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  1. #1

    Default Late fall trip to Yellowstone NP/Glacier NP

    I'm starting to plan a roadtrip for mid-October to mid-November. We'll be leaving from PA and driving a northern route out to CA and central/south route on the way back. I'm concerned about some of the weather we might hit in mid/late October, especially around Glacier National Park and through the Rockies (Yellowstone/Tetons).

    We'll be driving a rear-wheel drive Crown Victoria with good winter tires, but don't want to get involved with snow chains especially on steep, unfamiliar terrain. We were hoping to drive along the Bear Tooth Highway, but I'm afraid this may be too late in the season.

    A very rough route for the first 1/2 of the trip is: High tail it from PA to Detroit and "get started" from there. Go around Lake Michigan through WI to Chicago, and then to the Badlands NP, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone/Tetons, and north to Glacier NP. From there over the Cascades to Seattle, and south through CA.

    Can anybody give some tips for planning a mid/late Oct. drive around this area? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,486

    Default Thanksgiving is generally the start of serious Winter

    While it is possible to hit snow in virtually any month during the year in the Rockies, in general October is one of the finest roadtrip months in North America. The nights will be cool, but the liklihood for serious winter storms is remote.

  3. #3
    Guest

    Default Don't Plan On Seeing Much of Glacier

    Your Glacier plans might not work out. I am almost positive that Going-To-The-Sun Road (the scenic jewel of the park unless you plan to hike overnight) is closed by early autumn, and it's probably going to be uncomfortably cold to do much camping or hiking anyway.

    I strongly suggest going south out of the Grand Tetons instead. I don't know the number offhand, but there is a highway that takes you south out of the Tetons, through western Wyoming, and eventually connects to I-80. From there, why not see the central stuff on the way out? With the same amount of time you're alotting for Glacier-Cascades-Seattle-Coastal Drive, you can see Arches and Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon, Yosemite, etc.

    From there, your possibilities are endless. How about a drive through the central valley of CA into San Francisco. You can take Hwy 1 south from there and see Santa Cruz, the Monterey Peninsula, and Big Sur.



    Good luck and safe driving.

    AB

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    9,486

    Default Glacier

    Update: The latest information from Glacier regarding the "Going-to-the-Sun" road is: "... Traditionally, the Going-to-the-Sun Road opens sometime during the first two weeks in June. The earliest opening date is May 16 and the latest opening date is June 23. The Going-to-the-Sun Road closes to traffic on the Monday following the third Sunday in October, unless closed earlier due to snow..." For some awesome photos of the work required to open the road last year check out http://www.nps.gov/glac/gallery/plow2002.htm

    That being said, I have driven other sections of Glacier in February -- not for the mild or the meek but still a wonderful thrill.

  5. #5
    imported_Transplanted Midwesterner Guest

    Default Going to the Sun

    Actually, last year the Going to the Sun highway didn't open until June 28th. I was there on June 25th, and unfortuantly the road was still closed. And even though the Glacier Park website does say that June 23rd is the latest opening, The record is actually July 10th, set in 1941. I'll add a link to the press release that I'm getting all of this info from:
    http://www.nps.gov/glac/whatsnew/press02pdf/press0233.pdf

  6. #6
    Guest

    Default Beartooth Hwy

    I think you are right about being to late in the season for the Beartooth Hwy. According to the Yellowstone Web site it closed Oct. 15, 2002 for the season.

    http://www.nps.gov/yell/planvisit/orientation/travel/roadopen.htm

    Utahtea

  7. #7

    Default How about weather/attractions around Detroit and Wisconsin?

    We definately won't be able to do both Yellowstone and Glacier before the second week of October. We'll shoot for Yellowstone/Tetons, and pending weather, still try to make it up to northern Montana. Heck, not seeing everything is an excuse to do another trip!

    What do you feel about the loop from Detroit around Lake Michigan through Wisconsin and to Chicago? That's going to add 2-3 days to the trip, which may be better spent elsewhere. I don't hear much about Michigan and Wisconsin as being "great states to see", but it sounds cool to spend a night near the Lake, in maybe a small campgound. Is the weather typically mild (about freezing at night) in this area?

    I was hoping to see an auto factory tour in Detroit, but Ford's Rouge Plant isn't opening until 2004 and I can't find one for GM. So if there's not much in the Detroit/Wisconsin/Lake Michigan loop, we may bypass it altogether and go right to Chicago from PA.

    Recommendations?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,486

    Default 20 Threads for Wisconsin area bely that assumption

    If you use the Search function (on this page -- Gray button) and enter Wisconsin, you will find about 20 threads of places to check out in Wisconsin.

    The upper penisula of Michigan is like no where else in the country. It may be a bit brisk, but certainly worth the journey.

    When you are in Dearborn -- be sure to do the Ford Museum http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/hfm.htm

    I'll get some local intel about the Penisula, and re-post in a few days.

    M.


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