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  1. Default June family trip from Ohio to Yellowstone

    First time posting!! We have a travel trailer and are planning our first trip out west. We have 2 weeks and a couple extra days in June for husband and 2 sons, 11 and 7 to travel. We plan to drive for 3 days and stop as needed till we hit Cody, WY via I 64W and I 80W. That's about 1,700 miles for us. Then hopefully drive in way early to try and get a first come first serve campground in Yellowstone. We did not know my husbands vacation till too late and all the campgrounds that can be booked are full. We hopefully plan to stay for 4 to 5 nights there in Yellowstone. Then are next location is Moab, UT, then head home a different way that I have not decided on yet.
    Any help would be great! We are adventurous and plan on hiking a lot and biking some.

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

    Default An extra day to Yellowstone recommended.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Those extra couple of days will come in real handy as it's a lot of miles to cover in the time you have, considering 5 or 6 you plan to spend in Yellowstone. If your camping on the way out it would be wise to add a day to your journey out as that would be 3 long days with the Kids without setting up and breaking camp each day. With an extra day you could take a little time out, perhaps drive through Badlands NP for example. As you leave Yellowstone it's worth leaving a good part of the day available to drive through Grand Teton NP, perhaps stay near to Jackson and continue to Moab next day. I presume you will be visiting Arches and Canyonlands NP's so you won't have too much free time heading home, but if you can squeeze it in you could spend a night in Rocky mountain NP. The Devils garden campground in Arches is pretty cool and Morraine campground in RMNP is nice, great walking around the Bear Lake area and not far from Estes Park. Whether or not there are vacancies is another thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Too Much

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm afraid that you may be biting off more than you can chew in trying to get to Cody in only three days. If you're extrapolating from more local trips where you've (somehow) managed to cover 600 miles in a day while pulling a trailer, then be aware that doing that three days in a row is not the same as just doing a one-day trip three times. This will be a marathon, not a sprint, and you will have to pace yourselves or else you'll arrive in Cody (if at all) tired and cranky from sitting in a confined space for three days in a row with no exercise, little mental stimulation, and not enough sleep. I would strongly recommend making multiple short stops each day to break up the daily monotony, and planning on a third night on the road.

    The same would hold true for a return drive from Moab. That would be a minimum of three nights on the road. Remember that you're going to lose a couple of hours to time zone changes on this leg. Extra time is even more important if you're planning to use your camper each night, because you will need to drive extra miles to get to a campground, take time to set up camp in the evening, break it down and pack up in the morning, and drive back to the highway from the campground.

    Finally, if campsites are not available in Yellowstone itself, have a look at surrounding public lands such as Shoshone National Forest and Buffalo Bill State Park on the east side of the park, or Caribou-Targhee National Forest on the west side (which would set you up better for the follow-on drive to Moab).

    For the drive down to Moab, you'll also need an overnight stop. I'd suggest that you look at using US-89/US-30/I-80/WY-530/UT-43/UT-44/US-191 through or past Grand Teton National Park, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, and Dinosaur National Monument. You have several choices for your return drive home, but if you can take your time, look at using I-80 through Nebraska which follows the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River, US-34 (freeway quality) across northern Missouri to Hannibal, and finishing up on I-72.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default camping at yellowstone

    Just because there are no openings at Yellowstone Campgrounds today, it still might be possible to get a reserved site. There are frequently cancellations, and sites that open up. I really would recommend checking every day.

    You didn't say how big your trailer is, but be aware, many of the non-reserveable campgrounds at Yellowstone have size restrictions and may not be large enough to fit your rig. Also keep in mind that the big challenge of the non-reservable sites is that they can fill up early, and being a huge park, if the one you're looking at is full, it could be a long drive to the next one - and by the time you get there, that one could be filled too. I generally try to avoid making campground reservations, but Yellowstone is one case where I really make it a priority to pre-book - and I have found spaces on relatively short notice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    US-34 (freeway quality) across northern Missouri to Hannibal,
    I believe you mean US-36? US-34 crosses Iowa and is not freeway quality. US-36 isn't completely freeway quality, there are some at-grade intersections but it's multi-lane all the way from St. Joe to Hannibal.

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