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  1. #1

    Default Tucson Az to Grand Teton National Park

    Hello everyone.

    I'm planning a road trip from Tucson Az to the Grand Teton National Park. This will be my first long trip alone. I'm thinking to used my car for sleep. I'll thank you all you advices and tips. These are my concerns:

    1.- Sleep in rest areas at nigth or find a camp near the highway.
    2.- Toll and fees for the roads.
    3.- I want to start the trip in Mid-April, do I will find some close roads???
    4.- Cheap as possible.
    5.- I only have a 10 days vacation. Where i need to spend my time???
    6.- Food. Already have a cooler, fry pan, stove. Anything else??
    7.- I want to see the Grand Canyon.
    8.- I promised to my dad a photo with a buffalo.

    I will use my lifetime saving for this...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    How much money do you actually have for this trip? When you talk about sleeping in your car, doing it as cheap as possible, and say you will use your life savings, it certainly sounds like you could be setting yourself up for a major money problem.

    Sleeping in rest areas is not safe. Finding campgrounds near the highway can be difficult, and generally aren't free. Sleeping in your car also isn't typically a great idea, as few cars are laid out in a way where you can actually get a good night's sleep.

    It should also be noted that in mid-April it will still be quite cold overnight in many places, and you need to be prepared for temperatures to dip below freezing. Do you have cold weather camping gear? Your car will provide little to no protection from the cold, and leaving your car running for heat is quite dangerous.

    Traveling in April also means that you won't be able to continue from Grand Teton into Yellowstone, as the roads in Yellowstone will still largely be closed.

    If you want a photo with a Buffalo, you probably need to visit a zoo. You might see Bison at Grand Teton, but they are wild animals you simply might not see one during your trip. Also, it's worth noting that these are large and dangerous animals, and you need to keep your distance from them - as people can and do get hurt while trying to get too close to these magnificant animals.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    Sometimes, those of us who live in the warmer climates in southern California and Arizona, forget that the rest of the US has real winter. As has been stated above, Tetons and Yellowstone are still very much in "winter mode" in mid-April, not really opening many roads until mid-May. GTNP is open, but not all of the campgrounds are open by then. Here's a quote from the GTNP Operating Hours and Seasons page:

    Grand Teton National Park is open twenty-four hours every day, year-round. Seasonal road closures may limit auto access to some areas in the park during the winter. Highway 89/26/191/287 from Jackson, WY to Flagg Ranch and the park's East boundary is open year-round.

    The Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge and the Moose-Wilson Road from the Death Canyon Trailhead to the Granite Canyon Trailhead are closed to motorized vehicles from November 1st through April 30th. The Antelope Flats Road and Signal Mountain Summit Road are also closed during this period. In the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway the Grassy Lake Road and High
    way 89/191/287 between Flagg Ranch and Yellowstone's South Entrance is closed to cars during the winter, but open for travel by snowmobile. For more information about snowmobile use and visiting the park during the winter visit our Winter Trip Planner page.
    Grand Canyon's South Rim is a possibility, and the roads are open year-round. Our last trip there was in mid-April, and we were in sweatshirts during the day, but winter coats at night. We were sleeping in a tent trailer (pop-up), with a small electric heater running, and we were COLD. There was no question, even in warm sleeping gear with an electric heater, a tent was cold. Your car would be exactly the same. Only you'd have the problem of steaming up the windows with your breath during the night.

    Buffaloes are dangerous. Period. Take a picture using the close-up feature on your smart phone, or with a telephoto lens, but do NOT get near one. Most of them are in the far-country in GT and YNP at that time of the year, anyway, and not very accessible.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 02-17-2017 at 09:02 AM. Reason: quoting feature

  4. #4


    thanks for the quick answer.

    1.- Im from Mexico, so i need to do the convertion for pesos to dollars. Thats why it is expensive to me.

    2.- I think my car wuold be fine for sleep, because it is a Jeep patrior, and the back sets are foldable, and make a huge area for sleeping bags, cooler and stuffs. I read have read that i can sleep in truck stops, some gas stations, and rest areas; like 3 or 4 hours. Maybe 1 nigth at a motel in way out and another in the wey back.

    3.- Mid-April its my vacation time, maybe i can change it to May. I have already considered the cold and be prepared for that.

    4.-And about the bison photo, i know i need to keep my distance.

    Would you recommend another place instead Grand Teton National Park???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Even converting from Pesos to Dollars, having an actual number that you're talking about for a budget would be a big help, especially when it seems like the budget is going to be a significant issue for your trip.

    As mentioned, Rest Areas are not a safe or legal place to sleep. Truck Stops can work, but the other potential problem is that there aren't going to be very many Truck Stops on the route you mentioned. It certainly isn't going to be an option when you are at places like National Parks.

    May would probably be better than April. Again, when you say you have prepared for the cold, are you certain you have the proper gear to be essentially sleeping outside in temperatures that will likely drop below freezing? What have you actually done to prepare for it?

    If you want to go to Grand Teton, it's a great place, but early spring isn't the ideal time to visit. We can't say, however, what might be a more appealing option for you.

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