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  1. Default Road trip from NJ to yellow Stone National Park

    Hello all!

    I am planning a three week driving trip from North New Jersey to Yellow Stone National Park. Our objective is to make different stops along the way and spend 3-4 days at Yellow Stone. I really need some help with this adventure since it is our first time and we want to get the most out of it.

    Thank you in advance for all your input.

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    With 21 days round trip, and a trip that could be driven in 5 days in each direction, you have 11 days to "play with". Three-to-four days to spend in Yellowstone, that means you have 7-8 days left for sightseeing. If this were my trip, I'd get out a map and start either flagging or highlighting things that I want to see. A route will often appear "magically". Or, I'd pick a route on a map that will take me to where I want to go, and see what's along it that might be interesting. (We've done both types of planning.)

    What I see between you and Yellowstone is Chicago, Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in both MN and SD, the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Badlands, and Little Bighorn (site of Custer's Last Stand). I also see Beartooth Highway, which takes you into Yellowstone via the Northeast entrance and is absolutely gorgeous! If so inclined, you could take a more southerly approach back, such as heading for Denver and I-70, thus avoiding Chicago, Cleveland and some of the other urban sprawl up there.

    But you may have totally different interests, so get out a map, and check out our Map Center here on RTA.


    Donna

  3. #3

    Default

    Welcome to RTA Forum and to Roadtripping in general, since you say this is your first adventure.

    You have 2100 miles and about 30 hours of drive time to divvy up. I recommend that you use I-90 as your main route with diversions at beginning and end. Use I-86 across southern New York State and Route 14 from Sheridan, Wyoming to Yellowstone. That way, you can visit the Badlands and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and Devils Tower in eastern Wyoming along the way. I'm not sure that you need four days at Yellowstone, but you must visit Grand Teton NP just below it while you're there. I am going to both parks in late June, but I am also going up to Glacier. That might be too far for you, but all three are different and worth seeing.

    If you visit Grand Teton, continue down to Rock Springs and take I-80 as your return route. That gives you entirely new scenery on the way home. There is so much to see in this great country, and this is the ideal way to take it all in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Routes and attractions along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Kline View Post
    Welcome to RTA Forum and to Roadtripping in general, since you say this is your first adventure.

    You have 2100 miles and about 30 hours of drive time to divvy up. I recommend that you use I-90 as your main route with diversions at beginning and end. Use I-86 across southern New York State and Route 14 from Sheridan, Wyoming to Yellowstone.
    If you are travelling with a family, you realistically need four full days to get to Yellowstone. You might look at leaving I-90 at Sheridan, WY, and take Alt 14 through the Big Horn National Forest and over Big Horn Mts. WY 296 will then take you into the North East entrance. This is an incredibly scenic route which will take you past the Medicine Wheel and the Big Horn Canyon.

    Alternatively, take I-90 to Laural MT and US 212, the Beartooth Highway over Beartooth Pass into Yellowstone. Another drive not to be missed. You will need to make choices. Though you can have the best of both if at Lovel you take US 310 to Eager MT and pick up the Beartooth Hwy at that point.

    Be aware that Beartooth Hwy and Pass is a slow drive, especially if you plan to stop to take photos and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Best not start it if you arrive there in the afternoon.

    Actually to really enjoy the trip there and back, if you have 21 days, I would plan on at least 5 days each way to enjoy the many sights and distractions along the way. You can't spend too much time in Yellowstone. It is a large park and its slow going to get around. Staying within the park is always preferred, so look at booking as soon as you have your dates. If it is all booked up look at checking back frequently, as cancellations do happen, and spots become available.

    If you choose to return via I-80, as suggested above, there is a wonderful detour through the Medicine Bow Nat'l Forest. From Walcott head south to Saratoga, and take WY 130 back to I-80 at Laramie. If you time it well, you may have time to enjoy the free hot springs in Saratoga. They also have a very informative and helpful visitor centre incorporated in their Community centre.

    I am assuming that you are planning this with good maps, on which all these attractions and routes are marked, or a good road atlas. These are invaluable with planning and essential when on the road. Don't be tempted to rely on your electronics.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thank you for your suggestions.

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