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  1. Default Salt lake to yellowstone to mt Rushmore to Rockies to dinosaur to salt lake?

    Hi There

    We are planning a trip for 10 days and was wondering if anyone can advise if we could cover this distance in a small RV, whilst still enjoying our time? We are leaving SLC and planned a stop over in grand Teton then 3 different nights in Yellowstone, then off via Lamar valley to Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Jewel cave and then off to Rocky NP and then via Dinosaur NM back to SLC - can this be done with time to stop and smell the fresh air? We are going in 2 weeks. There is three of us and one of us is a 5 yo! Look forward to some help please! Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Doable.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Much depends on the pace you are happy to travel at. With your first 4 or 5 days tied in and around Yellowstone including the journey there, you are trying to squeeze a lot into into the other part of the trip, whether it's in a car or small RV. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend you spend any less time in the Tetons and Yellowstone. Your biggest problem could be finding campgrounds in Yellowstone, RV sites are limited in number and most popular. Being such a big park it adds quite a bit of time travelling in and out each day, having said that you might struggle to find lodgings also.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Creating memories.

    Agreed. If you do not already have your accommodation in or near Yellowstone, you may be struggling to get some. If you are lucky you could pick up a cancellation on the website, but you will need to be persistent and prepared to spend much time at the computer. There are also first come first served campgrounds, but you would need to be there early in the day to get one of those. Not easy, but certainly not impossible.

    The five year old will be in for a treat, especially if you take the time to enrol him/her in the Junior Ranger program at each National Park. Also, don't overlook the value of keeping a journal... including the five year old. Set aside 20 or 30 minutes each night and record the most interesting experiences of the day. The little one may need some help, but should not need prompting. A journal can be text, pictures, drawing, or even something picked up along the way. A stub from an entry pass, anything really which helps to recall the experience later on. Of course, it is always preferable if the three of you do it together.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    Hi there Doable and Lifey

    Thankyou so much for your response. I was lucky and did get a spot for three nights in different locations in YSNP, however did not book Tetons as did not know if we would make it there the first day, as we will be recovering from the flight from OZ. Great advice on the journal and will take one!

    Hopefully we get to see everything. You see YNP is what I'd like to see, the wife is looking forward to mt Rushmore and our son cannot wait to see Dinosaur bones. So, I threw in the Rockies on the way. Fingers crossed, hey!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default First day and flight.

    Haha. 'Doable' was in response to your question regarding whether or not you could cover the distance. ;-) Great news that you already have the RV booked in to YNP.

    did not book Tetons as did not know if we would make it there the first day, as we will be recovering from the flight from OZ.
    I hope the "first day" and the day of the flight from OZ are not the same day. No way would you be able to drive anywhere far straight after a long haul flight when your body clocks will also be out of sync. All RV rental companies I know have a policy that you must spend a night in the US before collecting your rental. I don't know if this is law, or why it is different to collecting a car rental, but you should check it out if your plan is to collect on arrival, but still don't plan on a long drive.

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

    Default That long haul flight.

    Oh! I do so agree with Dave. Will you be flying into SLC on the same day you fly in from Oz. If so, you will arrive more than 24hrs after having left home. (If you are coming from WA, it will be more like 40hrs.) As Dave said, you will probably find that you need to wait till the next day to pick up the RV. Even if that is not the case, I would recommend that you do. Remember Peter Brock? Don't let that be the story of your family.

    If of course you are spending time in LA or SF before going to SLC, there should not be a need to wait.

    Have a safe trip.

    Lifey

  7. Default Safety first!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Oh! I do so agree with Dave. Will you be flying into SLC on the same day you fly in from Oz. If so, you will arrive more than 24hrs after having left home. (If you are coming from WA, it will be more like 40hrs.) As Dave said, you will probably find that you need to wait till the next day to pick up the RV. Even if that is not the case, I would recommend that you do. Remember Peter Brock? Don't let that be the story of your family.

    If of course you are spending time in LA or SF before going to SLC, there should not be a need to wait.

    Have a safe trip.

    Lifey
    Sorry Dave - hopefully I haven't changed your name for good to Doable!!! Heheh. At least now I know that what we are attempting is after all really DOABLE! Lol.

    Thanks both for your concern, however when I booked the RV I did book it to be picked up the morning after we arrive - however I still believe that we will be tired- as these long haul flights is something I no longer enjoy.

    I do have another couple of questions:
    I have booked 2000 miles - not unlimited, from my calculations it seemed that it should cover this trip and some sightseeing- would you agree?
    Also, do you think we will need unlimited use of the generator or just pay the $3.50 per hour of use?
    Do we need to be prepared for really cold weather or will it be summer (forecast doesn't seem great at the moment- were hoping to skip the OZ winter!)

    Cheers for your help and support!!!

    Johan and family

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Sounds good.

    1] With detours 2000 miles should cover it, but even if you went a few hundred miles over it will probably work out cheaper than unlimited miles.

    2] That would of course depend on the cost of unlimited use and how much camping you do
    without hook ups, but from my experience 'unlimited use' is a sales technique to get a few [lot] more dollars from you. When you are driving you are charging the 'house' battery and rarely have we used the generator for an hour or more during the evening when not hooked up. Note: Make sure your fuel tank has sufficient fuel before you camp, once at a qtr of a tank the generator gets cut off to save people stranding themselves without fuel.

    3]I would recommend packing some layered clothing and as you never know with the weather, especially in Yellowstone.

    Jet lag affects different people in different ways and waiting to see how you feel is the sensible thing to do. It can also take time to get the paper work done and do the RV orientation when collecting it and then you need to set your luggage down and stock up on supplies. It could take up to 6 hours to get to Jackson WY which would put you close to the Tetons, or if you wanted to get a little way out of SLC, you could make your way to somewhere like Logan [1 1/2 hours] Bear Lake [3 hours]. Of course, if you don't feel up to it just sit tight.

  9. Default

    Hi Dave

    thanks so much for the wonderful information. I wish I came onto this sooner as a lot of planning would have been avoided.

    Great advice on the fuel, rental and the possible places to stop on our first day towards Tetons!! You are a star. Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Another thing for the 5-year-old: at each national park/monument, be sure to visit the Visitor Center and pick up a Junior Ranger booklet. (Lifey mentioned that above.) Upon completion, the new Junior Ranger presents it to a ranger and gets "sworn in", then receives a patch (or similar). These become very nice keepsakes for the youngster. The activities are usually fun and very educational for both child and parent! The last one my daughters did was on a boat cruise, and they both learned SO much. They each still have their Jr Ranger patch, too.


    Donna

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