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  1. Default Denver to Seattle in 16 days?

    Hi everyone,

    We're planning a spontaneous RV road trip from Denver to Seattle for the second week of October (next week) and looking for advice. We are hoping to see Yellowstone and a few other spots and our itinerary looks like this at the moment....we are traveling with a 2yo so bearing that in mind...

    S1. Land in Denver and pick up RV. Stay overnight in Denver? Or drive an hour or two
    S2. Overnight somewhere en route to Grand Teton
    M3. Overnight somewhere en route to Grand Teton
    T4. Grand Teton NP
    W5. Yellowstone NP
    T6. Yellowstone NP
    F7. Yellowstone NP
    S8. Billings, Montana (to see the rodeo)
    S9. Great Falls?
    M10. Missoula
    T11. Spokane
    W12. Portland or somewhere en route to
    T13. Portland
    F14. Mt St Helens for the day then stay overnight just outside to arrive in Seattle the next morning
    S15. Seattle
    S16. Seattle
    M17. Fly home

    Questions:
    - Shall we stay a day or two in Denver, what to see?
    - What is the best, most scenic or most interesting route from Denver to Grand Teton? Should we be entering Grand Teton heading north on the 189/191 or heading west on the 26.
    - Is 1 night in Grand Teton and 3 in Yellowstone enough?
    - Is Portland/Mt St Helens worth the trip down considering we have a 2yo and won't be hiking or should we spend longer/slower traveling west from Billings to Seattle?
    - Finally we could adjust the whole schedule to make it a round trip from Denver to Denver...we haven't seen any of this country although my husband has spent time in Colorado Springs so we'd probably not venture that way...would that be a better option.

    I understand we will need to check the road reports for Yellowstone and make sure there've been no road closures etc as we're bordering on it being too late in the year.

    All and any advice is welcome.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,662

    Default Lots of options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    A lot of your questions come down to personal preferences but the one thing to consider is that if you do a one way trip rather than a loop in and out of Denver you will likely be facing quite expensive one way drop off fees unless you can find a 'one way special', which is worth checking out on the Cruise America website. Personally I wouldn't spend a couple of days in Denver but if you decided you wanted to it might be a better option to pick up the RV when you leave. I would probably head to near Estes Park and check out some of Rocky mountain NP. If you head to Portland you should check out the Historic Columbia River Gorge and I would also look at Mt Rainier NP as an option on route to Seattle. On the other hand if you are going as far north as Great Falls then Glacier NP is another natural wonder. If you decided on a loop trip then perhaps the Tetons, Yellowstone and some of southern Utahs parks would be a good option (Arches and Canyonlands) and then see a bit more of Colorado such as Mesa Verde, Black canyon and scenic drives such as 'The Million dollar Highway' through the mountain towns of Durango, Silverton and Ouray. There are many, many options so I would sit down and discuss the basics and then we can help to fit the pieces of the puzzle in place

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,653

    Default

    Before making any trips into Yellowstone and Glacier, check their websites. YNP is in the process of shutting down for the winter, as I type, and is generally closed by mid-October. Glacier National Park's Going to the Sun Road is also iffy in October. Glacier is recovering from some massive fires.

    Check current conditions here for Glacier.


    Check this site for what's open (and closed) during October in Yellowstone.



    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 10-01-2018 at 08:14 PM. Reason: spacing issue

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Late October is getting pretty late in terms of not being snowed on that far north.

    Be sure the RV has good tire tread for snow traction and that you'll know how to protect the water systems from freezing.

    Lookout Pass between Missoula and Spokane is fairly high. And you might require tire chains to continue on Snoqualmie Pass into Seattle.

    The RV company might have some advice for you as well.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by noFanofCB View Post
    Late October is getting pretty late in terms of not being snowed on that far north.

    Be sure the RV has good tire tread for snow traction and that you'll know how to protect the water systems from freezing.

    Lookout Pass between Missoula and Spokane is fairly high. And you might require tire chains to continue on Snoqualmie Pass into Seattle.

    The RV company might have some advice for you as well.
    Thanks noFanofCB,

    We have no experience with driving in snow, ice or using chains (bar one time we needed chains on a New Zealand holiday) so perhaps we'd be better off heading from Missoula down towards Lewiston and across to Portland, thereby avoiding the two passes you mentioned (although perhaps running into others?).

    Its all booked now and we fly into Denver on Friday, picking up our vehicle on Saturday. Yellowstone is forecast for some snow although I doubt it will be settling on the ground (at least I hope it won't be) and there are no road closures, yet!

    Any advice or recommendations welcome :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,104

    Default

    If there is a chance of snow and ice, you are almost always better off sticking to the Interstate highway system, even if mountain passes are involved.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    396

    Default

    If you were looking at US 12 from Missoula area to Lewiston - that is definitely a NO GO in SNOW.

    It's a 2 lane twisty 45 mph road and crosses Lolo Pass which is rather steep and high. It's 500 feet higher than Lookout Pass on I-90.

    It's a great summer motorcycle road (I've ridden 40 miles of the Missoula end on my BMW). It might not even be open all winter (not sure about that).

    GLC is right that the interstates are cleared first, cleared best and have the most resources applied to keep them open.

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