Hi all! My husband and I decided that we are going to take a roadtrip to Yellowstone for fall break. We are both graduate students, and this is going to be our last fall break where we are both still in school and can take the time off. I have been reading up on a lot on this site, and you have answered most of our questions! Thank you to all the contributors, since you made this much easier!
Here's our rough plan...
October 18 - drive and overnight in Badlands
October 19 - Morning: Badlands, Afternoon: Mt. Rushmore & Devil's Tower, Overnight: Devil's Tower
October 20 - drive to Yellowstone, explore Yellowstone in the afternoon, overnight in W. Yellowstone
October 21, 22, 23 - Yellowstone
October 23 afternoon/morning 24 - Grand Teton
October 24/25 - Drive back to IN
Here is our map....
We would like to do this as cheaply as possible, so our plan is to sleep in our car at truck stops or hotels on some nights, and some nights at cheap places. We will be bringing sleeping bags and extra blankets, because it will definitely get cold. We don't mind hostels or camping if anyone has suggestions along the way!
We are planning on driving straight through to the Badlands. I read on this site that 500/per day is suggested, and this is about 971 miles/15 hours, do you think this is possible if we split the drive? And, of course, we are flexible, and any suggestions on places to visit on the way would be great. Our plan is to leave early in the morning in order to get to the Badlands in the middle of the night. The hubs is an fantastic photographer and would like to get some sunrise shots. Does anyone know any good points to catch the sunrise? How much time should we allocate to spend at the Badlands, I'm guessing the morning there, then seeing Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower in the afternoon, but would like your opinions!
We would then spend the night around Devil's Tower and head to Yellowstone in the morning which is about an 8 hour drive. We plan on staying in West Yellowstone. Any suggestions on an (inexpensive) place to stay?
The trip from Yellowstone to Grand Teton is about 2 and a half hours, and it looks like lodging is quite expensive there, so we were thinking of visiting Grand Teton in an afternoon, sleeping in the car, and seeing it in the morning before we take our drive home.
I read on here we should take a different route home, but I don't know of any good places to stop! What do you guys think of our plan? Should we make reservations or let the road guide us? Where are the 'must see' or must photograph stops along our route?