Hello! Great forum. loads of information and it is really helpful to plan our upcoming trip. Huge thanks to all who has put their work here.
Mid June, our family (two kids) is moving from WI to Seattle. We are planning to spend 9-10 days on the road, hit national parks and other scenery sites along the way. By looking at maps, I collected places that I'd like to take my family along the way.
First day we are going to stay with our friends' family at Rochester MN, and following is my planned route (mostly follow I-90) so far:
Day 1: Madison -> Rochester [3hr]
Day 2: Rochester -> Badlands NP [6.5 hr]
from Day 3 to Day 9 morning:
Badlands /Black Hills
Mountain Rushmore NP
Yellowstone NP / Grand Teton NP
Day 9 afternoon: drive toward Seattle
Day 10: drive to Seattle
It is our first road trip, so a lot of questions. Let me start with basic ones.
- does it look OK that we can enjoy as much as we could in the time frame and do not stress out?
- How much time you'd recommend to spend at each place.
I guess I need at least two days at Yellowstone, one day at glacier, probably only a couple of hours at Devils Tower, but not sure how to assign time slots to each of other sites.
- If you want to drop one or two sites, which you'd like to drop? If there is a not listed place you have to go to what would it be?
- for each park, what are list of spots you'd want to be (within allocated time frame)?
- Before reach Badlands from the east, where would you recommend to be the mid stop point to break up the day? I see Pipestone National monument is not far away from I-90. Is it good for a 2 hour lunch picnic, or it is going to take too much time?
- Yellowstone and Grand Teton, we have been there in one of those bus tours. It was short, too short. We really want to spent more time there, especially the Yellowstone. Grand Teton being on the other direction opposites our next park, Glacier, I worry that we might spend valuable time driving back and forth. Is there good route travel through Yellowstone and Grand Teton, if we come from east, Mt Rushmore in general direction, exit north toward glacier? We need to consider lodging too (see our question in the next section)
- between Yellowstone and Glacier, what is a good mid point to spend a couple of hours?
- camping: we have basic gears, only camped at well developed camping grounds before. what are consideration for and against camping along the way? what are camping grounds you would definitely spend night at, and what are camping grounds you wouldn't recommend for casual camping? Do we must have really good (expensive) sleep bags (what we have are down sleep bags vary from 0 to 32 degree, mostly new)
- hotels: not sure what to ask. Any advice is appreciated
- lodging near Yellowstone: We didn't know exactly when the trip would happen. Of course all rooms in the park have been booked, and so were camping ground. are there first-come-first-serve camping sites in two parks? are they hard to get hold of?
Wow! so many questions. I probably should break it down to a couple of posts.
Thank you all for help in advance!