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  1. Default Mount Rushmore, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mtns and Yellowstone

    Two couples in 50's, 60's (2 slightly disabled) want to take a road trip and looking for best way to do this...where to fly into and leave from, beginning of September after Labor Day for approx. 10-12 days. We want to drive but not a terrible amount. I suggested an organized tour but the other couple think it's too expensive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-14-2016 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Moved thread to correct place.

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

    Default Start point.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The beauty of going it alone and creating your own trip is that it is unique to you, you get to go where you want and at the pace you like. This does take a little research and some good maps to look over to get a feel of the area you are visiting to see what appeals to your tastes. With the places you have listed, Denver would probably be the best option to fly in and out of to create a loop trip and save on one way drop off fees on your car rental. You could save a few miles by flying out of Salt lake city, but not really enough to warrant the extra charges.

    From Denver you could head direct to Mt Rushmore and then spend a couple of days heading to Yellowstone. If you entered via Red Lodge you would get to drive the amazing Beartooth highway. You really need at least 3 days to visit Yellowstone and the Tetons and 4 would better, so 12 days would be my choice. Then head south through Jackson and Rock Springs towards Steamboat Springs and spend a couple of days in Rocky mountain NP. If you are fortunate enough and it is open, you will be able to drive the highest continuous paved highway in the US, the Trail Ridge road through RMNP from Grand lake to Estes park and back to Denver.

    As I mentioned, you should do your own research because there are so many options and different routes you could take, but that should at least give you a start. Once you have got a basic itinerary sorted just let us know and we can offer suggestions to help 'fine tune' it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The debate over doing an organized tour really shouldn't be over cost. You might pay a little more for going as a tour, but I wouldn't expect the costs to be all that much different.

    The debate over a tour should be about how you want to approach the trip. If you plan the trip yourself, you get to pick the spots that are most interesting to you, and you get to spend as much time at them as you'd like. If you do an organized tour, you're going to be going to all of the places that the tour guide wants to go, at the pace that the tour guide wants to go.

    Doing a loop from Denver, which I agree with Dave is the logical place to start/end this trip, you're looking at a trip of 1700 miles or so when all is said and done. Averaged out over the course of 10-12 days, that means roughly three hours a day in the car, although I would imagine you'd want a few days where you are driving for a few more hours than that, while on other days you wouldn't go very far at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Getting off the interstates.

    You will notice on your maps that scenic byways are highlighted with a dotted line. At the pace you will be travelling you have the time to get off the interstates and enjoy some of these drives. In Wyoming especially - pick up their brochure of scenic byways at the welcome centre, (I got mine in the visitor centre in Saratoga) Not all of the State scenic byways are on nationaly published maps or in road atlasses.

    Two I have particularly enjoyed are Snowy Range Scenic Byway between Laramie and Saratoga. In Saratoga they have their free hot springs. At Libby Flats (the summit) there are interesting information boards telling of the local plants by your feet, some of which are a hundred or more years old, but only two or three inches tall. Then there is the lookout tower built by a local group - though a couple of your party may not be able to manage it.

    The other is the Big Horn Forest Scenic Byway from Sheridan to Lovell (Alt 14) which takes you over the high plains. If you are there at the right time of the day, the wildlife on the plains is prolific. You will pass by the Medicine Wheel; as well as the Big Horn canyon and lake.

    Colorado has an excellent State map which also shows its scenic byways, of which the Trail Ridge Road is on one. Best check if it is open as you approach, since at over 12000' it is subject to blizzards all year round, at a moment's notice.

    All these scenic byways are fully paved, with lots of great spots for photographers and amazing sights to marvel at.

    The Spectacular Beartooth Scenic Highway will take you at least half a day to drive, probably longer if you stop to take in the views. There is the Top of the World Store at the summit, which by Sept should not be so busy anymore.


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