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  1. Default Denver Yellowstone Loop

    I've been reading through many of the threads here over the last few days and could use some advice on planning a trip that will most likely start and end in Denver. SLC could be an option but is more costly to fly into w/ less days. I'll be traveling w/ 3 boys (2 teens & an 11 year old) who although active are city kids who didn't love our ambitious hikes in Yosemite a few years back - so all hiking will probably be on easier/shorter trails. Some sites I would like to visit are Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, possibly a trip over to S Dakota & the Badlands and maybe some sights in Utah. My 16 year old would like to see Montana as well. Any suggestions for a 12 to 13 day loop? It doesn't have to cover everything mentioned rather these are just the sites on my wish list. Thanks!
    Last edited by babyruth; 05-18-2016 at 09:52 AM.

  2. Default

    Forgot to mention that our trip will be in mid to late August.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default Nice trip.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    To create a loop as you describe would amount to 4 comfortable days on the road if you were to head from Denver to Badlands and then to Yellowstone, through the Tetons and towards Moab UT for Arches and Canyonlands NP. You also have the option of visiting Rocky mountain NP but time soon disappears. Yellowstone is a huge park with lots attractions spread over large and slow going areas, so it's advised to spend at least 3 days in the park. You could get direct to Badlands in a day from Denver and then break the journey to Yellowstone with an overnight. Cody is a nice Rodeo town but you could drive into Yosemite over the Beartooth Highway via Red Lodge. You may want to see Mt Rushmore. After Yellowstone visit the Tetons and perhaps stay in the Jackson area and then head to Moab which you could do in a day.

    Have you secured lodgings in or close to Yellowstone, it gets really busy and books up fast. If you have no luck keep checking back as Yellowstone have a free cancellation policy so some do come up. A cabin might work well in the park.

  4. Default

    Thanks SW Dave. My lodging research is still in the early stages since I just stumbled across the cheap airfare & am in the early stages of exploring route and lodging options. I've looked on VRBO for lodgings around Yellowstone and have found a decent number of affordable options north and west of the park.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,271

    Default

    you could drive into Yosemite over the Beartooth Highway via Red Lodge.
    I believe he meant Yellowstone, not Yosemite.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    South of England.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I believe he meant Yellowstone, not Yosemite.
    Yes, well spotted George. I seem to have Yosemite on my mind !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Yellowstone -- Easy hikes --

    Take the board walks around all the thermal pools: Norris Geyser Basin, Lower, Middle and Upper Geyser Basin. Take the boardwalk around the Mud Geysers. Walk the area around Mammoth. Take the trail and boardwalks to Artists' Paintpots. For one hike to challenge them a little, take them to the Brink of the Lower (Yellowstone) Falls. It's switchbacks all the way down and then a return.

    For places to stay that aren't in the park, West Yellowstone probably offers the easiest access to the park. Once you get your dates, start calling or looking online. Don't overlook the mom-and-pop motels.

    Jackson was quite expensive ... too much for our budget, AAMOF. We spent the day seeing the park, not doing a lot of hiking though. We walked a bit of Jackson itself, then went over the pass to the west and stayed on the other side of the Tetons, in Driggs. However, if you are heading back to Denver, you'd want to head southeast, heading toward Pinedale or Rock Springs on US191. Or go back to Moran and head southeast on US287 into Rawlins (that's a more scenic route anyway, if memory serves from years ago).


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Ft. Collins, CO.
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    Default

    If you drive thru Pinedale Wyoming be SURE to keep it well under the speed limit. Roads appear straight and wide open and you'll want to drive fast. Don't. Not within 60 miles of the place.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Two equally scenic but different routes

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    ..., heading toward Pinedale or Rock Springs on US191. Or go back to Moran and head southeast on US287 into Rawlins (that's a more scenic route anyway, if memory serves from years ago).
    US-191 from The Tetons to Moab is a route full of diverse scenery. It passes through Jackson where there us an invaluable visitor centre, Hoback Canyon, Pinedale, a lovely little town with many short scenic drives in the area, and lots of short hikes and once again a most helpful visitor centre. Up over the high plains to Rock Springs and I-80. The road then travels through open country to I-70, where it is recommended to head east to UT-128 through Castle Valley into Moab.

    US-287 on the other hand travels through equally but very different scenic country, including the Great Divide Basin. However once it hits I-80 it heads in the wrong direction if you want to visit some of the southern UT parks. If by this time you are running behind schedule, it will take you straight back to Denver.

    Lifey

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