We're a small group (4 adults, 1 toddler) from South Africa looking to do a road trip from Seattle to Yellowstone in early May. Our timeline is unfortunately rather short and inflexible, but we really want to see Yellowstone and we really want to do a road trip in an RV. This is the final part of a larger trip that will also include Edmonton, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver and Greater Seattle area. It will be the first time for any of us visiting the Pacific Northwest.
Current thinking is to rent an RV in Seattle with planned itinerary as follows:
5 May: depart Seattle, overnight en route
6 May: on the road, overnight en route
7 May: arrive Yellowstone, first night in the park
8 & 9 May: in Yellowstone
10 May: depart Yellowstone, overnight en route
11 May: on the road, overnight en route
12 May: arrive back in Seattle
We know much of Yellowstone will still be inaccessible, hence only the 3 nights in the park giving us a bit more time on the road. There are too many things to see in such a short time, but this is all we have available, so we'll have to compromise some.
A few things we're looking for more info on:
1 - Roads: the seasonal road closures inside Yellowstone are fairly well publicized, but I'm not sure where to check for other roads. Any recommendations of resources and/or tips of roads to avoid/favor in early May?
2 - Driving conditions: Bear in mind we have close to zero experience driving in snow / icy conditions. I assume the authorities will close roads depending on conditions and that any road that is open will be relatively safe. Is this correct? If not, any pointers on roads to avoid, warning signs to watch out for, etc.?
3 - RV & cold: esp. At higher elevations we know it will still be quite cold so the plan is to choose overnight locations wisely and prepare for some cold. However, not sure exactly what to expect and/or how practical this is. Our thinking is if the camp sites in Yellowstone are open then it can't be too bad, but this may be wishful thinking. Any thoughts on how viable this is and specific recommendations for dealing with the cold in an RV?
4 - Any routes / sights to recommend, especially keeping in mind the time of year.
And of course any other tips are welcome.