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  1. #1

    Default Phoenix to Yellowstone October

    Hi Im planning a 14 day road trip beginning at my brothers house in Phoenix arizona and ending in yellowstone. I plan to see the painted dessert, grand canyon, a drive through the grand staircase, and all that entails, ending in yellowstone to stay several days. my husband is also insisting we see the devils tower so i think we may drive there on the last day and fly out of Gillet

    any suggestions? im wondering if the grand canyon is the place to stay for two nights or is one enough and i should spend more time going through the grand staircase area, seeing zion bryce and maybe a float down the colorado river.

    also we are big movie geeks and love to see movie locals... planning on clint eastwoods and john waynes before we head out that way.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Unfortunately, by October, Yellowstone is pretty well going towards Winter Mode. The roads are mostly open until early November, but the facilities are closing down (if you click on the link, it takes you to a page that shows the opening and closing dates for facilities in Yellowstone. Just scroll down. Click on the links on that page and it will show you what roads close and when.)

    As far as Grand Canyon is concerned: Two nights would be preferable, and because of Yellowstone's closures, I personally would spend more time in the Grand Staircase area, circling back to Phoenix.


    Donna

  3. #3

    Default

    Im planning on starting on the 1 of oct and flying back on the 14th from WY.

    I did see that most things are closed up by October 14, but i have read on this site that oct is a nice time to be there and see and hear the elk and the wolves.

    im thinking 2 days grand canyon, 2 days grand stair caise 3 days yellowstone 1 day devils tower, and traveling in between.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It sounds like you've got a nice trip planned, but I will put out a small warning that 14 days can fly by, and it looks like you've got a bit of zig-zagging that could eat away at your time.

    The Grand Canyon is a place where I'd recommend spending at least 1 full day. If you arrive around noon 1 day, and plan to spend the next morning there, then you could probably get by with just 1 night, but if you're arriving late on your first day, then a second night would probably be in order.

    Monument Valley is the backdrop for countless westerns, and would seem to be a place you'd want to include, although it is a bit farther east than the other destinations you've listed.

    While I wouldn't blame you for wanting to see Devils Tower, know that it is basically a full day drive away from Yellowstone. Also note that Gillette's airport is very small, so airfare is likely going to be very expensive, and the cost to drop a car off there one way is likely to be astronomical. Rapid City might be a bit better, but I suspect you'll have to look to drive to Denver or Salt Lake City, to find more reasonable prices.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    You could opt to visit the south rim or the North rim of the Grand canyon, both are spectacular and as stated above, you should allow at least a full day at either area and try to plan it so that you stay to witness a sunset. I would also recommend a full day in Zion NP for strolls through the canyon along the Virgin river, Springdale is a great little town for lodgings. After visiting Bryce canyon you could drive UT scenic 12 to UT24 and visit Capitol Reef NP. You could also spend a day at Arches NP and perhaps visit Canyonlands by heading to Moab next. Heading north on 191 towards Yellowstone you could visit Flaming Gorge Res and then spend a little time in the Grand Tetons and visit Mormon Row. After Yellowstone I agree with Michael, heading to SLC would be a good option to drop car and fly home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

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    If the one way drop charge and airfares aren't a major issue, you could leave Yellowstone via the Beartooth Highway (IF it's still open) and fly home from Billings. You could still do that if you have time and are going to Devils Tower, but I'd fly home from Rapid City instead of Gillette.

  7. #7

    Default

    I've had a look at the flights from gillette vs the flight from rapid city a much better price. saving about 200 bucks the flight prices are not an obstacle for more as Im flying home to sydney australia, so its gonna be a between a certain price regardless.

    i think what i am most conceded about is driving the whole time and not seeing anything.

    I have based this all on google maps.. and the driving times listed.
    i was thinking …

    l30/ arrive at bros in phoenix
    1 &2 spend day with bro and fam
    3 drive to the painted dessert and then to the canyon arrive night
    4 5 2days at the grand canyon
    6 leave go to the grand staircaise
    67 spend time driving around grand staircase route 12 and 89 and heading north
    7 or 8th arrive at night at yellowtone
    9-11 yellowstone
    12 drive to devils tower
    13 spend day at the tower
    14 drive to rapid city and go home

    does this seem reasonable or Manic!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You must add 20% to the Google Maps drive times to reflect reality.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

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    Devil's Tower can easily be seen, the trail around it included, in a partial day. Then it's about 3 hours to Rapid City. If it were me, I'd head for Rapid City the day before you are to fly out, so that you won't have an issue if there's a traffic tie-up.

    Beartooth Highway closes on the 13th. But you'd almost have to skip Devil's Tower to be able to do that, and there's always the heavy chance that an early storm will close the pass long before Oct 13th!


    Donna

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Early or late.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    ... there's always the heavy chance that an early storm will close the pass long before Oct 13th!
    In the same way, if winter comes late there is a good chance it will still be open days later. But I would not chance it with your time restraints.

    Lifey

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