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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,658

    Default Much better.

    That is a huge improvement and one that will lead to having a memorable trip for all the right reasons. It will be at least 10-15% more in mileage by the time you add in detours to the parks and driving around in them, but even then your trip can remain quite relaxed while keeping on the move. I would probably look at taking 4 days to get out to the Badlands and 5 to get home from Jackson which will give time for short breaks away from the car, or an early evening off the road to spend in town. That would be around 3800 miles 'taken care of', leaving you 12 days to sight see in the west while covering around 1800 miles with detours. At least 3 of those days I would plan on spending in, or around Yellowstone and the Tetons.

    Ultimately only you can decide if it's too much as everyone is different, but it's certainly possible while having time to enjoy sights along the way imo.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,648

    Default Time allotment

    Besides the time suggested for Roosevelt - Badlands will take about a half day for the main drive. Mount Rushmore is about a half day. Devils Tower depends on what you want to do there. There is a prairie dog village on the way in/out, on park property so it's a free attraction, and fun to watch the little guys for a few minutes. The visitor center and museum is very small. There's a trail that goes all the way around the Tower, nothing strenuous, just a nice stretch of the legs. It's 1-1/2 miles around, I think, with lots of opportunities for viewing/photos of the Tower from different angles and viewpoints. Yellowstone, as has been mentioned I believe, is 2-3 days to see the highlights, and another day for Grand Teton. I would say at least a day at Glacier, though admittedly I have not been there in ... ahem ... too many years. (Time to put that one on a trip so that my husband can see this place.)


    Donna

  3. Default National Park Camping

    Hello everyone, I am still in the planning stages of my road trip (Aug-Sept 2016 ~ about 3 weeks). I have narrowed down my destinations to badlands NP, Devil's Tower, Billings, MT, Glacier NP, Flathead Lake, Yellowstone NP, Grand Tetons, and Rocky Mt NP. I am wondering how early can I book campgrounds in advance for these national parks - for Glacier I know it's 6 months but what about Yellowstone and the others? Also past campers, do you suggest picking one campground as a home base for multiple days in one park (planning 3 days in yellowstone and glacier)? I was confused on if I should be booking 2 campsites or 1.

    Any advise would help, I'm a first timer here. Also any suggestions on which campsites are best would be great!

    Please keep all questions about this trip in one thread. Thank you.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-28-2015 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Merged

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,658

    Default

    For individual park information you should check out the nps.gov website for correct information. Booking a couple of different campgrounds in Yellowstone could be an advantage as it is so big.

  5. Default

    Have you done that in the past? I wasn't sure if it was an advantage or disadvantage because taking down the camping site and then driving to a new one, setting up, etc. then going out to explore. I wanted to see what was more common among past roadtrippers.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,722

    Default

    The advantage of picking different campgrounds is that it can cut down on some driving, the disadvantage is that you do have to tear down and set up camp.

    Some of it depends upon how fast you can tear down/set up, and some of it depends upon which campgrounds you're going to be staying at.

    If you only want to stay at one campground, I'd try to get into one that's relatively centrally located - like Canyon or Madison. If you end up staying at someplace like Mammoth, you'd be a long way from attractions at the other end of the park, and then it would make more sense to split up your stays.

    The other reason that people some times split up their visits is purely availability - for example, if someone wants to camp for 5 days, there might not be a campsite available for 5 days, and they will have to split things up just to find space.

  7. Default

    Suggestions on campgrounds in Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Flathead Lake, and Rocky Mt?
    What would you suggest we definitely do in Yellowstone and Glacier with 3 days in each?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,648

    Default

    Yellowstone is huge. Three days barely gives you time to see the majority of the sites in your car, wait for Old Faithful to go off, and maybe take a couple of the boardwalks around the hot pools/geyser basins. You will probably spend one full day going around the Upper Loop, and the Lower Loop can take a another day. Plus time to drive up to Lamar Valley, or out to the eastern part of the park. We took three days so in 2014 - one day to come into the park from Billings along the Beartooth, see Lamar Valley, and Norris Geyser Basin; one day for Upper Loop, Mammoth and Gardiner; one day for the the Lower Loop. We still missed a major geyser basin.

    As far as campsites, I am always hesitant to recommend any not only because I haven't spent time in any in years, but also because when it comes to getting reservations at an NP campsite, it may be just what's available, and not necessarily your first choice. It has been that way for years.q


    Donna

  9. Default What's the Weather like in September?

    Hello!! I leave for my road trip September 1st and wanted to know what the weather typically is like in the places I'm going throughout September. I am trying to figure out what I need to pack. I'll be visiting Cuyahoga National Park in early September then ventured to South Dakota for the Badlands, Custer, Windcave NP. Then going up to Glacier NP and Flathead Lake around the 2nd week of September. Then Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Jackson. Then there's the possibility of Boulder, CO. I haven't been to any of these places so I do not know what weather conditions to expect. Any insight on what to pack, gear-wise and clothing-wise is much appreciated from you pros! Thank you in advance!!

    Moderator Note: As you were previously told, please keep all questions about this trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-21-2016 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Merged Threads Again

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,722

    Default ready for anything

    Predicting the weather anywhere more than a month in advance is impossible.

    You will also have the challenge that you'll be dealing with a very wide range of terrain and elevation.

    In early September, it's entirely possible to see summer heat, with temperatures in the 90's or above in some areas. However, especially since you'll be in places like Yellowstone and Glacier, it also wouldn't be surprising to see temperatures drop below freezing on several nights of your trip.

    When it comes to packing, layers will be your friend.

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