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  1. Default Sault Ste Marie (MI) to Yellowstone National Park

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this site and after reading several threads here about road tripping in North America i think i came to the right place.

    We are planning to go on a road trip next month from Slt Ste Marie (MI) to Yellowstone National Park and i was wondering if i could get some inputs from seasoned travelers here about the feasibility of our plan.

    We have no specific itinerary yet but here's the initial skinny of the trip.

    1. Alloted a total of 8 days going to Yellowstone and back, this already includes driving and the days for sightseeing in the National Park.

    2. Planning to stay on some motels along the way for rest after hours of driving during the day.
    No plans of camping out yet at this time but open to that thought if it could save us some money.

    3. Will take an all wheel drive SUV with a good mileage probably around 29mpg on highways.


    1. Would the alloted 8days for this trip be enough or is it too tight?
    2. How are the road safety to Yellowstone coming from Michigan passing through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wyoming in mid October?
    3. Do we need to worry about snow on the roads?
    4. Any possible road closures and detours?
    5. Any high elevation highways in our route that we should know off?

    Any suggestions and inputs are much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Days at Yellowstone

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I don't think you need to be overly concerned about any of the items you raise except the first one. Eight days is the absolute minimum I would allow for an enjoyable trip between Sault Ste Marie and Yellowstone. Just to be clear, you'll need 3 days driving each way. At around 500 miles each way, you're going to have some time for enjoying the sites along the way, such as Teddy Roosevelt National Park, Little Bighorn Battlefield and the Beartooth Highway. Trying to do it in significantly less time (say two days at 750 miles a day) is not safe, is not sane, is not enjoyable. I don't think you should see any significant snow in October, That's actually one of my favorite times of the year to be on the road, even at high latitudes and high elevations. Even though your time limits mean that you'll only have two full days in the park, the fact that it will be almost deserted at that time of year means that you can see a lot more of it than normal summer tourists who have to fight crowded roads and jam-packed venues.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default can you add a couple more?

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Trying to do this trip in 8 days isn't impossible, but its a whole lot of driving for a very small payoff.

    You're looking at a minimum of 3 days of driving each way, leaving you just 2 days inside Yellowstone, and no time for extra detours or sightseeing along the way.

    Mid-October is usually before you get into serious winter weather, but seeing snow is certainly possible especially right in Yellowstone. Camping anywhere along your route - but especially in Yellowstone which has an average elevation of 8000 ft. - could be quite cold at night and you'd want at least 3 season if not true winter camping gear.

    The direct route would be US-2 across to Duluth, I-35/MN-210/US-10 to Fargo, and then I-94 to Montana with a few option to enter Yellowstone. These are all major roads and you should have no problems with them.

  4. Default

    AZBuck - Thank you for the inputs and suggestions for my upcoming Yellowstone roadtrip.
    Indeed the 8 days is just about the minimum which only leaves us 2 days to enjoy the national park.
    I hope we can squeeze another day to enjoy as much sceneries.
    I'll take note of those sites you mentioned along the way.


  5. Default

    Midwest Michael - Thank you for the suggestions and tips.
    Just a quick question, say I put in another day in Yellowstone for a total of 3 days inside, would I be able to enjoy the must see sites?
    May i ask for any suggestion for sites that i must visit in Yellowstone?
    This is our first time in the park and though a lot of websites are offering tips, nothing beats actual experiences from travelers who have been there.
    Appreciate it.


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

    Default The source

    Take a look at the Yellowstone NP site which has pages of info to help you decide how best too spend your time. You will also get an idea of what weather to expect [although unpredictable] and what services/lodgings remain open during that period. If you get the extra time, you could also consider a drive down to the Grand Tetons while there.

    Take Lot's of warm clothes !

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