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  1. Default Denver to Seattle via Yellowstone

    Hi,

    I am planning a 2.5 week road-trip (honeymoon trip) in May and am thinking of Flying into Denver and out of Seattle from the UK. We've been to the US several times and driven a lot through California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. We love it.

    This time we really want to see Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We really want to get that Old West experience of big skies, wildlife, small towns etc, and see some amazing scenery along the way. We stopped in Mariposa, CA last year and loved the place. Looking to sample a few more places like that this time out. We'll be coming May.

    If anyone has any suggestions I'd be thankful.


    Thank you,

    Neil

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    When in May?

    It's important, because Yellowstone doesn't really start to open up the roads until mid-to-late May. It's open all year, true, but you can't get to the attractions because the roads are closed (and there is minimum snowmobiling allowed).


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    If you are driving from Denver to Yellowstone via Rock Springs on highway US 191 be sure and keep your speed below the posted limit. Pinedale Wyoming has vigorous enforcement of the speed limit. It might be how they fund the town.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Timing Will Be Critical

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Spring comes late in the northern Rockies. This is particularly important as the 'logical' route from Denver to Seattle through Yellowstone National Park has you entering from the south, from Grand Tetons National Park. But that road, from the south entrance past Old Faithful, is not scheduled to open to traffic until May 16th this year. So if everything goes right and the road opens that early, and you're arriving in Denver late enough that you can spend enough time in Rocky Mountain National Park (Trail Ridge Road scheduled to open on April 1), Grand Tetons National Park (many roads scheduled to open May 1), and other venues along the way so that you don't arrive at Yellowstone before that date, then you are in for a real treat - having Yellowstone practically to yourselves. If you plan to come through that area before mid-May, however, you may face fairly long detours to get to those parks, as well as having parts of the parks still be inaccessible.

    In any event, some towns and cities that are on or near your basic route that should be able to give yo a bit of a feel for the 'old West' are Laramie, Rawlins (Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum), Lander (Fremont County Pioneer Museum), and Cody (Buffalo Bill Center of the West) - all in Wyoming. You should also look into some of the many sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail named for the two explorers who charted this area in the very early 1800s and whose journeys are why this region is part of the United States today rather than Canada and thus the Commonwealth.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Best check before you go.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Spring comes late in the northern Rockies. This is particularly important as the 'logical' route from Denver to Seattle through Yellowstone National Park has you entering from the south, from Grand Tetons National Park. But that road, from the south entrance past Old Faithful, is not scheduled to open to traffic until May 16th this year. So if everything goes right and the road opens that early, and you're arriving in Denver late enough that you can spend enough time in Rocky Mountain National Park (Trail Ridge Road scheduled to open on April 1), k
    Projected openings on websites are purely that, projected. There is no guarantee that any of those high altitude roads will be open on that date. In the past I have wanted to drive the Trail Ridge Road several times and found the road closed by snow and ice. In 2001 it was in August, 2004 June, 2007 July and 2012 it was closed in September. Best thing you can do with all those winter roads is call on approach, and check.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Don't forget that dropping a car rental in a different location from where you collected it will almost certainly incur a significant one way drop off fee. Flights may be better value in and out of the same city as well. Denver, Seattle or Salt Lake City would all be reasonable bases to start a loop trip from depending on what else you would like to see.

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