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  1. Default Moving Cross Country NC to Seattle- with dogs

    I'm moving from Wilmington, North Carolina to Seattle, Washington and am taking my SUV and two medium sized dogs with me. My sister is joining for what we are hoping is going to be the best road trip ever. We are leaving late March/early April. We want to make stops along the way seeing all the best US gems. BUT, we have the dogs with us, so we'll have to stay at hotels that allow pets or camp. I was thinking Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Mammoth, and I'd love to see Yellowstone, but I don't think we can go that time of year? But we're not really set on anything in particular. Please let me know if you have any advice of where we should definitely go or not go, what route is best, any recommendations for this kind of trip with pups, any major time of the year considerations (like we can't get to yellowstone if we wanted), or anything else :)

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

    Default Time is key.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Yellowstone is still very much in winter mode during March and April with limited access to road traffic. You can visit the NP's webpage for info. There really is no 'best' route other than the one that takes you to the places you want to visit so a little more research and studying the maps is advised. The main factor is how much time you have available for the trip which you did not mention. For dog friendly hotels you can search the 'Roadtrip Motels' link to the right of each page for those that accept pets. You shouldn't look at travelling much more than 500 miles a day which will allow a little time from the car for lunch and to let the dogs have a run around but would not include time for any sight seeing. Once you have worked on your itinerary, if you need answers to specific questions just ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Maybe, Just Possibly, ...

    At Yellowstone, the road across the north of the park, from Cooke City to Gardiner past Mammoth Hot Spring, is kept open all year. The road from Gardiner south to Old Faithful is scheduled to be opened up on April 15th this year. So if you depart Wilmington in 'early April', and if you take your time driving cross country, and if there are no late spring snows, and if the road crews stick to their schedule, then you just might be able to be among the first to visit Old Faithful this year. (And have the viewing area pretty much to yourselves!)

    If you haven't visited some of the great eastern sites, such as Great Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Cave National Parks, this might be a good, or even last, opportunity to do so. While the Midwest isn't known for spectacular scenery, there are some interesting communities with a bit of history that you might enjoy including Nauvoo IL and the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Besides Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore, there are a few other worthwhile sites in the Rapid City SD area including Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Devils Tower just across the state line in Wyoming. The Little Bighorn Battlefield is just off I-90 west of there in southern Montana. If you do decide to go through Yellowstone from east to west on the one open road through Yellowstone, US-212 (the Beartooth Highway) is a spectacular way to get there from Billings.

    More generally, if your final plans call for visiting four or more national parks/monuments you should plan on buying an annual pass at the first one you come to. For $80 that will get you, your car, and all its passengers into all parks for a year, but it won't cover camping or other fees. Generally, you should plan on stopping every couple of hours to let the dogs (and you) get out for some fresh air and exercise. Local and state parks are excellent venues for this. They are usually marked on good paper maps and so a good atlas of the US should be amongst your essential RoadTrip gear, and you and your sister should take some time beforehand to familiarize yourselves with your route and stops so that you can act as navigator when not driving. Do not rely solely on GPS or you'll miss a lot.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Even the road from Gardiner to Cooke City won't do you much good, because it's closed east of there till later in the spring. The only way people in Cooke City can go anywhere is through the park to Gardiner.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If you do decide to go through Yellowstone from east to west on the one open road through Yellowstone, US-212 (the Beartooth Highway) is a spectacular way to get there from Billings.
    However, this option doesn't open for the season until mid-to-late May. Once again, it depends on the snowfall. So the Beartooth isn't an option. As GLC stated, folks who live in Cooke City must depend on the park road between there and Gardiner except between mid-late May and mid-September.


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