drives and yours seem to differ a bit ;) But it is much more fun to alternate drivers during a day. Passengers see/notice more cool stuff.

    You are right, the places are not in order :) I just mentioned the places we wanted to see.

    Great tips on places to see on the way! Thats what I was looking for!

    GLC: I also think thats the best way to go. Its a bit of a detour the other way around :)

    Thanks for the tips!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Flaming Gorge.

    From Arches to Yellowstone by way of the Tetons you could head north on 191 and break the journey up with an overnight around Flaming Gorge Res and avoid SLC. It'll take an extra hour, but it's certainly worth considering in my opinion.

  8. #8


    Thanks Southwest Dave! I will do that :)

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